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 Archive:
September, 2020

The Science of Swords - a History of Bladesmithing at Mines

Mike West, Ph.D., holds the international award winning thirty-four-inch, single-edged blade sword that is based on the Arhus Farm sword from 10th century Norway.

In the summer of 2006 a high school student, Kevin Gray (MetE 11), did something that could have landed him in trouble. He toured the Mines campus with an eight-inch knife in his backpack. Gray had no malicious intent, rather he was excited to show the Damascus steel blade that he had forged in his garage to a professor of metallurgy. Little did Gray know that his actions would spark a series of events that would change the face of the Department of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering at Mines and earn the program international acclaim.

At the end of the tour for prospective students, Jon Kellar PhD, (MetE 84), who was department head at the time, asked Gray why he was interested in Mines. “He pulled this knife wrapped in cloth out of his backpack,” says Kellar. Damascus steel blades have been around for centuries. They’re easy to identify by the swirled steel patterns that result from a labor-intensive process of repeatedly heating, hammering, and folding the steel. Kellar became intrigued. “We were low on student enrollment at the time,” he says, “We were trying to find a solution, and this seemed like a good way to outreach.” Kellar and professors Dana Medlin, PhD, and Michael West, PhD, developed a plan to integrate more hands-on experiences into the curriculum. Students could make items out of metal, like Damascus steel blades, and study the scientific properties of the steel they were working along the way.

...
Last Edited 10/5/2020 07:51:01 PM [Comments (0)]

South Dakota Mines Leads New Big Data Effort to Probe Mysteries of the Universe with Observatory at the South Pole

IceCube winter-over scientist Yuya Makino walks to work at the IceCube Lab at the South Pole. This new NSF project, led by South Dakota Mines, uses data from this lab and other detectors with cutting-edge big data techniques to push the very frontiers of astronomy. Photo courtesy of Y. Makino, IceCube/NSF.

South Dakota Mines received a $6 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to enhance big data processing and astronomical capabilities of the world’s largest neutrino observatory, IceCube, located at the geographic South Pole. The research will attempt to answer a fundamental question that has puzzled scientists for more than a century regarding the origin of subatomic cosmic particles that carry visible energy. 

The four-year project titled “RII Track-2 FEC: The IceCube EPSCoR Initiative (IEI) - IceCube and the Data Revolution” brings together scientists from South Dakota Mines, University of Alabama, University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Delaware, University of Kansas and University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The team of researchers will work to solve challenges facing Multi-Messenger Astronomy (MMA) – this new form of astronomy integrates the various types of signals coming in from outer-space to paint the most-clear picture possible of our universe. The project is funded through NSF EPSCoR (Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research). EPSCoR’s mission is to advance excellence in science and engineering research and education in its jurisdictions.

“Astronomy has enormous i...

Last Edited 12/15/2020 09:54:21 PM [Comments (0)]