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


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

Rapid City, S.D. (October 20, 2021) — 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.”

“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. Over 50 South Dakota Mines alumni are current team members of Raven.

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 Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat.

About Raven Industries, Inc.

Raven Industries (NASDAQ: RAVN) provides innovative, high-value products and systems that solve great challenges throughout the world. Raven is a leader in precision agriculture, high-performance specialty films, and aerospace and defense solutions, and the company’s groundbreaking work in autonomous systems is unlocking new possibilities in areas like farming, national defense, and scientific research. Since 1956, Raven has designed, produced, and delivered exceptional solutions, earning the company a reputation for innovation, product quality, and unmatched service. For more information, visit https://ravenind.com.

About Raven Aerostar

Raven Aerostar consists of wholly-owned subsidiaries Aerostar International, Inc. and Aerostar Technical Solutions, Inc. Raven Aerostar is dedicated to connecting and protecting lives through its Aerospace & Defense technology, including stratospheric platforms, radar systems, tethered aerostats, and protective wear garments. From engineering services, design, and development to highly-technical products and support, Raven Aerostar offers tailored turnkey solutions for a multitude of missions. Visit http://ravenaerostar.com for more information.

Contact Information

Mike Ray
Communications Manager
South Dakota Mines
+1 (605) 394-6082

Lisa McElrath
Corporate Communications Manager
Raven Industries
+1 (605) 336-2750