RAPID CITY, S.D. (March 7, 2014) – Two groups of South
Dakota School of Mines & Technology students are heading abroad during the
upcoming spring break vacation to lend their engineering expertise to projects that
will improve the lives of others.
One group from the Mines chapter of Engineers and Scientists
Abroad (ESA) will travel to Bogotá, Colombia, to begin design and installation
of a rainwater harvesting system, as well as remediating a landslide-prone
slope. The group, which leaves Saturday, March 8, and returns Friday, March 14,
will collaborate with like-minded peers from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana and Irma and Richard Frank, whose
past donations and future commitments to fund international experiences have
played a pivotal role in ESA’s good deeds. Richard Frank is a 1963 mechanical
engineering graduate from the School of Mines.
Because of the high level of annual precipitation in the
Bogotá area, roughly 30-40 inches per year, rainwater harvesting is of
particular interest. ESA’s plan is to create a simple, repeatable design based
on materials common to the area and collect precipitation data, which can be
implemented on a large scale for many local residents.
The Colombia team is comprised of Tony Kulesa, a graduate
student from Rapid City; Cody Schellinger, a senior from Sheridan, Wyo.; Logon
Vogt, a senior from Chadron, Neb.; and Michael Dollarhide, a senior from
Pipestone, Minn., all civil and environmental engineering (CEE) students; Erik
Walega, a geological engineering graduate student from Lafayette, Colo.;
Elizabeth Woody, a junior mathematics and computer science major from Rapid
City; and Kati Johnson, a senior chemical engineering major from Buffalo.
A second School of Mines ESA team will travel to Peru from Thursday,
March 13, through Tuesday, March 18, to help improve conditions at the Wesfalia
Orphanage in the hilly area of Cieneguilla, about 90 minutes from downtown
ESA members will design and construct new infrastructure to
provide needed improvements to supply the orphanage with a permanent clean
water source, new plumbing and solar energy to replace gas, as well as allowing
the addition of a fruit orchard. Mines students made contact with Westfalia through
family and mutual friends and plan to return for consecutive years to complete
Westfalia is a non-government funded orphanage dedicated to
helping about 100 children by providing housing, education and psychological
assistance to children with serious emotional development problems.
The Peru team is comprised of Carl Holloman, a sophomore
from Rapid City; Kevin Barry, a senior from Rapid City; Kylie Berger, a senior
from Sioux Falls, and Tony Kulesa, a graduate student from Rapid City, all CEE
majors. Two students from a similar organization in Colombia will join them.
Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines &
Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid
City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university
enrolls 2,640 students from 45 states and 37 countries, with a
student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. The average starting salary for graduates is
$62,400 with a 98 percent placement rate. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/sdsmt and on
Twitter at https://twitter.com/sdsmt.