Todd Letcher

Todd Letcher


Associate Professor

Office Building

Crothers Engineering Hall



Mailing Address

Crothers Engineering Hall 212
Mechanical Engineering-Box 2219
University Station
Brookings, SD 57007


Todd Letcher received his PhD from The Ohio State University in Mechanical Engineering in 2012. Since then, he has served as a Post-doc researcher with the SDSU METLAB, a lecturer, an Assistant Professor, and now Associate Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at SDSU. His research focuses on developing knowledge and technologies that allow 3d printing techniques to be used for end-use manufacturing. Dr. Letcher is part of the Pathways to Innovation team of engineers and entrepreneurs on campus that brings innovative and entrepreneurial students together from across campus to solve problems and create business ventures run by SDSU students. Dr. Letcher is also an Associate Director of the SD Space Grant Consortium. Dr. Letcher currently teaches Engineering Design Methods, Mechanical Systems Design, and advises several senior design projects, independent study projects and several graduate students.


PhD, Mechanical Engineering, The Ohio State University, 2012
MS, Mechanical Engineering, The Ohio State University, 2008
BS, Mechanical Engineering, South Dakota State University, 2005

Academic Interests/Expertise

Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing
Experimental Mechanics

Academic Responsibilities

ME 230 - Engineering Design Methods
ME 478/479 - Mechanical Systems Design I/II (Senior Design Capstone course sequence)

ME 121 - Production and Manufacturing Processes
ME 212 - Mechanical Engineering Design Technologies
ME 240 - Introduction to Mechanical Design
ME 321 - Fundamentals of Machine Design
ME 376 - Measurements and Instrumentation Lab
ME 741 - Advanced Stress Analysis

Committee Activities

Mechanical Engineering Department Assessment Committee

Specialty Area

  • Additive Manufacturing
  • 3D Printing
  • Materials Characterization
  • Solid Mechanics
  • Design Optimization

Awards and Honors

ASME International Gas Turbine Institute (IGTI) Young Engineers Travel Award, 2012
Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering Advisor of the Year, 2017
Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering Young Investigator of the Year, 2020


Letcher, T., Prasad, A. “Characterization of GRCop-42 Additively Manufactured Material” NASA EPSCoR Rapid Response

Letcher, T. “Thermal Protection System Testing” NASA Marshall/University of Alabama Huntsville

Letcher, T. “Development of Novel Feedstocks for In-Space Manufacturing Applications” NASA Exploration Systems and Habitation Academic Innovation Challenge 2019

Letcher, T., Burckhard, S. “3D Printed Habitat Challenge Extension” SD Space Grant Consortium

Letcher, T., Michna, G. “Advanced Materials for 3D printable heat exchangers” SD Space Grant Consortium

Michna, G., Letcher, T. “Startup of South Dakota State University CubeSat Club” SD Space Grant Consortium

Gent, S., Letcher, T. “Initial Engineering Analysis of KB Balance Trainer”

Letcher, T. "Investigating Paint Embedment in Dynamic Bolted Connection - Phase 2"

Letcher, T. "Investigating Paint Embedment in Dynamic Bolted Connection - Phase 1"

Messerli, M., Letcher, T. “Constructing a Prototype for Automated Pancreatic Islet Sorting and Screening” SD Board of Regents Competitive Research Grant Program FY17.

Letcher, T., Michna, G. “3D printable heat exchangers to enhance student learning related to space science” SD Space Grant Consortium Project Innovation Grant.


US Patent # 7,694,444 B2 Electronic sign having a formed metal cabinet.

Professional Memberships

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)

Area(s) of Research

Additive manufacturing, 3d printer hardware development, 3d printer material development, 3d printed material characterization, design for additive manufacturing



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