Mines News

Release Date Monday, June 6, 2022

Mines Student Lands Prestigious DoD SMART Scholarship

Bennet Outland, a junior studying mechanical engineering with a focus on robotics at South Dakota Mines, has been awarded a DoD SMART scholarship.

Bennet Outland, a junior studying mechanical engineering with a focus on robotics at South Dakota Mines, has been awarded the Department of Defense (DoD) Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship.

The highly competitive award provides Outland with full tuition for up to five years, mentorship, a summer internship, a stipend and full-time employment with the Department of Defense after graduation. Outland will pursue an accelerated master's in computer science and engineering at Mines following completion of his mechanical engineering degree. After graduation, Outland will work at Air Force Research Lab Space Vehicles Directorate in Kirtland AFB, NM.

The DoD says the SMART scholarship is a unique opportunity offering “students hands-on experience at one of over 200 innovative laboratories across the Army, Navy, Air Force and larger Department of Defense. During summer internships, SMART scholars work directly with an experienced mentor, gaining valuable technical skills.”

“I am humbled and excited to have been awarded this scholarship,” says Outland. “What mainly excites me about this work is that I get to merge my interests together in a way that I never thought I would be able to do. Currently, I am doing research in orbital dynamics, determining how objects orbit others in space and what happens to them over time, and projects in robotics. Through working for the Space Vehicles Directorate, I get to apply both of these by working on a satellite system.”

The DoD states the SMART Scholarship-for-Service Program is part of its effort to “develop the Nation's STEM talent and is the largest employer of federal scientists and engineers with nearly 150,000 civilian STEM employees working across the Department. For over a decade, SMART has trained a highly skilled STEM workforce that competes with the evolving trends of industry to support the next generation of science and technology for our nation.”

“We’re very proud of Bennet and his accomplishments to date,” says Pierre Larochelle, Ph.D., department head and professor of mechanical engineering at Mines. “This award provides Bennet with the financial resources to fully focus on his education while at South Dakota Mines and be best prepared for what promises to be a very impactful career advancing cutting-edge technologies for our nations Department of Defense.”



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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