In the outskirts of the Rocky Mountains critical materials researchers gathered to discuss ongoing research across the US Department of Energy’s Critical Materials Institute. With much anticipation research project PI’s quietly sat and listened to students and post-docs report on the status of the research to program mangers, leadership and industrial partners. This was a nervous and exciting time for undergraduates, graduates, and post docs to get to share their work with PIs and fellow researchers! Members of the University of Tennessee MSE Department and Chemistry Department traveled to Golden, Colorado to attend the CMI (Critical Materials Institutes) Winter Meeting, hosted by Colorado School of Mines. This was the first in-person event hosted by CMI in two years! This meeting held March 29 – 31, featured student lead presentations as well as keynote presentations by Douglas Hollett, Special Advisor Critical Minerals and Materials Supply Chain, U.S. Department of Energy, and Tom Lograsso, CMI Director, Ames Laboratory. With 26 institutes in attendance, including Dr. Orlando Rios and Dr. Sheng Dai research groups, early career researchers presented 16 oral presentations and 24 poster presentations. Two MSE undergraduate research assistants, Emma Counce and John Rayle delivered a poster presentation highlighting their research on materials selection of AlCe alloys in riverine turbines using tribological corrosion techniques and CAT (Characterization using Automated Tribology). Graduate Research Assistant Reece Emery presented research on utilizing combinatorial sputtering of thin films for CTE determination in AlCe alloys. Post Doc, Haneul Jang delivered her poster highlighting research on Al-Ce-based metal matrix composites with high temperature resistance and high modulus. While not in attendance, Professors Rack and Keffer are both members who took part in the CMI research presented at the Winter Meeting. CMI celebrated the announcement of the beginning of the fourth cohort and Mairym Vazquez was named as a member of this cohort. This Leadership Academy cohort acted as judges for the poster presentations.