Student Organizations

From live mine rescue drills to competing in the international arena, organizations like our Mine & Safety Rescue Team, Mining & Mucking Team, SME, and International Society of Explosives Engineers offers unique opportunities for networking, training, and firsthand experience in the field.

Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration/Drill & Crucible (SME)

SME is a national organization representing companies and individuals in mining, metallurgy, and exploration.  Website:

Student Organization: SME/Drill & Crucible 

ISEE - International Society of Explosives Engineers

The International Society of Explosives Engineers (ISEE) was formed in 1974 as a professional society dedicated to promoting the safety, security and the controlled use of explosives in mining, quarrying, construction, manufacturing, demolition, aerospace, forestry, avalanche control, art, automotives, special effects, exploration, seismology, agriculture, law enforcement, and many other peaceful uses of explosives. With more than 4,600 members from 90 countries and with 34 Chapters in the US, Canada, and South America, the Society is recognized as a world leader in providing explosives technology, education, and information, and promoting public understanding of the benefits of explosives. In addition, ISEE, with individual members acting as resources, has consistently been at the forefront of efforts to address legislation and regulation on the use of explosives at the international, federal and state level.

Student Organization: Society of Explosive Engineers (International) [ISEE] 

Mining Team

Placing second in 2016 at the international Mining & Mucking Games, our mining team consistently shines on the international stage.  Read Press Release. The competition originated to honor the lives of miners who died in the Sunshine Mine fire disaster, to build camaraderie between mining students, and to preserve old-fashioned mining methods.

The competition is made up of seven events including:

  1. Jackleg: drilling into a vertical rock or concrete face using a pneumatic jackleg drill;
  2. Handsteel: drilling a hole or holes into a 36″ thick block of concrete, using a four-pound sledge hammer and a 7/8 inch wide steel chisel;
  3. Survey: reporting coordinates using an old fashioned vernier transit, a plumb bob, and a 50-meter steel tape;
  4. Gold Pan: panning five bbs from a one-pound coffee can of dirt and rock;
  5. Swede Saw: sawing through a 6x6 inch piece of pine timber with a 36 inch bow saw;
  6. Trackstand: setting up and tearing down a five meter section of track, including sleepers, rail, connecting plates, and bolts;
  7. Mucking: pushing an empty ore cart down a 75-foot section of track and back, then shovel "muck" (rock, clay sand, and mud) into the cart until full, then pushing the ore cart down and back again.   

Mine Safety & Rescue

Founded in November 2013, The Mine Safety and Rescue Group trains offsite at a mine rescue chamber housed with industry partner RESPEC and with the Sanford Underground Research Facility rescue team in Lead, SD.

Faculty/Staff Advisor:  Dr. Kelly McCormick,


The Moonrockers team answers the challenge of the NASA Robotic Mining Competition.  NASA is interested in the mineral oxides contained within regolith, or lunar soil, as a means to generate oxygen to support future habitats and create rocket fuel. Student robots were challenged to collect as much simulated lunar or Martian regolith as possible within a 10-minute period. SD Mines 2016 team placed 10th. Read Press Release.

Open to participants in Computer Science and SD Mines Engineering Departments.  Put a little NASA on your resume!

Faculty/Staff Advisor: Dr. Jason Ash, Mechanical Engineering,


Student Organizations at SD Mines

With over 100 student organizations at the School of Mines, you'll find something that matches an existing interest or ignites a new passion. Visit our Mines Link website for more on student organizations and events.