Mines News

Release Date Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Mines Dedicates Scott Rausch Avionics Lab

Linda Rausch unveils a plaque during the dedication of the new Scott Rausch Avionics Lab on the South Dakota Mines campus.


South Dakota Mines dedicated the Scott Rausch Avionics Lab on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, honoring the Mines alumnus, former instructor, interim department head, and avionics minor coordinator. Rausch passed away unexpectedly in April 2022.

This past year, alumni and friends raised $1,026,580 in honor of Rausch, most of which was donated to the Scott Rausch Avionics Lab Fund, an endowment that will support avionics students for years to come.

Scott Rausch Avionics LabThe avionics lab includes a fully equipped flight simulator that mimics a wide range of military and civilian aircraft and that allows students to test and develop new avionics software and hardware. The program is housed in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, which added an avionics minor in the fall of 2021 in response to industry demand.

“It’s very moving to see everyone come together to support the new Scott Rausch Avionics Lab and the endowment that will sustain current and future Hardrockers,” says Mines President Jim Rankin. “There is nothing that Scott would have wanted more than to know the avionics students are being supported and that his impact on this campus will be remembered forever.”

Rausch, a 1975 graduate in electrical engineering, spent decades in the aerospace industry and became a well-known expert in his field. After his retirement, he devoted much of his time to Mines, teaching and mentoring students. He received the prestigious March Medal alumni award from Mines in 2018. His wife, Linda, also graduated from Mines with a degree in chemical engineering.

“I’m eternally grateful for his mentorship,” says Mason Teal, an electrical engineering student who studied under Rausch last year. “The designing experience I gained from Professor Rausch has helped me in my internships and classes. He made an immense impact on my life. This is just my story, but if you talk to other students, they will have similar stories.”

Rausch also served in a wide variety of non-profit organizations. He was heavily involved with the South Dakota Book Festival, South Dakota Humanities Council, Rapid City Arts Council, Dahl Arts Center, Lions Club, and Optimist Club.



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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