Mines News

Release Date Thursday, December 7, 2017

Energy Executive Stephen O’Rourke Gives Fall Commencement Address

RAPID CITY, SD (Dec. 7, 2017) – Stephen O’Rourke, a senior energy executive and entrepreneur, will deliver the address at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology 176thcommencement ceremony.

The ceremony will be at 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Theatre. An expected 188 Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Science, Bachelor of Science and Associate of Arts degrees will be awarded.

O’Rourke holds a bachelor’s degree in geological engineering from SD Mines and is a graduate of the Wharton Advanced Management Program at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia.

A founding partner of Strategic Management Partners LLC, based in Rapid City, O’Rourke currently serves as the managing director of Heat Mining LLC, a start-up geothermal company concentrating on commercialization of a patented CO2-based power generation technology.

Prior to 2011, O’Rourke was president of global petroleum exploration at BHP Billiton, the world’s largest natural resource company and a major global oil and gas operator. Other senior roles at BHP included vice president of development planning and vice president of global appraisal and petroleum engineering. From 1983 to 2000, O’Rourke was employed by Shell with roles that included exploration manager in the Gulf of Mexico, geologic operations manager in the nation of Brunei and senior staff geologist/team lead in Shell Offshore.

In addition to O’Rourke’s energy ventures, he is a member of the executive committee of the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology Foundation Board of Trustees and of the Industry Advisory Board for the Department of Geology/Geological Engineering. He also serves on the Department of Geology/Environmental Science’s Advisory Board with Wheaton College in Illinois.  

O’Rourke will be awarded an honorary doctorate, a Doctor of Public Service, at the commencement. 


About SD Mines  

Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,654 students with an average class size of 24. The SD School of Mines placement rate for graduates is 97 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $63,350. Find us online at sdsmt.edu and on  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat

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