The negative societal impacts of counterfeiting are widespread, touching nearly every economic sector, including health care, and threatening our national security. The explosion of the illicit economy can be traced to the growth in online commerce and an “abuse ecosystem” of rogue internet actors, direct-to-consumer courier delivery services, and the lack of product protective measures to counteract counterfeiting. This National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) collaborative award to four South Dakota universities (South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Dakota State University) provides graduate students with the scientific knowledge and professional skills and training needed to become next-generation leaders in the fight against counterfeiting. Participants will receive professional and leadership training within the framework of a unique cyber-physical-social model. This model takes a comprehensive approach that factors in not only the technical aspects of the cyber strategies and physical methods used to combat counterfeiting, but also whether these strategies and methods are compatible with human behavior. This model allows trainees to solve complex problems, where the solutions must tightly integrate cyber, physical, and social interactions in real-time.


The following hyperlink gives more details about the NRT Program:

Click Here To See NRT Informational Poster

Click Here To See NRT Program Application

The NRT Site is funded by the National Science Foundation (Award Abstract #1828462)


The SPACT NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates Site is a multi-institutional site (South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota) that provides undergraduate students a chance to conduct cutting-edge research focused on security printing and anti-counterfeiting technology. Counterfeiting is a growing issue in the U.S., posing serious economic, safety and national security concerns. The REU program is a interdisciplinary program with research opportunities in Materials Science and Engineering, Materials Chemistry, Electrical/Computer Engineering, Chemistry, and Computer Science.

Topical Research Areas:

  • Security Printing: Counterfeit Microelectronics
  • Development of Covert, High Capacity 2-D Bar Codes
  • Forensic Analysis of Native American Art
  • Anti-Counterfeiting Technology for Pharmaceutics
  • Security Ink Formulation
  • Synthesis of “Upconverting” Nanoparticles




The following hyperlink gives more details about the REU Site:

Click Here to See  the SPACT REU Site Poster

The following hyperlink shows the 2021 REU Site Application (deadline: 2/26/2021):

Click Here To See Summer 2021 REU Site Application

The REU Site is funded by the National Science Foundation (Award Abstract #1852336)