2014 Awards

Researcher of the Year, 2014

Dr. Christopher Schmit
Professor, Civil Engineering
Director, WEERC

Professor Chris Schmit of the Civil and Environmental Engineering department received the Outstanding Researcher award for the Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering at the university's 2015 Celebration of Faculty Excellence. He is the director of the SDSU Water and Environmental Engineering Research Center.

For more than a decade, he has done research for the Sioux Falls Water Reclamation Facility.  In 2010, a filtration project saved the city an average of 1 million gallons of water per day and reduced labor and energy costs by about $12,000 per year.

More recently, he worked on a wastewater filtration project with John Morrell that confirmed the media being used was the best choice.

At the research center, Schmit oversees testing that allows utilities and commercial companies to document that they are meeting the minimum standards for wastewater discharge and drinking water quality.  In addition, through an agreement with the City of Brookings, he provides opportunities for students to operate and evaluate treatment at the Brookings Wastewater Treatment Facility.

Young Investigator of the Year - 2014

Dr. Stephen Gent
Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Stephen Gent joined the SDSU Department of Mechanical Engineering in August 2009. Since then, he has been engaged in a variety of cutting-edge research projects, which include 1) developing analytical tools and processes for improving the design of systems that grow algae for biofuels, 2) studying and computationally predicting the moisture release of corn in continuous flow drying, 3) investigating the viability of producing bio-oil from agricultural byproducts, and 4) developing computational fluid dynamics modeling techniques for agricultural and biomedical applications. The intention of his research has been how to effectively design engineered products and processes to be more efficient, reliable, and economical. Dr. Gent has authored 28 peer-reviewed publications and has been a PI or Co-PI on a variety of projects funded by the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Transportation, and private industry. More importantly, Dr. Gent has been blessed to have numerous opportunities to work with remarkably talented students and faculty on a daily basis. He looks forward to building upon these successes to create a more holistic way of product and process realization using simulation-based models.

Grantswinship Awards - 2014

The College of Engineering Grantswinship awards recognize faculty who have developed a substantial amount of research and external funding activity. The criteria for receiving one of these annual awards is that the faculty member must have received, or had expenditures of, external funding in the amount of $100,000 or more during the fiscal year. This year we were delighted to make these awards to individuals from all departments within our college.  Our congratulations go to each of them, and we hope to present the same award to them next year, as well as to additional faculty members.

2014 Grantswinship Award Winners
2014 Grantswinship Award Winners


Left to Right, beginning with back row: Ken Skorseth, Rich Reid, Sung Shin, Stephen Gent, Chris Schmit, Xiao Qin, Fred Delfanian, Greg Michna, Jon Puetz, Nadim Wehbe, Ross Abraham, Qiquan Qiao, Suzette Burckhard, Sharon Vestal.

Award winner not pictured: Dave Galipeau