Mines News

Release Date Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Dr. Sani Receives Prestigious Teaching Award

RAPID CITY, SD  (July 29, 2020) — A South Dakota Mines professor who teaches and leads research into technology that would convert plant matter into biofuels and value-added products has been awarded the Waksman Outstanding Teaching Award by the Society of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology.

Rajesh Sani, Ph.D., teaches in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the Department of Chemistry, Biology and Health Sciences in addition to conducting more than $33.8 million in funded research at South Dakota Mines.

“This is a very prestigious award that highlights the achievement and dedication of our faculty to teaching,” said Dr. Zhengtao Zhu, interim department head of the department of chemistry, biology and health sciences.

The award is named for Nobel Laureate Dr. Selman Waksman who taught microbiology at Rutgers University. Recipients of the award must be professors in the field of industrial or applied microbiology or biotechnology and bioengineering at an institution of higher education for a minimum of 10 years and be involved in both teaching and research. The research must have led to advance in the area of industrial and applied microbiology and biotechnology.

“This award is an excellent recognition for my research group’s activities in extremophilic bioprocessing for various industrial applications,” said Sani.

Dr. Ken Benjamin, interim department head of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, added, “What is special about Dr. Sani’s work is his effectiveness and success at integrating his state-of-art research into his teaching. This makes his teaching materials and methods even more impactful and impressive.” 

Sani will be presented the award at the 2021 Society of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology annual meeting Aug. 8-11 in Austin, Texas.

Earlier this year, Sani also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Indian Association of Applied Microbiologists. The award is given to an eminent microbiologist with minimum of 20 years of experience and a range of publications, patents and awards. 


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: Lynn Taylor Rick, (605) 394-2554, Lynn.TaylorRick@sdsmt.edu