RAPID CITY, S.D. (Jan. 30, 2014) – A new initiative between
the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology and Ellsworth Air Force Base
will allow engineering students to collaborate with the 28th Bomb Wing on
mutually beneficial projects aimed at enhancing combat readiness.
School of Mines Provost and Vice President for Academic
Affairs Duane Hrncir and Col. Kevin B. Kennedy, 28th Bomb Wing commander,
signed the agreement Thursday afternoon. The goal of the work by Mines students
in the Department of Industrial Engineering is to ultimately improve design,
usage and efficiency of Ellsworth missions.
is well-known for our hands-on, real world approach to teaching engineering.
Almost all of our students are required to do senior projects to earn their
degree. We look forward to having more of our students solve problems for
Ellsworth through this agreement. This partnership with the base reflects our
strengthening relationship intended to solve problems, reduce costs and
increase combat readiness for the Air Force,” said Mines President Heather
Wilson, herself a 1982 U.S. Air Force Academy graduate and former Air Force
Thursday afternoon’s signing
was part of a historic partnership agreement between Ellsworth and several
other area organizations, including the cities of Box Elder and Rapid City.
Additional projects from other partnerships being considered consist of
medical, educational and workforce cross-training as well as sharing youth and
adult recreational programs. This new initiative follows the Community
Partnership Initiative passed by Congress with the intent of leveraging
military installation and local community capabilities and resources to reduce
costs in support of the Air Force mission.
core principle behind our public-private partnerships initiative at Ellsworth
is to find areas that benefit both parties and enhance our combat readiness,
either directly or indirectly. The initiative we are starting with the South
Dakota School of Mines & Technology and the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron is
an excellent example. We will benefit by being able to leverage their expertise
for projects we need to accomplish across the base, while the Mines students
will gain valuable real world experience,” said Kennedy.
Mines students will engage in a
work-study like program and travel to the base as needed to fulfill
requirements for specific projects, which will involve studying and analyzing
facilities and processes of the 28th Civil Engineer Installation Management
Flight and providing results and recommendations.
Last fall, in a precursor to
Thursday’s official agreement, a group of five Mines’ industrial engineering
students created a 3D model to transform an outdated B-35aircraft hangar into a
recreation facility in a prototype design that would save Ellsworth an estimated
$140,000 in lieu of a “proof of concept” study.
agreement allows Mines students to serve the community while integrating
theoretical and practical considerations into projects,” said Dean Jensen,
Ph.D., an industrial engineering associate professor who will serve as the
university’s point of contact.
added that students will benefit from “excellent interaction with and
supervision from practicing operations professionals” through a predictable
supply of project-based learning opportunities.
five industrial engineering students who designed the recreation facility
prototype for Ellsworth last fall were John Urban, Tyler Vogel, Nick Grimshaw,
Mike Dietz and Tyler Witzel. Their lead project contacts at Ellsworth were
Kevin Vogel, Real Property Officer, and Chief Master Sgt. James Tigue.
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