Rapid City, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota Mines is now part of a prestigious research association — allowing more people to work alongside the DUNE project in the physics department.

As part of the Universities Research Alliance, the School of Mines is now able to collaborate on large research facilities and projects.

“And so it gives us added visibility and the opportunity to bring in different expertise on campus into this collaboration,” Interim VP of Research Laurie Anderson said.

The URA has been involved in several scientific endeavors, including the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead. 

“So the DUNE experiment is over 1,000 physicists working on it world wide as it’s really an international project. We have three faculty here at School of Mines who are working and actually have quite important roles in the experiment,” Head of Physics Department Richard Schnee said.

Now being a part of the Universities Research Association, allows for a lot of multi-university connections. Both for those instructing different classes and topics, as well as bringing in different speakers here for the students at School of Mines.

There are over 90 research organizations within the U-R-A, including Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, Yale and the University of Michigan.

“So it gives opportunities for the faculty to be able to work with experts in the field to take advantage, especially of facilities, that they can use for their research,” Schnee said.

This collaboration can also open more doors for the students.

“Additional opportunities for students to have experiences with physics, maybe in another field of engineering, within this larger community of scientists and engineers,” Anderson said.

The goal is for students and professors to collaborate with lab experts across the country.