Mines News

Release Date Tuesday, April 25, 2023

South Dakota Mines Expands CAMP with Three New Teams

This student is working in the CAMP facility at Mines. CAMP now includes 14 teams in total that offer students in-depth experience through a wide range of collegiate competitions.

South Dakota Mines CAMP, a student-centered, hands-on engineering program, is adding three new teams: the Moonrockers, the Mines Association of Rocketeers (MARS) and the Unmanned Aerial Systems Team (UAS).

CAMP is a competitive, co-curricular program at South Dakota Mines that brings together students, faculty and industry leaders to partner on challenging projects. Through hands-on learning and problem solving as a team, the nearly 500 students in CAMP are more prepared for jobs outside of college. CAMP now includes 14 teams in total that offer students in-depth experience through a wide range of collegiate competitions.

“These three new teams allow more opportunities for CAMP students to find a project and community on campus to build their skills outside of the classroom,” says Amy Hasvold, CAMP director. “Through these new-to-CAMP teams, we are excited to expand the experience our students are gaining in electrical engineering, computer science, aerospace and mining as well as interpersonally in leadership, teamwork and communication.”


The Moonrockers team is a multidisciplinary group that participates in space-related robotics competitions. For the past several years, the team has competed in the NASA Robotic Mining Competition at the Kennedy Space Center. This competition challenges teams to develop a robot capable of traversing the difficult lunar terrain, mining icy regolith and transporting it to a collection hopper. Additional activities are focused on vehicle development, student professional development, teaming and K-12 outreach. This year’s competition is May 22-26 at the University at Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

“Joining CAMP is a great opportunity for growth for the Moonrockers organization,” says Moonrockers President Mathew Clutter. “CAMP will allow the Moonrockers to make stronger connections within the school and community, provide additional networking opportunities for our members and give our team access to additional resources to execute and manufacture our designs for competition. In addition, joining CAMP will provide additional students with valuable extracurricular experience working on a design team, to develop their interpersonal skills and offer project experience, especially for those interested in a career in the aerospace field. The Moonrockers team is excited to join the CAMP organization.”

Mines Association of Rocketeers (MARS):

The MARS team builds rockets. Mines MARS will be competing in the Spaceport America Cup, the world’s largest Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition, as part of a senior design team project in the mechanical engineering department. The competition takes place from June 19-24 in Las Cruces, N.M. at the Spaceport America and hosts over 140 teams from around the world. At the Spaceport America Cup, collegiate teams compete to design sounding rockets in various categories based on rocket fuel type and altitude. The Mines team will be competing in the Commercial Off the Shelf solid rocket propellant division with a target altitude of 10,000 feet.

“Joining CAMP gives us access to funding and opportunities that we wouldn't have had access to otherwise,” says MARS President Ben Kepley. “Being able to label ourselves as a CAMP team also helps draw in students that are looking for a collaborative engineering environment.”

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)

The UAS team designs aerial robots and is headed for the Student Unmanned Aerial Systems Competition in Maryland from June 20-22, 2023. The team works to contribute to the aerial robotics community while developing the technical and professional skill sets of its members.

“The Drone Team, a.k.a. UAS, is happy to join CAMP,” says Dan Rederth, Ph.D., UAS advisor. “The team will benefit from the additional experience and resources of CAMP. Our members are excited to network with other teams to share knowledge and get more exposure on campus and in the community.”



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