South Dakota Tech News
501 E. Saint Joseph Street • Rapid City, SD 57701-3995
Phone: (605) 394-6082/2554 • Fax: (605) 394-6177
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 4, 2004
Contact: Steve Buchholz, Public Information Manager, 394-6082
South Dakota Tech FY 2004 R&D Funding Nearly $12 Million
South Dakota Tech researchers and professors received a near-record of more than $11.9 million in research and development funding during the 2004 fiscal year that ended in June.
The awards are funding research in departments across campus. Some research is basic, and is designed to create new knowledge or to add to the literature on a given topic. Other research is applied, and is meant to produce real-world products. South Dakota Tech has placed an emphasis on applied research to benefit the state, region and nation.
“Research is a critical endeavor for this university,” Tech President Dr. Charles Ruch said. “Using research to create technology-based economic development opportunities represents a way for Tech to make South Dakota an even better place to live and work.”
Tech, an engineering and science university in Rapid City, is home to several research institutions and centers, and plans are underway to expand the number of graduate degrees and to enhance the technology-transfer process.
Tech boasts a solid research program. During the 2004 fiscal year, Tech researchers and professors received 93 awards from federal and state agencies, from corporations, and from direct Congressional appropriations. Since 2001, Tech has received nearly $60 million in Congressional appropriations for research and development, including $15.2 million in the 2005 Defense spending bill. In the first month of the 2005 fiscal year, Tech researchers and professors received more than $860,000 in awards, four times the amount received in July 2003.
“We will continue to be aggressive in our efforts to bring research funding to South Dakota,” Ruch said. “We want South Dakota to enjoy a vibrant and healthy economy, and we believe we can help make that happen. We appreciate the assistance of our industrial partners and the South Dakota Congressional delegation for helping us reach this important goal.”
FY 2004 award highlights:
Researchers and professors across campus received $6,150,000 in Congressional appropriations through the Army Research Laboratory for a series of projects designed to create a lighter, faster, more lethal and better defended U.S. Army. The projects range from creating new materials for vehicles to polymers for protective gear. All of the research is designed to help create the Army’s Future Combat Systems.
Two researchers are using an $802,108 Congressional appropriation through the Air Force Research Laboratory to build better, cheaper and faster satellites for defense and surveillance applications. One portion of the research focuses on finding a material for satellites that doesn’t expand and retract as the satellite travels around the Earth. The other project’s aim is to create methods and materials for producing mirrors much larger than are currently used in space. Larger mirrors have better resolving power, and can identify, track, and detail smaller objects on the Earth’s surface.
Researchers in Tech’s Institute of Atmospheric Sciences received $225,000 from the United States Department of Energy to continue developing a carbon sequestration program that would allow farmers and ranchers to earn money by storing carbon in soil for companies that need to reduce carbon emissions.
Two other Institute of Atmospheric Sciences projects – funded with $300,000 from NASA and $91,743 from the National Science Foundation – involve studying the impact of lightning-produced nitric oxide on global warming and of wetlands in eastern South Dakota on regional climate.
Several Tech researchers are involved in a project to determine the viability of a select group of composite materials for use in vehicles. The three-year project is funded with $450,000 from the United States Department of Energy. If the composites prove to be viable, the end result could be lighter-weight cars that go further on a tank of gas. The research also could impact the entire automotive industry.
A research project involving South Dakota Tech and a Rapid City company called HydroTech Engineering could result in an inexpensive way to remove arsenic from drinking water. The project comes at the perfect time. The drinking water standard for arsenic, currently set at 50 parts-per-billion, will be lowered to 10 ppb by 2006 because of arsenic’s links to cancer. In South Dakota, it is estimated that 30, or 8.6 percent, of the state���s public water systems will violate the 10 ppb arsenic standard. The American Water Works Association has estimated the cost of decreasing the arsenic standard to 10 ppb in South Dakota at $8.25 million. The $40,000 research project is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Two South Dakota Tech researchers are creating living organisms that may provide a better way to seal cracks in concrete. The researchers received $51,601 from the National Science Foundation to continue developing genetically engineered microorganisms that can produce excess amounts of organic and inorganic biosealant for concrete. The microbial sealant is a smart material that is environmentally safer and economically more feasible than the currently available synthetic sealing materials.
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Devereaux Library. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.