South Dakota Tech News
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 14, 2004
Contact: Steve LaMarine, Director of Marketing, 394-2655
Tech Receives Fifth Installment of $1.7 Million Grant
The US Dept. of Education has made the fifth installment in a five-year program to improve student success at SD School of Mines and Technology. The amount of this year’s funding is $324,000, bringing this grant’s total to $1.67 million dollars.
The program has improved the ability of Tech administrators to advise and track students in their college careers. The system provides significant improvements associated with registration, and it provides more timely reports to assist in administration decisions, such as ways to improve student retention.
According to university president Charles Ruch, “Grant money contributes to student success through an ongoing program of equipment upgrades in various departments. As a result, Tech students now have the advantage of working with equipment that is on a par with the best research devices available in modern industrial settings.”
“When South Dakota Tech graduates more engineering students, we help offset the expected shortage of engineers and scientists projected by the US Dept. of Labor,” said Barb Dolan, Director of Student Information Systems. She added, “Our graduates have starting salaries that average more than $47,000 partly because of the quality of high-end equipment found on our campus.”
President Ruch praised the efforts of Dolan and her staff, saying, “As principal investigator for this grant, Barb and her team have done a superb job as stewards for a significant amount of funding. The result has been a dramatic improvement in how we assist and train our students and how we track their success.”
Dr. Stuart Kellogg, Pietz Professor of Industrial Engineering, pointed out, "Prior to this Title III funding, it took Tech five years to piecemeal several small grants together to start the Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) lab. The Title III grant funds have enabled the industrial engineering faculty to complete the laboratory at least five years ahead of schedule and offer a fully integrated small-scale machining laboratory experience for undergraduate students.”
Dr. Kellogg added, “This lab is also used for summer outreach experiences for middle and high school students."
Dr. Sookie Bang, professor of biology, said, "All of the equipment we have obtained for our lab, from the computers and microscopes to the software and autoclave, are essential components of quality teaching. With the new additions, we are able to offer more advanced courses, which will reap enormous benefits to our students."
Arguably the most visible piece of new equipment provided by the grant is the compressed air tank for the Mach 3 supersonic wind tunnel for research activities in mechanical engineering. The tank for this state of the art system is 14 feet in diameter and rests on its side in front of Tech’s Civil/Mechanical Engineering Building. The wind tunnel is expected to be operational by next summer.
Grant money also provided for the upgrading of a specialized nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer — a device used by chemistry and chemical engineering students to determine the structure of new chemical compounds.
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Devereaux Library. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.