Mines News

Release Date Friday, May 14, 2021

From Goa to Mines: The Impact of the Fomento Scholars Program

Four Mines students and Fomento Scholars (from left to right) Vedang Gaonkar, Manasi Paste, Shashwati Shradha, and Vageesh Prabhu Tendulkar celebrating after graduation in May of 2021.


South Dakota Mines is recognized among the leading engineering, science and technology universities in the United States. The university delivers a best-in-class education at an affordable price, that prepares graduates to become in-demand leaders in today’s fastest-growing industries. Mines has a long history of transforming lives and the Fomento Scholars program is a vital component of this mission.

Like the university overall, the Fomento Scholars program involves a small initial investment that yields a huge return. Each year, the scholarship provides funding for four to six aspiring engineers from Goa who excel academically. Since it started in 2014, the program has funded 24 students at Mines, many have now graduated and are advancing the frontier of innovation as engineers and scientists in multiple world class companies and universities.

The program is thanks to Auduth Timblo who named the scholarship after his family business the Fomento Group in Goa, India. Timblo, graduated from Mines with an electrical engineering degree in 1971 serves as chairman of the Fomento Group. The scholarship aims to provide Goa with the next generation of leaders, and Fomento Scholars are giving back to continue this program for many more years.

Auduth Timblo, Chairman of the Fomento Group in Goa, India with Lyle Vaz at Vaz, the first Fomento Scholar to graduate following South Dakota Mines’ commencement ceremony in May of 2018.

In 2018, Lyle Vaz became the first Fomento Scholar to graduate from South Dakota Mines. Vaz, a mechanical engineer, accepted a position with the copper mining company Freeport-McMoRan in Tucson, Arizona. Vaz was recently accepted into a prestigious doctoral graduate program at Colorado Mines and will expand his education into the field of energy. “The degree from South Dakota Mines opened up a lot of opportunities that I didn’t have before,” says Vaz. The fantastic return on investment at Mines “allowed for more freedom with deciding my career path,” he adds.

Vaz is just one success story of many, each and every Fomento scholar is making a big impact. Fomento Scholars represent the top tier of academic achievers at Mines, they have won a number of prestigious awards during their time as students. As graduates, Fomento Scholars are making an even bigger impact on the world. They now work for multinational companies like Amazon, Facebook, LYFT, and Cargill. Many others, like Vaz, have equally bright futures in academia.

We believe, with continued funding, the Fomento Scholars Program has the potential to transform even more lives, both in Goa and here in the United States. The cohort of Fomento Scholars are now working together to expand funding opportunities for the program that will continue to yield success stories in the years to come.



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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