Mines News

Release Date Tuesday, April 14, 2020

South Dakota Mines Faculty and Staff Apply Expertise to Aid COVID-19 Response

Faculty, staff and students at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology are working on a range of efforts to help the state and nation deal with COVID-19.

Members of the South Dakota Mines community are teaming with officials at Monument Health and other healthcare providers, local industry and military and government officials to identify areas where the university’s science and engineering expertise can help.

The work underway at Mines is parallel to many efforts by academic, government and private sector organizations across the United States where scientists and engineers are providing solutions to help reduce the spread of COVID19. The COVID-19 Supply Chain Response is one example. It is curated by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Veterans Healthcare Administration and the organization America Makes.

The university does not have the capacity to distribute any personal protective equipment (PPE) or medical supplies. Mines is partnering with healthcare providers on distribution of any items developed or made on campus. 

Work under way on campus includes:

  • Research and development into design and manufacture of PPE. 
  • Efforts to sterilize and reuse PPE. 
  • Exploring and researching ways to help design and manufacture medical equipment and supplies such as hand sanitizer.
  • The development and testing of a computer model to help predict the number of COVID-19 cases that might occur in any given community.      

Science and engineering involve trial and error. While every effort is being made to find the most expedient solutions, anything designed or produced by the university must undergo needed testing. This is a process that takes time. 

“We do not want to over promise that we will find immediate solutions,” says Mines President Jim Rankin. “Many of the challenges posed by COVID-19 are immense. Some of the hurdles our community and nation are facing seem insurmountable. I commend our staff and faculty for the long hours of work they are putting in, alongside so many members of the local community, in the attempt to tackle these challenges. Though the solutions we need may take time, I’ve never been prouder to be a Hardrocker.”

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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 2,529 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: Mike Ray, 605-394-6082, Mike.Ray@sdsmt.edu