A letter from the President


It’s been a fantastic year at South Dakota Mines and a great deal of our success is thanks to support from our graduates. Mines alumni in both the public and private sectors helped secure funding for construction of the new Nucor Mineral Industries Building. We held the largest Career Fair in university history this fall, thanks to many of you who brought your companies to campus. During this year’s Homecoming celebration, we cut the ribbon on the new concrete on M Hill funded entirely by donations. We also held the inaugural Hardrocker Heritage Gala to honor our exceptional alumni award winners; we are already looking forward to celebrating alumni successes at the event next year. In October, we dedicated the new Rocker Trail above campus that some of our recent graduates worked on as students. We also opened a newly renovated Devereaux Library that has quickly become the heart of campus for students. We dedicated the new Steve and Julie Vanderboom Office of Student Success in the Devereaux Library, and we’re beginning design for the new Rich and Trudy Wells Veterans Resource Center in the Surbeck Center.

Our research funding broke records this past fiscal year with $20.1 million in grants and support. Research awards include a wide range of departments and projects such as back-to-back NSF CAREER awards alongside groundbreaking National Cancer Institute funded research in our nanoscience department. Our partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on a project called “Materials and Manufacturing for Cold Regions.” includes a five-year, $11.2 million grant that involves many campus departments. The ongoing work at the Sanford Underground Research Facility includes multidisciplinary projects across campus. Mines will expand research space in 2023 thanks to alumni support and our state legislature that secured funding for purchase of the former Ascent Innovation Building.

Research is industry, and our innovators have an excellent track record at turning work on campus into successful businesses. Dr. Maryam Amouamouha (PhD CBE 2022) founded the company AMBER. Her entrepreneurship earned her top honors at the 2022 Governor’s Giant Vision Awards and is the latest in a long list of amazing work that is creating local jobs. This edition of The Hardrock includes a feature story on the Innovation District thriving around Mines. More exciting developments are underway. The university’s partnership with the NSF I-Corps hub and the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network will further expand the culture of entrepreneurship on campus and job creation in the community.

If you are a seasoned professional with entrepreneurial success and want to help nurture the next generation of game-changing innovators, reach out and let us know. You might make a fantastic member of our Entrepreneurs in Residence.

If you are an alum looking to advance your career, there may be an opening in the Black Hills. Our Career Services office maintains a platform that connects alumni with job openings in the Black Hills and beyond.

The future is bright at South Dakota Mines, and we look forward to sharing more good news in 2023!

Warm regards,


Jim Rankin, PhD, PE
President, South Dakota Mines