Energy Resources Initiative

ERI News:
SD Mines Welcomes Director, Dan Soeder

January 30, 2017: Daniel J. Soeder has been hired as the inaugural Energy Resources Initiative director at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. Soeder will join SD Mines at the end of April after departing from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). A research scientist, hydrologist and geologist, Soeder has been a researcher and technical project coordinator with the DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory in Morgantown, W.V. since 2009, where his focus was on shale gas, tight oil, and geological sequestration of carbon dioxide.  Read press release.


The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology  interdisciplinary Energy Resources Initiative was created to advance knowledge and better serve the upstream and downstream oil and gas industry.

EDUCATION - two programs are offered:

-- Undergraduate Minor in Petroleum Systems

We offer an 18-credit program including 3 core courses: (Drilling and Production Engineering, Fluid Mechanics, and a Petroleum Field Course) and 9 credits of electives in chemical, civil, mechanical, and geological engineering and geology. The minor is available to students majoring in any subject on campus. ( Learn More)

-- Graduate Certificate in Petroleum Systems

We offer a 12-credit program of graduate-level course work in the geosciences in which both SD Mines graduate students and outside professionals can enroll. ( Learn More)


Much of the expertise to make the Energy Resources Initiative successful is already in place at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. Faculty across campus are pursuing research projects in three areas:

Enhanced Recovery of Hydrocarbons from Fine-Grained Reservoirs

  • Mechanical coupling of fine-grained media and pore fluids
  • Hydraulic fracturing simulations for predictive models of rheological characteristics
  • Identification of unconventional petroleum resources
  • Transport pathways of nutrients and microbes in organic substrates; effects of stimulation on fluid transport and bio-availability of organics

Water Resources

  • Water resource sustainability, recycling, and management
  • Treatment and disposal of produced water and well fluids

Materials Development

  • Mineral processing for additives to drilling and circulation materials
  • Synthesis, fabrication, and testing of polymer and composite materials for drilling, fracing, and production applications
  • Development and processing of advanced alloys and alloy coatings for abrasive and corrosive environments
  • Advanced characterization of materials, including cements and ceramics

A few key components will advance our progress in this area:


  • A state-of-the-art fracing/petrophysics/geomechanics lab
  • Undergraduate scholarship support to attract and retain students in the petroleum systems minor
  • Stipends for graduate students
  • Funded research projects

Education Segment 2

    Energy & Environment Research @ Mines

    Positioned for Success

    “Many of our graduates are already employed in the oil and gas industry and we are well positioned to expand both teaching and research.”
    Heather Wilson, President, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

    ERI map
    To learn more about the Energy Resources Initiative at SD Mines, contact Dr. Laurie Anderson, head of the Geology and Geological Engineering Department
    (605) 394-1290  |


    Energy Resources Initiative

    Petroleum Systems Minor

    Shale Research

    Congressional Testimony