Mines News

Release Date Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Braun Student Inventor Awards for New 3D Print Resin and Fire-Starting Device

Whytneigh Duffie and Kaleb Roth have been recognized with the Braun Student Inventor Award for their unique inventions at South Dakota Mines.

Two South Dakota Mines students are winners of 2022 Braun Student Inventor Award. One award is for a new type of water-degradable 3D printer resin, while the other is for a new type of campfire starter.

The Ann and Dave Braun Student Inventor Award includes $5,000 in cash and a free patent application from McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC or Goodhue, Coleman, & Owens, P.C. This award was established to recognize a South Dakota Mines student who has made a significant discovery or invention while enrolled.

Whytneigh Duffie in lab Whytneigh Duffie, a Ph.D. candidate in the Karen M. Swindler Department Chemical and Biological Engineering, has won a Braun Inventor Award for her invention, Disappearing 4D Advanced Materials.

Duffie’s invention is a new type of high-resolution 3D printer resin that dissolves in water. The product can be used in the injection molding process for manufacturing in a wide range of industries. The applications could include precision casting of parts that are difficult to machine, end-of-life disposal of a part or device to prevent reverse engineering of sensitive technology, and a wide range of medical uses from new types of casts for broken bones to wound coverings to drug delivery. 

Kaleb Roth, an undergraduate student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, has won a Braun Inventor Award for a new and innovative campfire starting device he invented called the Forever Fire. It uses a human-powered generator to power electronic parts, which can produce an electric arc in all weather conditions.

“These students exemplify the value of ingenuity that we champion at Mines. We’re proud of the innovative spirit shown by this year’s Braun Inventor Award winners and their contribution to the culture of entrepreneurship on campus,” says Mines President Jim Rankin.

The Braun Inventor Award judges’ panel noted the exceptional quality of this year’s submissions from all seven entrants. Many of the entries that did not make the top two were represented at the annual CEO Business Competition. Some will represent Mines at other collegiate business competitions in the region and at the upcoming South Dakota Governor’s Giant Vision Awards later this month.  



About South Dakota Mines  

Founded in 1885, South Dakota Mines is one of the nation’s leading engineering, science and technology universities. South Dakota Mines offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and a best-in-class education at an affordable price. The university enrolls 2,493 students with an average class size of 24. The South Dakota Mines placement rate for graduates is 98 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $70,036. For these reasons  South Dakota Mines is ranked among the best engineering schools in the country for return on investment. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu and on FacebookTwitter, LinkedInInstagram, and Snapchat.

Contact: Mike Ray, 605-394-6082, mike.ray@sdsmt.edu

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