Mines News

Release Date Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Mines STEAM Café Showcases Engineering and the Arts, Gothic Traditions, Critical Minerals and More

Mines student, Jenna Sayler, works with molten glass in the university foundry. This work is an example of the new arts and engineering curriculum featured in the February edition of STEAM Café this semester.  

Topics for the Spring 2022 STEAM Café series range from a new effort to merge arts and engineering, the Gothic tradition and healthcare today, a look at the minerals required for modern society and a look at 50 years of NASA/USGS landsat images.

STEAM Café, a series of free informal talks by South Dakota Mines faculty, staff and visiting experts, is a partnership between the university, South Dakota Public Broadcasting and Hay Camp Brewing Company.

An acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics, STEAM Café is held at 6 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month at Hay Camp. A food truck will be available at each STEAM Café for meal purchase, and handcrafted beer will be available for purchase from Hay Camp.

“STEAM Café is a great way for members of the community to engage with Mines staff and faculty to talk about work on campus related to science, technology, engineering, arts and math,” says Jim Rankin, Mines President. “We hope everyone will take part.”

Past STEAM Café events can be found on Mines YouTube.

The upcoming talks include these dates and topics:

Feb. 15 – Dr. Michael West & Dr. Katrina Donovan
Integrating Art and Creativity into the Materials and Metallurgical Curriculum

South Dakota Mines' Department of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering has a long-standing interest in the creative use of materials in artistic activities.  With the help of a new National Science Foundation Grant, the Department is establishing a new Art+Engineering program.   This program will strengthen existing co-curricular activities related to blacksmithing, welding, and metal casting and will establish new programs related to glass and ceramic materials.  The program will also integrate materials and minerals found in the Black Hills. 

March 15 – Dr. Laura Kremmel
Scared Sick: The Gothic Tradition and the Health Humanities

In the midst of the global COVID pandemic, humanity is seeing a reevaluation of medical care, changing attitudes and actions regarding public health, an evolving concept of death and an increased liminal state that includes trauma and uncertainty. The role of fear in shaping actions and attitudes towards health is complicated, yet important. Dr. Laura Kremmel, assistant professor of humanities at South Dakota Mines, will show how the Gothic tradition reflects and articulates those fears by providing us with the language and imagery to express and explore the anxiety of multiple forms of undead and undeath unique to our current moment.

April 19 – Dr. Brett Carlson
Critical Minerals: Ethical, Strategic and Technological Perspectives

There are a number of minerals and metals which are essential to the U.S. economy and national security but are vulnerable to supply chain breakdowns. These are known as “critical materials,” and have the potential to cause disruption to our daily lives and the economy as a whole. What are these materials and how did the current situation come to pass? Dr. Brett Carlson, assistant professor of materials and metallurgical engineering at South Dakota Mines, will explore some of the ethical, strategic and technological issues of critical materials and muse over what the future may hold.

May 17 – Anya Hartpence, NASA Solar System Ambassador
Landsat: Eagle-Eye Observations of Earth at 17,000 MPH

Since 1972, the joint NASA/U.S. Geological Survey Landsat satellites have continuously observed Earth, accumulating the most complete archive in the world of temporally and spatially remote sensing data. This allows us to witness time change analysis, global phenomenon, natural hazards, urban/human changes, and many other studies waiting for discovery. Anya Hartpence, a volunteer NASA Solar System Ambassador, will discuss this ambitious project and how the data acquired in the past 50 years benefits civilization - past, present, and future.



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