Mines News

Release Date Monday, May 9, 2022

South Dakota Mines Hosts Fourth Conference on Science at Sanford Underground Research Facility

The last Conference on Science at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in 2019 brought together researchers working on SURF science from around the world.

The Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) is home to a huge range of scientific disciplines, from world-leading physics research to biology, geology, data analytics, materials science and much more. South Dakota Mines is hosting the fourth Conference on Science at the Sanford Underground Research Facility which will cover all aspects of research at SURF. The conference will take place May 11-13 in the Electrical Engineering and Physics (EEP) building on campus at Mines.

“SURF has been operating for 15 years as an international facility dedicated to advancing compelling multidisciplinary underground scientific research. These are exciting times for the underground science community, and developments at SURF are front and center on the world stage,” says Jaret Heise, Ph.D., the science director at SURF. “The Conference on Science at SURF provides a wonderful opportunity to survey progress on current and future efforts, and we're thrilled that the conference series is resuming.”

The conference, generally held every two years but postponed in 2021 due to COVID, brings together researchers from around the world who are focusing on the array of science happening in the underground lab. This year about 125 researchers and students are expected to attend.

“The last two years have been very challenging for everyone and having the opportunity to organize the conference in-person is very exciting,” says David Martinez Caicedo, Ph.D., assistant professor of Physics and Mines and a conference organizer. “We will do our best to make the conference a great space for communication of the latest scientific results of the community doing underground science research. We are also very happy to know that we will count with a strong participation of a diverse group of young researchers."  

South Dakota Mines faculty and students are involved in every aspect of SURF, from the massive Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment to the study of extremophile bacteria found in the depths of the former mine turned laboratory, to the multidisciplinary effort to tap geothermal potential deep underground as a new energy source, to the hunt for dark matter with the LZ dark matter experimentMajorana Demonstrator experiment and probing the stellar interior with the CASPAR experiment.

“It is great to see so many researchers coming to Rapid City. After more than two years of the pandemic we are finally discussing science again in person,” says Frank Strieder, Ph.D., associate professor of physics at South Dakota Mines and the leader of the CASPAR Experiment at SURF. 

Media interested in covering the conference can find interviews with organizers around noon on May 11 or 12 in EEP on the Mines campus.

###

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 97 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $68,685. 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, Snapchat, and TikTok.

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