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Board Title

Ex-officio board member


South Dakota School of Mines

Date Appointed

Appointed by

Gov. Dennis Daugaard

Dr. Puszynski received his BS and MS degrees in chemical engineering from Technical University in Wroclaw, Poland in 1973 and his PhD in chemical engineering from the Institute of Chemical Technology in Prague in 1980. In 1982, he joined Chemical Engineering Department at the State University of New York at Buffalo, NY where he worked as a visiting assistant professor and later as a research professor for 9 years. In 1991, he joined the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SD Mines) as a faculty member. During his tenure at SDSM&T, he worked as a full professor of chemical engineering, college dean, and in April 2014 he was appointed as Vice President for Research. Under his leadership, the research at SD Mines has grown substantialy. 

Dr. Puszynski has been educating undergraduate and graduate students at SD Mines for almost twenty-six years. During his tenure at SD Mines, he received several multi-million awards and he established both national and international reputation in self-propagating high-temperature synthesis of advanced ceramic and intermetallic materials as well as novel nanoenergetic materials. 

Since 1996, Professor Puszynski has been working as the PI on several R&D projects funded by the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technical Division (NSWC IHEODTD) and other DoD organizations. In 1999/2000, he spent one year-long sabbatical leave working at NSWC IHEODTD. During his stay at Indian Head he assisted this Navy’s Center in designing, building, and testing of a new installation for continuous production of aluminum nanopowders using a low pressure evaporation/condensation process. At that time, this was the first installation in USA capable of producing of hundreds of grams of Al nanopowders. The aluminum nanopowders produced by the R&D team from NSWC IHEODT, Dr. Puszynski was a member, were favorable tested by the Navy, Army, Air Force, DoE, and other government agencies. Later on, Professor Puszynski got involved in a full characterization of aluminum nanopowders and development of metastable nanoenergetic composites (MNC). In 2001, Dr. Puszynski together with research collaborators from three other U.S. universities received the first Defense University Research Initiative on Nanotechnology grant from the Army Research Office and his research group joined the DoD Center on Nanoenergetic Research. 

In 2011/2012, Dr. Puszynski spent his second sabbatical leave at CAD/PAD Division at NSWC IHEODT. During his last stay at this organization he was involved in development of a new propellant replacing ammonium perchlorate as a key oxidizer. His other duties included troubleshooting of key technological aspects of production of propellants for CAD/PAD devices. 

Professor Puszynski’s expertise is in reaction engineering, energetic materials, materials science and mathematical modeling of reactive systems. He has published over one-hundred seventy five scientific papers and presented more than two-hundred papers and invited seminars at national and international conferences. During his professional career, he supervised numerous undergraduate and graduate M.S. and Ph.D. students, who are presently work in industry and academia. Professor Puszynski is also a co-author of several patents submitted by CAD/PAD Division at NSWC IHEODT and other DoD organizations. He is also a recipient of several SD Mines, SD Board of Regents, national and international awards. In the past, he served as a president of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Energetic Materials Group, which promotes research and education in the area of energetics. In 2010, he was elected as a fellow of AIChE and in 2014 received Life Achievement Award from Joint Navy/Air Force Program in recognition of his enduring contributions to the CAD/PAD Joint U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy Program.