Mines News

Release Date Thursday, June 15, 2023

Mines Student Lands Prestigious DoD SMART Scholarship

Gretchen Noble, a mechanical engineering major at Mines, has been awarded the 2023 Department of Defense (DoD) Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship.


Gretchen Noble, a mechanical engineering major at South Dakota Mines, has been awarded the Department of Defense (DoD) Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship.

The award provides Noble with full tuition for up to five years, mentorship, summer internships, a stipend and full-time employment at the start of her career. While a student at Mines, Noble will spend her summers working for the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Carderock Division in West Bethesda, Md. “They have a really amazing facility, and I will be working with a team that ensures the health of US Navy ships,” Noble says. She will enter full-time employment with NSWC Carderock after graduation and she has committed to three years.

Noble is a Stevens High School graduate from Rapid City. "I'm glad I stayed close to home. I love the campus community and personal connections I've made with professors that Mines provides as a smaller school,” she says. “Since I was young, I’ve always wanted to do something in STEM, and I’m excited to work for the DoD where I can give back and help protect our nation.”

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.”

Noble credits role models in her life, including her mother, and pioneering women in science and engineering who encouraged and inspired her to continue her pursuit of STEM. “I want to give that back some day,” she says. “I want to be that person that pays it forward and encourages the next generation. I don’t just want to be a role model for young women, I want to be a role model for everyone in STEM.”

“I have no doubt that Gretchen will do great things for our nation’s navy and will serve as an inspiration for young people to pursue STEM careers,” says Pierre Larochelle, Ph.D., department head and professor of mechanical engineering at Mines.

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.”

Noble is the second Mines student to win a DoD SMART Scholarship in the last two years. Bennet Outland, who is also a mechanical engineering major at Mines, won the same scholarship in 2022. Mines alumnae Hannah Aker received a DOD SMART Scholarship starting in 2013.



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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