Mark Orrs

Teaching Associate Professor, Engineering, Design, & Society

Mark OrrsMark Orrs is a Teaching Associate Professor in Engineering, Design, & Society with more than a decade of experience teaching in the fields of sustainable development and engineering design. Dr. Orrs received a B.S. in Sociology from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA, a Diploma in Economics with Distinction from the London School of Economics & Political Science, and a PhD in Sustainable Development from Columbia University. Prior to joining Mines, Dr. Orrs was a Professor of Practice and founding Director of the Sustainable Development Program at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. Among the first of its kind, the program utilized experiential learning through problem-solving with real-world field partners to immerse students from Lehigh’s three undergraduate colleges – Engineering, Business, and Arts & Sciences – into the triple bottom-line discipline of sustainable development, domestically and abroad in more than a dozen countries.  

Dr. Orrs teaches design studios and other project-based courses for both the Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) Program and the Humanitarian Engineering (HE) Program, as well as Cornerstone Design. He is passionate about incorporating Life Design into curricular and co-curricular components of the Mines experience, and has interests in well-being and nature-based therapies such as shinrin yoku (“forest bathing”). He also serves as a faculty advisor for the Mines Without Borders student organization, and is facilitator of The Global Classroom for the Secretariat of Global Masters of Development Practice Programs worldwide. 

Mark lives in southeast Denver, where he serves on the Hampden Heights Civic Association, volunteers as Chief Sustainability Advisor to his local City Councilwoman, Kendra Black, and was appointed to the Science & Research Committee of the Denver Sustainability Advisory Council by Mayor Michael Hancock.  


General Research Lab Annex 224