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Engebretson Named VP for Research, Plans to Develop High-Tech Economy in South Dakota

Daniel Engebretson, headshot Daniel Engebretson, Ph.D., was named the new VP for research and sponsored programs in December. 

VERMILLION, S.D. – Daniel Engebretson, Ph.D., was named the vice president for research and sponsored programs for the University of South Dakota in December. In his new role, Engebretson looks forward to expanding the number of research disciplines that will directly affect South Dakota’s economy.

“I’m excited to be here as vice president for research,” Engebretson said. “I think we have an incredible opportunity to help build South Dakota’s technology-based economy built upon the research that happens here at USD.”

Most recently, Engebretson served as chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at USD and founding director of the Graduate Education and Applied Research (GEAR) Center in Sioux Falls. In 2017, Engebretson launched an associate degree program and a baccalaureate program in 2019 to support the biotech/medtech industry in Sioux Falls and to grow the workforce in the field. He has served as an advisor and mentor to dozens of graduate students, six of whom have started their own biotech/medtech companies in South Dakota.

“At USD, we have an incredible breadth of research, it crosses all bases, and we can use the research as a tool to develop a very broad technology-based economy,” said Engebretson. “We are able to take our initial discoveries, develop them, build businesses around them, employ our students and change the economy.”

While at USD, Engebretson has been recognized for his outstanding research, including this year’s President’s Award for Research & Innovation. Tailored Medical Devices, a company he founded with USD graduate students Jordan Anderson and Sujan Lamichhane, received a $225,000 Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop a USD-owned technology for the treatment of vascular disease. In total, Engebretson has received more than $3.6 million in SBIR and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) awards. He has also served on the leadership team for two Governor’s Research Centers – the Center for Research and Development of Light-Activated Materials (CRDLM) and the Biosystems Networks/Translational Research (BioSNTR). He holds a doctorate in physical chemistry from Michigan State University.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News