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Guy E. March Medal Award Recipients

The March Medal is awarded annually to a graduate who exemplifies the spirit of electrical engineering alumnus Dr. Guy March through positive interaction with students, the institution, and South Dakota Mines alumni. Dr. March was named the second head of the Department of Mathematics in 1941. His leadership was an integral part of propelling the Alumni Association (which is now part of the Center of Alumni Relations & Advancement) into the active organization it is today. March Medalists embody the caring spirit of Dr. March, which has been a hallmark of the university that has been handed down over decades.


David Braun (ME 61)

Dave Braun graduated South Dakota Mines with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1961. He first worked at Conoco in refinery operations and next completed a two year ROTC US Army obligation, returning to Conoco in January 1964. Ironically, when Conoco sent him to recruit graduates at Kansas State University, the ME department head convinced Dave to join K-State! Dave taught several undergrad classes, obtained a fellowship, invented an instrument for measuring radiant temperatures, wrote a thesis, and graduated with an MSME degree in 1967. 

Dave’s interest in helping students was catalyzed by his encounter with certain hurdles as a Mines student. The situation was that some members of the staff were unwilling or unable to support his interest in learning to be an inventor. Due to this, Dave sought employment at a company where major emphasis was placed on building new businesses and industries and improving people’s lives with innovative new products.

At 3M, Dave’s early results in solving assigned technical problems earned him the right to be self directed. In his 32-year career as a 3M inventor, his portfolio of over 130 worldwide patents helped 3M to become the world leader in providing protection for myriads of workers in hazardous environments. For example, one of Dave’s inventions makes the N95 respirator both comfortable and highly effective for capturing the Covid 19 virus. Dave earned 3M’s highest technical honor, The Carlton Award in 1990. 

Before retirement in 1999, Dave enjoyed a sabbatical at the University of Colorado in Boulder. There, key faculty, a 3M co-inventor, and a student team, created a new membrane based separations system. It was shown to be capable of allowing transmission of oxygen and carbon dioxide while keeping buildings completely free of outside harmful toxic airborne particles.

As a Mines alum, Dave wanted to help creative Mines students identify important technical problems and solve them. As an undergraduate, Dave had witnessed the enjoyable synergy between creative problem solving and educational responsibilities. Now, students that compete to win the Ann and Dave Braun Student Inventor Award are coming up with delightful, unexpected, unique, and even “disruptive” solutions.    

Dave has a 25-year history working closely with the Mines on a variety of programs. He has served on the board of directors for mechanical engineering, funded scholarships, donated for new lab facilities, and awarded student new product ideas.  Those involved see progress in creating a Mines culture that 1) attracts and welcomes inventive students, 2) helps make the Mines a leader in development of graduates ready for careers as inventors, and 3) gives Mines student inventors a chance to come up with an invention that leads to a new industry for South Dakota.


Tim Doyle (ChemE 94)

Tim Doyle started his career with Polarfab, a private semiconductor manufacturer based in the Twin Cities. In 2007, he and his family moved to Rapid City where he started his career with the Rapid City Police Department, which has spanned 3 years in patrol, 6 months on the initial street crimes unit, 7 years as a school liaison officer, 18 months as a patrol sergeant, 18 months as a juvenile operations sergeant, and a short stint as a patrol lieutenant.

Currently, he serves as the community engagement unit lieutenant. He is a member of the peer support team, physical fitness team, and mobile response team. He is also currently vice president of the South Dakota Fraternal Order of Police.



Mr. Cliff (CE 79) & Mrs. Debra (EE 78) Bienert

Debra (Zapp) Bienert graduated from South Dakota Mines in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. She was a member of Tau Beta Pi, Pi Mu Epsilon, and IEEE, serving as vice president of IEEE during her senior year. Debra participated in several intramural sports and acted as a practice partner for the men’s tennis team. Cliff Bienert graduated from Mines in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He was a member of Tau Beta Pi and served as president of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Student Chapter. Cliff led the building of the first successful concrete canoe at Mines and constructed the base for the Tau Beta Pi bronze cast that still stands outside the library. Cliff and Debra met on campus and were married in 1980. After graduation, Debra worked for Trane Company in LaCrosse, WI, and relocated to Green Bay after she and Cliff were married. In Green Bay she worked for the local electric utility holding positions of planning engineer, senior operating engineer, and industrial marketing supervisor. Following their move from Green Bay in 1991, Debra discovered her affinity for teaching. For the last 27 years, Debra has taught math and sciences at various colleges and high schools. After graduation, Cliff worked for Procter and Gamble in Green Bay in the paper industry, moving from there to lead tissue paper manufacturing operations, plants, and divisions in Canada, northern Wisconsin, New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. Cliff was vice president of operations for CityForest Corporation, Irving Tissue, and Schweitzer-Mauduit International. Cliff and Debra retired and returned to Rapid City in November 2011. Looking to devote time to their alma mater, they returned to Mines to get their master’s degrees and were subsequently hired to teach at Mines, Debra in the mathematics department and Cliff in civil and construction engineering. After eight years of sharing their knowledge and experience with students, they are retiring as of this date. Both have been very active on campus and throughout the community serving together on the Newman Center Advisory Board in various roles, including president. Both are also faculty advisors for the Class Project Committee. Additionally, Debra serves on the Admissions Committee, and organized and facilitated the West River Math Contest for the past six years. She received the 2019 Virginia Simpson Award for her work on this contest within the Rapid City community. Cliff has been a South Dakota Mines CARA board member since 2012 and an active member of the Real Estate Committee for 10 years. He is also an active Hospital
Eucharistic Minister.


Dr. Scott Kenner (CE 77)

Dr. Scott Kenner graduated from South Dakota Mines with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1977 and a master’s degree in civil engineering in 1979. He received a PhD in environmental engineering sciences from the University of Florida in 1992. He joined the faculty at Mines in August 1993 as an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering. Over the first two years, he developed a curriculum for the water resources component that evolved into a sequence of four undergraduate and four graduate courses, which is still in place today. He has mentored more than 50 master’s degree students and eight PhD students, and continues to support three master’s and three PhD students through externally-funded research. His teaching efforts were recognized in 2008 when he received the Bernard A. Ennenga Faculty Award for excellence in teaching and motivating students, and in 2018 when he received the Presidential Award for Outstanding Professor. He worked on development of the HONORS@mines program and supported the EPICS program through advising student project teams. He was appointed head of the civil and environmental engineering department in July 2016 after serving as interim head for one year. He retired in 2020. He has conducted more than $4.5 million of research influencing water resources management for entities including the City of Rapid City; Pennington County; the South Dakota Department of Natural Resources; South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks; the US Army Corps of Engineers; and the Oglala Sioux Tribe. He has completed sabbaticals to New Zealand in 2006 and to Mongolia as a Fulbright Scholar in 2012-13. He is currently part of a research team studying and comparing riverine systems in the mountain step eco-region of the US and Mongolia; this project is a collaboration with five US universities and two Mongolian agencies. He has been active in various organizations, including the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the South Dakota Engineering Society, the ASCE Urban Water Resources Research Institute, the Rapid City Area Schools STEAM2 Task Force, the board of directors of the South Dakota Mines Center for Alumni Relations and Advancement, the South Dakota Mines Alumni Reunion Committee, the International Students Inc. House, and the South Dakota Presbytery.


Dr. Antonette Logar (CSc 85)

Dr. Antonette “Toni” Logar served at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology as the chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and interim Dean of Graduate Education for two years. She has served on the Alumni Association Board and the Board of Directors of the SDSM&T Foundation. Her contributions to the university as a faculty member have bDr. Antonette “Toni” Logar served at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology as the chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and interim Dean of Graduate Education for two years. She has served on the Alumni Association Board and the Board of Directors of the SDSM&T Foundation. Her contributions to the university as a faculty member have been recognized through both the Ennenga Award for excellence in teaching and the Outstanding Professor Award. Dr. Logar has acted as a mentor both officially and unofficially for many students and faculty members. Her efforts as a mentor to students was recognized by the Tau Beta Pi National Mentoring Award as a result of a nomination prepared by students in the local chapter. She also served on the Tenure and Promotion Committee for many years and she has been highly sought after for advice on tenure and promotion materials.

Dr. Logar served as coach of the SD Mines programming team during her service at SD Mines. In 2013, she received an international coach’s award for having brought five teams to the World Finals of the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ACM-ICPC), and, since then, the school has had four more teams qualify. This resulted in the selection of Rapid City as the host site of the ACM-ICPC World Finals in May 2017. The contest brought 1,500 people to Rapid City, including the best and brightest computer science students from around the world.

Many students who have been on the programming team, whether they made it to the finals or not, have said that Dr. Logar made a lasting impact on both their professional and personal lives. The fortunate students who happen to earn the right to travel to the World Finals have always benefited from a transformative international experience that transcends the five-day long contest in a hotel or resort.

Building a close relationship with the Rapid City and South Dakota communities has been essential for the health of the institution, and Dr. Logar has been dedicated in supporting these efforts. She has served as a member of the Black Hills Chamber Music Society Board and the Black Hills Symphony Board, and currently serves on the board for the Mt. Rushmore Historical Society. She consistently recruits campus community members to contribute their talents and efforts to community service.


Scott Rausch (EE 75)

Hailing from Agar, South Dakota, and a graduate of Gettysburg High School, Scott Rausch earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the School of Mines in 1975. Scott spent most of his career in the avionics business, working for Rockwell Collins, Honeywell, Allied Signal, Loral, and Lockheed Martin. He was a technical lead and Department Manager at Honeywell on the Boeing 777 flight deck display project and was Vice President of Engineering at a Division of Loral.

Scott and his wife Linda (ChE 75) retired back to the Black Hills in 2001, where Scott has been involved at the School of Mines and with a variety of local and state-wide, non-profit organizations. Scott first volunteered to help with summer camps for high school students. He then assisted students in the Amateur Rapid Club design antennas and coordinate events with other amateur radio clubs in the Black Hills. He became a volunteer Adjunct Instructor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department in 2007.  Scott served as advisor for over 30 senior design projects, assisting students with system, hardware, and software design. Scott and Linda provided funding for many of the projects. 

Scott supervised senior design projects that built an aircraft simulator, including the throttle, autopilot, and radar systems. This experience gave our students a distinct advantage over students from other universities when interviewing with aerospace companies. Many students chose Mines because of the tours that Scott Rausch provided during their first visit to our university. Because of his passion for the students and his technical expertise, Scott was selected to be the Interim Head for Electrical and Computer Engineering in February 2015 and served in that position until June 2017. He led the department’s successful ABET accreditation visit in 2016. 

Scott has been very involved with non-profit organizations. He has served on the Board of Directors of the South Dakota State Poetry Society. He was appointed by the Governor to serve on the South Dakota Humanities Council Board of Directors. Scott has been one of the primary organizers of the South Dakota Book Festival, held every year to support reading and life-long learning for grade school, high school, and college students. He has also served as the Pennington County amateur radio Emergency Coordinator, working with local emergency management, police, and fire departments to provide backup communication in emergency situations.

Mines Advancement Fund

The Mines Advancement Fund supports the greatest needs of our students and faculty, including scholarships, department resources, facilities updates, industry partnerships, and more. With every dollar gifted to the Mines Advancement Fund, the Center for Alumni Relations & Advancement raises an average of $9 more to support departments, scholarships, and programs. 
Consider designating your gift to the Mines Advancement Fund to maximize your influence at South Dakota Mines.