Labs and Research Centers

Labs and Research Centers at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology that primarily support Mechanical Engineering are listed below.  For a virtual look at our facilities, view the Mechanical Engineering Virtual Tour below.

All SD Mines Laboratories and Research Centers

Faculty Research Projects

Research is broadly organized into the four areas shown below. Faculty conduct research individually and in collaboration with others both in ME and in other departments at Mines. Click to expand any of the four segments below for more informaiton about individual faculty specializations.


Dr. Dan Dolan

  • Center of Excellence for Advanced Manufacturing and Production (CAMP)
    - View CAMP Website

Dr. Shaobo Huang

Dr. Vojislav Kalanovic

Dr. Umesh Korde

  • Sustainable Energy: marine hydrokinetic energy with a focus on ocean wave energy conversion (engineering design, analytical modeling, laboratory testing) , time-domain control for cost effective operation (linear and nonlinear systems)

Thermal Science

Dr. Duane Abata

  • Transient and steady state combustion
  • Internal combustion engines
  • Alternative biofuels
  • Fuel delivery and fuel sprays
  • High pressure ignition

Dr. Michael Langerman

  •  Radiometric analysis of laser additive manufacturing applications for process/part diagnosis and qualification

Dr. Bamdad Lessani 

Dr. Khosro Shahbazi

  • Biomedical Engineering
    - Shock wave lithotripsy for breaking kidney stones
    - Cancer drug delivery using micro-bubbles and ultrasound waves

Solid Mechanics

Dr. Jason Ash

  • Interfacial Mechanics of Composite Materials
    - Interfacial bond strength measurement between fiber and matrix
    - Designed axisymmetric test fixture for microbond experimentation
    - Utilized FEA to perform stress based failure analysis
    - Potential to predict interfacial failure of other systems
  • Biaxial Testing of Composite Materials
    - Composite material failure strength characterization
    - Validation of results with strain gages and FEA
    - Failure data needed for structural design/analysis

Dr. Cassandra Degen

Design, fabrication, and analysis of multifunctional structures and materials

  • Manufacturing of structures with multifunctional potential
  • Coupling mechanical stimuli with varied automatic responses
    - Transfer of mechanochemistry knowledge
    - Elicit responses such as optical, chemical, magnetic, energetic, etc.

Dr. Marius Ellingsen

Mechanical Behavior of Materials and Material Systems:

  • Bi-material systems (layered materials)
  • Cold spray deposited materials
  • Layered polymer composites
  • Fracture Mechanics  
  • Optical stress-strain measurement methods:
    - Photoelasticity
    - Automated speckle pattern analysis
  • Electromechanical strain measurement methods
  • Material Fatigue Characterization
    Rotating beam fatigue testing
    - Axial fatigue testing
  • Material Fracture Characterization
    - Critical stress intensity factor determination (KIC)
    - Crack growth behavior (da/dN)

Dr. Lidvin Kjerengtroen

Dr. Karim Muci

Dr. Albert Romkes

Computational and applied mechanics and mathematics with an emphasis on: (multi-scale) modeling of heterogeneous media and multiphysics/interaction processes, numerical analysis of partial differential equations arising in continuum mechanics applications, development of finite element type methods of approximation, estimation of approximation and modeling error, and development of strategies for mesh-adaptive finite element processes.

Dr. Christian Widener (Director, Arbegast Materials Processing Lab - AMP)

  • Friction Stir Welding
  • Laser Powder Deposition
  • Cold Spray
  • Direct-Write

Experimental & Computational Mechanics Laboratory

Computer Simulations

  • Available Hardware
    Two computer servers
    Twenty-four computer workstations
  • Available Software
    Xcitex-ProAnalyst and GOM-ARAMIS

Key Experimental Equipment

  • Two Photron SA1.1 monochrome and one Photron SA4 color high speed cameras.
  • Data acquisition systems (up to 2.5 Ms/s/ch).
  • Pressure sensors and accelerometers.
  • Instrumented human head surrogates.

Small-Scale Ballistics Laboratory

  • Air rifles in 0.177-in, 0.22-in, 9-mm, 0.45-in, and 0.50-in calibers.
  • Maximum speeds ranging from 700 ft/s for 0.50-in caliber, 250-grain projectiles, to 1,350 ft/s for 0.177-in caliber, 5.1-grain projectiles.
  • 20 ft x 13 ft x 9 ft armored testing enclosure.
  • Surrogate extremities made of soft tissue surrogates (ballistic gelatin, PERMA-GEL).
  • Area for bacteria distribution studies

Small-Scale Compressed Gas Blast Testing

  • 2-in and 4-in diameter open ended shock tubes with bursting pressures up to 800 psig.
  • Vertical impulse measuring module (VIMM).
  • Schlieren imaging with 8-in and 16.25-in parabolic mirrors to visualize shock waves and fluid flow.
  • Testing enclosure with clear sides for viewing.

Sample Projects

  • Bacteria distribution in surrogate ballistic wounds
  • Development of extremity body armor
  • Blast effects on helmet-head systems
  • Comparison of blast mitigation characteristics of different materials
  • Simulation of shallow buried blasts in sand
  • Helmet for search and rescue (SAR) teams