Research Inquiries

For inquiries related to South Dakota Mines Research, contact:

Research Affairs

South Dakota Mines
501 E. St. Joseph Street
Suite 102, O'Harra Building
Rapid City, SD  57701

(605) 394-2493

Research@Mines

Research@Mines

Research at Mines happens every day of the year, involves faculty and students at every academic level, and frequently includes collaboration across the state, the nation and the globe.

South Dakota Mines EMES Facility Expands to Include Array of Instruments with Environmental Applications

Dr. Scott Beeler uses a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (GC-MS) in the Engineering and Mining Experiment Station (EMES) at South Dakota Mines. The GC-MS is used to identify and quantify organic compounds with applications in a wide range of fields such as environmental monitoring, medicine, and oil and gas.

The Engineering and Mining Experiment Station (EMES) at South Dakota Mines has begun overseeing the operation and maintenance of instrumentation within the Shimadzu Environmental Research Laboratory (SERL).

The EMES was founded on the Mines campus in 1903 with a mission to serve mining industry research. Today the mission has expanded to include a much broader range of academic and industry needs with a wide array of scientific equipment that is utilized by industry professionals and university researchers across the region. The EMES has seen equipment investments by the South Dakota Board of Regents and the National Science Foundation totaling more than $2.8 million since 2011. The EMES website lists the range of scientific equipment available for academic research and industry use including the Shimadzu instrumentation.

The SERL was established in 2015 in partnership with Shimadzu Scientific Instruments by Lisa Kunza. Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Chemistry Biology and Health Sciences at Mines. The SERL is a multidisciplinary research facility that contains a suite of state-of-the-art instrumentation with a focus on environmental applications. SERL instruments enable the chemi...

Last Edited 1/6/2021 03:48:20 PM [Comments (0)]

Mines Mechanical Engineering Alumnus Conducts Research on Dental-Related Infections

Joree Sandin, 2018 South Dakota Mines mechanical engineering graduate, participated in research in the area of antibiotic resistant infections as a master’s student at the University of Kentucky.

As a mechanical engineering graduate from South Dakota Mines, Joree Sandin never expected to do medical research, but the 2018 graduate has spent the past two years focused on antibiotic resistant infections. 

“Three or four years ago, as a mechanical engineering major at Mines, I would never have imagined that I would have gained this experience … my car took a random exit toward this bio world and I’m so glad it did,” she says. 

Sandin recently completed her master’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Kentucky College of Engineering. She returned to Mines in October to co-present the research seminar, “A Mechanical Engineer’s Approach to Bacterial Infections,” alongside Dr. Martha E. Grady, assistant professor in mechanical engineering at UK and lead researcher on the work. 

The UK research Sandin has been a part of focuses on biofilm formations, specifically in dental care.  

Biofilms are a collection of microorganisms that grow on surfaces. The microorganisms that make up biofilms can include bacteria, protists and fungi. “Biofilms are really everywhere,” Sandin say...

Last Edited 12/3/2020 08:32:39 PM [Comments (0)]

First Ph.D. in New Mining Engineering Program Builds Computer Program to Improve Underground Mine Safety

Ankit Jha is the first graduate of South Dakota Mines’ new doctoral program specializing in mining engineering.

Ankit Jha, Ph.D., is the first graduate of South Dakota Mines’ new doctoral program in Mining Engineering. 

Dr. Jha’s research, conducted under Associate Professor Purushotham Tukkaraja, Ph.D., included a new computer system that integrates and enhances underground mine ventilation, safety, communication and rescue operations. The concept involves developing a command center with software that allows for real-time tracking of individuals on digital maps inside a mine. It also records real-time sensor data from the atmospheric monitoring system within the mine. The data collected with specific algorithms from mine ventilation engineering and computer science were utilized in developing the software. 

When the system alerts operators of danger, it highlights the fastest and safest path for a mine rescue and recovery operation. Jha’s research also examined the flammability of ventilation ducts in underground mines and made recommendations for improvements.  Furthermore, Jha investigated efficient ventilation designs to mitigate radon emission in underground metal mines by using experiments and computational fluid dynamics simulations. 

In his dissertation, Jha writes, “As mine rescue operations are stressful because human lives are at stake, it is not surprising that pertinent information could be missed, which could adversely affect the rescue operati...

Last Edited 1/5/2021 11:30:07 PM [Comments (0)]

South Dakota Mines Students Help Create a Living Laboratory at Eco Prayer Park

The Trinity Eco Prayer Park in downtown Rapid City is going through some renovations to create a living laboratory for hands-on learning and research.

The West Dakota Water Development District and a group of Rapid City area businesses are funding upgrades recommended by a team of South Dakota Mines students at the Trinity Eco Prayer Park in downtown Rapid City. The upgrades will increase the water flow capacity and provide easier maintenance at the park. This will help maintain the original intent of the park, which is to slow, spread, infiltrate, and naturally filter the stormwater that runs off part of downtown before it enters Rapid Creek. Most importantly, the project also creates opportunity for a living laboratory where future students can study urban runoff, associated water quality issues, and sustainable stormwater management practices. 

Urban runoff is a major contributor to pollution in waterways around the world. In general, precipitation falls onto a rooftop, runs across a parking lot and into a curb and gutter where it drops into a storm sewer making its way to a local water body. During this process the water never comes into contact with soil, which is our natural filter. Hence, the runoff is untreated. To deal with this problem, many cities have installed natural treatment systems, known as green infrastructure or low impact development practices. This allows runoff that is shed by city streets, parking lots and sidewalks t...

Last Edited 12/8/2020 03:22:08 PM [Comments (0)]