Mines News

Release Date Monday, September 25, 2017

New Physics Department Head Announced at SD Mines

Richard Schnee, Ph.D., is the new physics department head at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology.

RAPID CITY, SD (Sept. 25, 2017) – Richard Schnee, Ph.D., is the new physics department head at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. Schnee’s research focuses on the search for dark matter. He is associated with the LZ experiment to be located at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) and the SuperCDMS experiment planned for SNOLAB in Canada. Schnee specializes in efforts to detect and remove ultra-low levels of radioactive contamination in the materials used to make very sensitive scientific instruments located in facilities like SURF and SNOLAB. He is also interested in developing detectors for future dark matter searches.  

“Dr. Schnee has been with SD Mines for a short time but he has developed into an exceptional leader in his department and his profession,” says SD Mines Provost, Demitris Kouris, Ph.D. “Under his leadership, we expect that the growth of the physics department will continue and accelerate in the years to come.”

Schnee received his bachelor’s from Princeton University and his master’s and doctorate from the University of California Santa Cruz.  

Schnee replaces Andre Petukhov, Ph.D., who has stepped down as physics department head to spend more time in his on-going research with Google Inc.’s Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.  Petukhov plans to continue his duties as a professor of physics at SD Mines.  

“We are grateful to Dr. Petukhov for his service to this university and to his profession. We wish him the best of luck in his new research endeavor,” says Kouris.



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: Charles Michael Ray, 605-394-6082, charles.ray@sdsmt.edu

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