News Releases

Mines’ Groven Awarded to Research Fight Against WMDs
Release Date Wednesday, August 20, 2014

RAPID CITY, S.D. (Aug. 20, 2014) – Lori Groven of the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology has received the Young Investigator Award from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency for her research on materials that could be used against weapons of mass destruction.

The Young Investigator Award is a coveted, highly competitive program. Each year, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) presents three to four awards nationally to researchers in the science and engineering fields.

Groven, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemical engineering, received the award for her project on “Printable Polymer Bound Reactives.” She will receive $300,000 for three years to develop this research area with the option of two additional years of funding at $100,000 per year.

“This is very exciting, as it’s a very prestigious award with competitors representing tier one universities and research facilities. This award is important because not only does it jump-start my career but I have the opportunity to mentor graduate and undergraduate students in cutting-edge energetics research,” Groven said.

Her research focuses on fundamentally studying and developing printable polymer bound reactive materials for use against weapons of mass destruction (WMD) facilities and systems. The research will look at various printable polymers with reactive material inclusions and will use direct write to achieve structures and films from the developed inks. Printed structures will then be used to study the combustion characteristics. A doctoral student and several undergraduates will assist her in the research.

The research supports the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s mission to combat weapons of mass destruction and make the world safer.

"Dr. Groven is one of our most promising junior faculty members and I'm pleased that DTRA has recognized that fact," said SD School of Mines President Heather Wilson.

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency was established in 1998 as a part of the Department of Defense and the U.S. Strategic Command. This Agency helps ensure the United States is ready and able to address present and future WMD threats through combat support, technology development, and threat control and threat reduction.

“Dr. Lori Groven is a very talented and productive faculty member at SDSM&T. She has demonstrated that a young investigator from western South Dakota can successfully compete with researchers from top universities in the country. Within the first year of her work at SDSM&T she obtained several research grants and contracts,” said Jan Puszynski, Ph.D., vice president for research at SD School of Mines.

Groven earned her bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctorate at SD School of Mines. She joined the faculty in 2013.


About SDSM&T

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 $62,020 with a 98 percent placement rate. Find us online at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at