Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering

Susan James


Phone: 970-491-2842

Dr. Susan P. James

Biomaterials Research and Engineering Laboratory


Mechanical Engineering

Associate Director of School of Advanced Materials Discovery

School of Biomedical Engineering

Dr. Sue James is the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs at Colorado State University and is responsible for working with faculty, deans, other vice provosts, and vice presidents to ensure a well-supported faculty and exemplary teaching and learning practices. Dr. James is a professor of Mechanical Engineering who joined CSU’s faculty as an assistant professor in 1994. She served as head of the department from 2010 – 2018 and is the founding director of the School of Biomedical Engineering.

Dr. James received her Ph.D. in Polymers from MIT and her B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from Carnegie Mellon. Her research focuses on polymeric materials used in biomedical engineering. These include orthopedic and cardiovascular applications as well as regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. She and her students invented the BioPoly materials, now in clinical use in partial resurfacing knee implants ( Much of her current work is on hyaluronan-enhanced plastics, which do not cause blood clotting and platelet activation like most synthetic plastics. In collaboration with several faculty, students and researchers, she is working on developing hyaluronan-enhanced flexible leaflets for heart valve prostheses. Her group is also researching new materials for small diameter vascular grafts.

Committed to giving back to her community, James has been involved with many service organizations over the years, both internal and external to CSU, including Faculty Council, the CSU President’s Commission on Women and Gender Equity, the Society of Women Engineers, and Africa Higher Education Partnerships (AAHEP). She has also performed countless outreach programs for young girls to get them interested in engineering.


  • Ph.D. 1993, Massachusetts Institute of Technology—Polymer Science and Technology
  • B.S. 1989, Carnegie-Mellon University—Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science


Research Interests

  • Biomedical Engineering, Polymeric materials
  • Orthopaedic Biomaterials, Joint Replacements
  • Regenerative Medicine/Tissue Engineering
  • Cardiac Biomaterials and Medical Devices

Honors and Awards

  • 2020 – Named Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors; read article here
  • 2009, 2008 – Oliver P. Pennock Distinguished Service Award, Colorado State University
  • 2006 – Jack E. Cermack Advising Award, Colorado State University
  • 2006 – George T. Abell Outstanding Teaching and Service Faculty Award, Colorado State University, College of Engineering
  • 2006 – Nominated for CSU Best Teacher Award, Colorado State University
  • 2005 – Recognition of Support and Commitment to Diversity Efforts in College of Engineering, Women and Minorities in Engineering Program, Colorado State University

International Connections

  • Country: New Zealand
    Contact: University of Canterbury, Research Collaboration, Sabbatical Host