Research Inquiries

For inquiries related to SD Mines Research, contact:

Research Affairs

S.D. School of Mines & Technology
501 E. St. Joseph Street
Suite 102, O'Harra Building
Rapid City, SD  57701

(605) 394-2493

Research@Mines

Research@Mines

Research at Mines happens every day of the year, involves faculty and students at every academic level, and frequently includes collaboration across the state, the nation and the globe.

Killing Anthrax

Lori Groven, PhD, an assistant professor in the chemical and biological engineering department at SD Mines, is pioneering new ways to fight biological weapons.

In the weeks following the September 11th attacks, a series of letters containing anthrax spores arrived at media outlets and the offices of US Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy. The acts of bioterrorism gripped the nation in confusion, anger, and fear. Scores were hospitalized and five people died. It was a senseless tragedy. But, it could have been much worse.

“Ten grams of anthrax spores could wipe out all of Washington, DC, and the surrounding area,” says Lori Groven, (BS ChE, MS ChE, PhD Nanoscience and Nanoengineering). “Biological weapons are scary for everybody, because it takes so little to do so much damage,” she adds. The minimum lethal dose for anthrax is estimated to be 5-10,000 spores, and one gram of anthrax contains well over a trillion spores. 

Groven is a research scientist and assistant professor in the chemical and biological engineering department at Mines. She and her team are part way through a five-year half-million-dollar grant from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. The research has led to new materials and methods for combating bioterrorism.

One challenge Groven and her team have faced is the instability of the chemicals currently used to neutralize biological weapons. These compounds, or biocides, are made up mostly of a fuel and oxidizer (iodate) powder. They have a very short shelf life. “This stuff doesn’t age very well," says Groven. “If you put it out on the counter,...

Last Edited 9/16/2017 08:05:48 PM [Comments (0)]

High School Students 3D Print Rocket Propellant, Take on Real Science and Engineering Research

Local high school students from Rapid City and Sturgis spent their summer at SD Mines researching and developing 3-D-printed rocket propellant; fusion bonds to make lighter, more fuel-efficient parts for the automotive and aerospace industries; and titanium biomedical implants that combat the body’s rejection of foreign objects.

Sponsored by the Army Education Outreach Program, SD Mines hosted the Research and Engineering Apprenticeship (REAP) program, which provides opportunities for high school students to conduct research for five to eight weeks alongside faculty and graduate students.
 
Stevens High School senior Rebecca Watts 3-D printed rocket propellant, looking at the burn characteristics, with the goal of eventually 3-D printing a rocket engine. Watts’ research was co-sponsored by the SD Space Grant Consortium.
 
Ultimately, the team Watts worked with wants to 3-D print any objects using energetic materials, which range from explosives and rocket fuels to gasoline and pyrotechnics. The team included
Watts, Nicholas Ritchie, an industrial engineering sophomore, Sharla Glover, a mechanical engineering senior, Derek Neubert, a chemical engineering graduate student, and Lori Groven, Ph.D., a chemical and biological engineering assistant professor.
 
“I really had no idea how incredible 3-D printing can be, how helpful it can be. I can 3-D print things that are almost impossible to weld or put togethe...

Last Edited 8/28/2017 02:40:19 PM [Comments (0)]

SD Mines Researchers Play Integral Part in Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) at Sanford Lab

SD Mines researchers at the Sanford Lab on July 21st following the groundbreaking ceremony for DUNE. From left to right: Juergen Reichenbacher, assistant professor of physics; Jan Puszynski, interim president and vice president of research; James Haiston Jr., graduate student; Luke Corwin assistant professor of physics.

Researchers from the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology were on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony that marks the start of construction on the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF). The facility will be home to the international collaboration known as the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) which is being built and operated by a group of roughly 1,000 scientists and engineers from 30 countries.

When complete, LBNF/DUNE will be the largest experiment ever built in the United States to study the properties of mysterious particles called neutrinos. Unlocking the mysteries of these particles could help explain more about how the universe works, and why matter exists at all.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, located outside Chicago, will generate a beam of neutrinos and send them 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) through the earth to the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF), where a four-story-high, 70,000-ton detector will be built beneath the surface to catch those neutrinos. DUNE will have one detector at Fermilab and one at SURF. The facility at SURF (Far Detector) will include one detector consisting (when complete) of four 10 kiloton massive modules.

Scientists will study the interactions of neutrinos in the detectors, looking to better understand the changes these particles undergo as they travel across the country in less than the blink of an ...

Last Edited 7/25/2017 11:53:52 AM [Comments (0)]

$540,000 NSF Grant Boosts 6-12th Grade STEM Teaching Efficacy

Teachers at Mines this summer taking part in the SD-RET program.

Teachers in South Dakota now have the chance to work side-by-side with faculty at SD Mines and bring what they learn back to the classroom.

The Sustainable Development-Research Experience for Teachers (SD-RET) program helps integrate new engineering and science technologies into 6-12th grade classrooms in rural America. The program is thanks to a $543,466 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). It gives teachers new tools and resources to improve Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) curriculum aligned with state standards. The grant increases collaboration between South Dakota teachers, industry partners and Mines faculty..

The SD-RET program helps integrate new engineering and science technologies into 6-12th grade classrooms in rural America. The program is sponsored by a $543,466 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). It gives teachers new tools and resources to improve Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) curriculum aligned with state standards. The grant increases collaboration between South Dakota teachers, industry partners and Mines faculty.

“STEM education and research are a significant part of our mission and strategy, and therefore this NSF grant will have a significant impact on future education of South Dakota 6-12th grade students in scienc...

Last Edited 7/18/2017 02:34:48 PM [Comments (0)]