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About Me

I am currently an assistant professor with the Department of Mechanical Engineering at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

We recently finished our newest SLIM Report! More information to come!

06/29/2021: The Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) division at Keyport, WA visit from South Dakota Mines initiated an educational partnership agreement (EPA) and multiple research collaborations.

06/29/2021: The Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) division at Keyport, WA visit from South Dakota Mines initiated an educational partnership agreement (EPA) and multiple research collaborations.


5/20/2021: Patent application published at United States Patent. Presence of an active research community, i.e. ASME’s Robotics for Inspection & Maintenance, along with research needs / opportunities including US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) initiative on recruitment for the E-ROBOT , as well as alignment with energy and environment thrust area of of SDBOR, are the derive for the applied front of AIM research.

02/28/2021: Python code repository for SLIM research project is created for more effective control and collaboration and can be accessed via GitHub code hosting platform.


02/04/2021: Paper submission titled “Adaptive Neural Network Based Fault Identification and Risk Management for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs)” is accepted at fifth annual workshop on NAML2021 virtual event, on 23-25 March, 2021.

01/19/2020: NEEC fellows presented AIM research group status of Self Localization and Intelligent Mapping (SLIM) research at Quarterly Technical Exchange Meeting (TEM).

12/05/2020: Campus-wide collaborative proposal for National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NSF-NRT) program, selected by South Dakota Mines to move forward.


11/24/2020: Received L3HARRIS Communication West Division funding for graduate student support.

10/07/2020: AIM group presented status of Self Localization and Intelligent Mapping (SLIM) research at NEEC Technical Exchange Meeting (TEM), representing South Dakota Mines among university partners of NUWC division at Keyport, WA.

9/17/2018: Presented NASA EPSCoR research titled “Multi-Agent Autonomous Guidance Navigation & Control Using SVGS Vision Sensor for Lunar Surface Mobility Applications” at South Dakota Mine’s Mechanical Engineering (ME) seminar series (Watch the recorded seminar)


8/31/2020: AIM lab hosted an open house during undergraduate research day where prospective Undergraduate Research Assistant (URA) students received information about multiple funded research opportunities at SD Mines AIM lab and beyond.

8/25/2020: Graduate student Alexander Frye awarded full-time Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA) (jointly supported by CSE Department) and will be assisting with autonomous multi-agent research project.

8/03/2020: Graduate student Benjamin Colvin awarded full-time Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) sponsored by ME department and will be assisting with ME 351L (Mechatronics and Measurements).


07/09/2020: Journal  article  “A  case  study  on  influence  of utilizing hill-type muscles on> > mechanical efficiency of biped running gait ” accepted and in publication process in the springer journal of “International Applied Mechanics” vol 56, issue 4, 2020.

6/14/2020: Our paper titled “Validation of Distributed State Estimation for Localization of Small Satellites and Swarm Formation” was selected as “Outstanding Abstract Award” for the highest number of bids for review by authors.

5/15/2020 Graduate students Alexander Frye and Benjamin Colvin presented papers on recent advancements on FIRM and SWARM research projects at FCRAR 2020 robotic conference.


4/6/2020 Received a Faculty Fellowship award from the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Aerospace Fellowship Program. Fekrmandi will spend the ten-week fellowship (June 1, 2020 and end August 7, 2020) working on research project, “Autonomous GN&C” with NASA Marshall collaborator.

3/11/2020: Papers on validation of vision-based swarm formation and intelligent fault detection accepted in MSR 2020 and both papers are published by Springer in the Mechanism and Machine Science book series.

2/24/2020: Dr. Fekrmandi, and South Dakota Mines collaborators Dr. Randy Hoover and Dr. Kyle Caudle presented posters at the 4th Annual NAML2020 Workshop hosted by U.S. Naval Information System Command at NIWC Pacific (Point Loma, San Diego, CA).


2/7/2019: Received DoD grant from NAVSEA’s NEEC program (GRANT12964921) on “Advancing Swarm Self-Localization and Intelligent Maneuvering (SLIM) for Autonomous Unmanned Vehicles via Machine Learning”.

01/17/2019: Graduate research assistants Benjamin Colvin and Jacob Huber awarded L3Harris Technologies scholarship for the academic year 2019-2020. Jacob is working towards becoming an officer commissioned in the United States Army National Guard.

12/19/2019: SD Mines ME Department newsletter highlighted AIM research among the 2018-19 academic year ME research awards and publications.


11/19/2019: Our invention disclosure titled “Robotic Crawler for Autonomous Inspection and Maintenance of Small Diameter Piping Network” is filed by university’s patent attorney. The patent application is supported by the Office of Economic Development at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

10/13/2019: Our manuscript submission titled “A Case Study on Influence of Utilizing Hill-type Muscles on Mechanical Efficiency of Biped Running Gait ” is accepted in the International Journal of Applied Mechanics

9/24/2019: Received L3HARRIS University Engagement Program (UET) funding on developing software algorithms for cross-link robust file transfer in small satellite swarms.


9/6/2019: Papers on intelligent SHM and guidance, navigation and control of swarm accepted in ASCE 20′ Earth and Space Conference.

8/7/2019: Received DoD grant from Navy’s NREP program (Grant N002531910003) for development of FIRM intelligent health monitoring for Unmanned Underwater Submarines (UUV) using deep learning.

7/28/2019: Undergraduate research assistant Skye Rutan-Bedard awarded prestigious DOD SMART Scholarship


5/9/2019: Papers on bio-inspired robotic inspection and vision-based state estimation of small satellites accepted in FCRAR 2019

3/20/2019: Papers on multi-sensor structural health monitoring and non-destructive testing accepted at SPIE 2019

2/13/2019: Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) visited Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics (AIM) research laboratory and SD Mines’ research facilities


2/1/2019: Received NASA EPSCoR’s Research Initiation Grant (RIG) Award on distributed control of swarm of small satellites

11/14/2018: Presented research at University of Wyoming’s Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) seminar invited speaker seminar series

7/10/2018: Received L3 Technologies UET donation on developing humidity sensing and active control in an electronics enclosures.


5/10/2018: Paper on bio-inspired design for mechatronics maintenance system accepted in FCRAR 2018

3/20/2018: Graduate assistant Yun Seok Gwon awarded 2018/2019 Ivanhoe fellowship award


9/29/2017: Received (CO-PI) SD space grant consortium’s Project Initiation Grant (PIG) Award on CubeSat team formation


Page Author: Samuel Irwin, BS student Mechanical Engineering, SDSMT