Mines News

Release Date Thursday, July 11, 2019

South Dakota Mines Provides Innovative Environmental Restoration and Remediation Support to the Air Force in New Agreement

A C-17 Globemaster III, assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., sits on the flight line during Combat Raider 19-2 at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., May 14, 2019. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Karol.


Under a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the South Dakota Mines will work together with the Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC) on broad range environmental stewardship goals at Ellsworth Air Force Base and at other facilities around the nation.

The MOU utilizes experts at Mines in subjects such as environmental engineering,  hydrology, geology, ecology, biology, chemistry, atmospheric sciences, paleontology and other disciplines to help the Air Force clean up contaminated sites, reduce and prevent future pollution, maintain compliance with environmental rules and law, and protect natural and cultural resources at Air Force installations.

This MOU also sets the stage for increasing academic-public-private partnerships that help aid environmental clean-up efforts around Air Force installations including emerging contaminants  such as perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).

“This agreement is a win-win. It boosts top-tier science and engineering research and education at Mines while supporting the Department of Defense effort to find the most efficient and innovative solutions to these challenges,” says Mines President Jim Rankin.

Mines will also use this partnership with the Air Force in training the next generation of environmental scientists and engineers. “Our students will have opportunities to contribute to multidisciplinary teams in a highly collaborative environment,” says Lisa Kunza, associate professor of chemistry and biology, who is leading the team of faculty at Mines and coordinating the efforts with the consortium of partners. 

The MOU was signed in June and is in place for the next 10 years. Details on the cooperative projects and innovation that take place under this MOU will be announced in the coming months and years.  


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