Mines News

Release Date Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Raven Industries Gives $150,000 to South Dakota Mines for New Scholarship and Avionics Upgrades

Two South Dakota Mines students use the university flight simulator in the Department of Electrical Engineering. Raven Industries gift will enhance Mines’ new minor in avionics.

South Dakota Mines’ Department of Electrical Engineering has received $150,000 from Raven Industries (NASDAQ:RAVN) to support the university’s new minor in avionics. The company’s Aerostar division is the global leader in stratospheric balloon technology, and its platforms are used for near-space applications in aerospace, defense and scientific research. The gift endows a Raven Aerostar scholarship to support students in the avionics program. It also allows the department to buy equipment for improved design, test and prototyping capabilities for high-speed electronic circuits needed in aircraft and space avionics applications.

“We are grateful for the ongoing partnership the university has had with Raven Industries,” says Mines President Jim Rankin, Ph.D. “This significant investment in avionics will help our program excel."

Raven Logo“For decades, Raven has enjoyed a rewarding relationship with South Dakota Mines, and we know first-hand the value of their education, learning experiences and programs,” commented Dan Rykhus, president & CEO of Raven Industries. “We believe strongly in the value of university partnerships — for both Raven and for our industries — and this gift reflects Raven Aerostar’s continued commitment to strengthening the next generation of aerospace engineers and leaders."

Raven Aerostar also provided technical help to develop the new avionics and aerospace engineering minors at Mines. This donation expands on the company’s connection to the university. “Raven’s gift will enable us to widely deploy these advanced toolsets and tools to all of our students, giving them valuable practical experience. In addition, we anticipate sharing our upgraded facilities with other departments on campus, especially the Department of Computer Science and Engineering," says Tom Montoya, Ph.D., interim electrical engineering department head.

Earlier this year, Raven gave $25,000 to the university for the Aerospace Engineering Lab in the mechanical engineering department.  

“We are proud to support the continued expansion of the university’s avionics and aerospace programs,” said Jim Nelson, division manager of Raven Aerostar. “The talent that comes from South Dakota Mines matches the high-caliber needs of our team. As we continue to see a high demand for top talent in aerospace engineering and related fields, Raven Aerostar is excited to continue partnering with the university on valuable learning opportunities for students in these programs.”

Raven has been a partner with South Dakota Mines for decades, including hiring interns, sponsoring the Women in Science Engineering (WiSE) program and providing scholarship and program support. Raven has a branch office on campus in the Ascent Innovations Building. More than 50 South Dakota Mines alumni are current team members of Raven.

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About South Dakota Mines  

Founded in 1885, South Dakota Mines is one of the nation’s leading engineering, science and technology universities. South Dakota Mines offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and a best-in-class education at an affordable price. The university enrolls 2,418 students with an average class size of 24. The South Dakota Mines placement rate for graduates is 97 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $66,150. For these reasons College Factual ranks South Dakota Mines, the #1 Engineering School for Return on Investment. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu and on FacebookTwitter, LinkedInInstagram and Snapchat.

Contact: Mike Ray, 605-394-6082, mike.ray@sdsmt.edu