Mines News

Release Date Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Poised to Boom: Capitalizing on Big Ideas at a Small University

A South Dakota School of Mines student works in the university’s robotics laboratory.

When it comes to creating new ideas and products, faculty at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology produce a fantastic return on investment. The numbers show that Mines faculty are three times more inventive than the national average.

On average, $2.6 million is invested for every invention generated at a university. At SD Mines that ratio is closer to $885,000 per invention. Since 2011, SD Mines faculty have submitted more than 106 invention disclosures. (These disclosures are a step towards a United States patent.)

The ideas generated at SD Mines tackle some of the world’s biggest problems. This includes advancements in clean energy, fuel efficiency, medicine, security, new materials and medical devices, and new methods for efficient manufacturing and repair.

“The culture of innovation and entrepreneurship fostered at SD Mines and supported by the surrounding community has the potential to yield even more breakthroughs, new ideas and products that can be commercialized to have a global impact,” says Mines President Jim Rankin.

In the effort to foster continued tech-based economic growth, SD Mines is hosting a Regional Investor Forum. The forum, from 12 -5 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, brings together industry leaders, research scientists, tech start-ups, venture capitalists and angel investors. During the event, successful high-tech start-ups in the area and new ideas generated at Mines will be showcased. The keynote speaker, Ross DeVol with the Walton Family Foundation, will deliver an address titled “Characteristics of Innovation Places: The role of the university and entrepreneur in fostering economic growth.”  The regional investor forum is open to members of the press.

The annual Student Research Symposium and Design Fair are two other spring events that highlight the innovation and creativity flourishing at SD Mines. The 2019 Research Symposium is from 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. April 9 and the Design Fair is from 9 a.m.–2 p.m. April 16.  Both events, held in the Surbeck Center Ballroom on the Mines Campus, are free and open to the public.   

Members of the press who are interested in attending any of these upcoming events should contact Marketing and Communications at SD Mines.



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

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Reading Room, Devereaux Library
Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020
5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Elks Theatre
Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020
8:15 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Surbeck Center
Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Music Center