!DOCTYPE html> !DOCTYPE html> Degen Research Lab






Dr. Cassandra Degen

Dr. Cassandra Degen received her B.S. degree in Metallurgical Engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in 2007. She received her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering in 2012 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, studying mechanochemical reactions of a spiropyran mechanophore in polymeric materials under shear loading. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology where her research interests include novel manufacturing and characterization techniques of polymer and composite structures, the incorporation of multifunctionality in polymeric materials by inducing desired responses to mechanical loading stimuli, and STEM education.


See Dr. Degen's full curriculum vitae here

Graduate Students

  • Joseph Newkirk
    MS Mechanical Engineering 2018
    Thesis title: Characterization of Thermoplastic Matrix Composite Joints for the Development of a Computational Framework
    Now employed at Raven Engineered Films, Sioux Falls, SD
  • Rohit Dulal
    MS Materials Engineering and Science 2017
    Thesis title: Mechanochemical Polymeric Inks for Security Printing
    Now employed at Mastel Precision Surgical Instruments, Rapid City, SD
  • Eirik Valseth
    MS Mechanical Engineering 2015
    Thesis title: Impact and Shear Properties of Ultrasonically Spot Welded Composites
    Now a Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering at SDSM&T, Rapid City, SD
  • Navaraj Gurung
    MS Mechanical Engineering 2014
    Thesis title: Fabrication and Analysis of 3D Polycarbonate Ultrasonic Welded Structures
    Now a test engineer at General Motors, Detroit, MI


Undergraduate Students

  • Chandler Casey
    BS Mechanical Engineering, University of Notre Dame
    Project title: Development of a Mechano-Responsive Ink for Security Printing
    Dates of research in the JMP Laboratory: Summer 2017
  • A. Natalie Lillig
    BS Materials and Mechanical Engineering, Irving Valley College
    Project title: Correlation of Bond Area and Ultrasonic Spot Welding Parameters
    Dates of research in the JMP Laboratory: Summer 2017
  • Ethan Powell
    BS Mechanical Engineering, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
    Project title: Development of Laboratories for Mechanics of Viscoelastic Solids
    Dates of research in the JMP Laboratory: Summer 2017
  • John Siefert
    BS Mechanical Engineering, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
    Project title: Bond Area Analysis of Ultrasonic Spot Welds in Thermoplastic Matrix Composite Materials
    Dates of research in the JMP Laboratory: Spring 2017
  • Delaney Clouse
    BS Polymer Science and Engineering, University of Southern Mississippi
    Project title: Analysis of Poly(dimethylsiloxane) Printability for Security Printing Applications
    Dates of research in the JMP Laboratory: Summer 2016
  • Colton Shipper
    Pre-Engineering, Casper Community College
    Project title: Retention of the piezoelectric β-phase of PVDF during ultrasonic spot welding
    Dates of research in the JMP Laboratory: Summer 2015
  • Austin Steffen
    BS Mechanical Engineering, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
    Project title: Effects of Ultrasonic Spot Welding on HDPE Microscopic Polymer Structure
    Dates of research in the JMP Laboratory: Spring and Summer 2015
  • Roye Schwab
    BS Mechanical Engineering, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
    Project title: Effects of Ultrasonic Spot Welding on Microscopic Polymer Structure
    Dates of research in the JMP Laboratory: Summer and Fall 2014
  • Morgan Knehans
    BS Metallurgical Engineering, University of Alabama
    Project title: Depth Control and Relation to Quality of Ultrasonic Spot Welds in Polycarbonate
    Dates of research in the JMP Laboratory: Summer 2014
  • Mayra Muci-Casteneda
    BS Chemical Engineering, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
    Project title: Effects of Ultrasonic Spot Welding on Microscopic Polymer Structure
    Dates of research in the JMP Laboratory: Fall 2012 - Spring 2014
  • Alexandra Ling
    BS Mechanical Engineering, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
    Project title: Novel Routes to Achieve Self-Healing Elastomeric Polymers
    Dates of research in the JMP Laboratory: Spring 2013 - Spring 2014
  • Kimberly DeBoer
    BS Civil Engineering, Dordt College
    Project title: Feasibility of Joining Techniques for Thermoplastic and Thermoset Polymers
    Dates of research in the JMP Laboratory: Summemr 2013
  • Heather Goka
    BS Mechanical Engineering, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
    Project title: Development of Submarine and Submersible teaching modules
    Dates of research in the JMP Laboratory: Fall 2013
  • Colton Fuhrmann
    BS Mechanical Engineering, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
    Project title: Development of Submarine and Submersible teaching modules
    Dates of research in the JMP Laboratory: Summer 2013