Contact Info:
501 East St. Joseph Street
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
Rapid City, SD 57701-3995, USA

Phone : (605)394-1240
Fax : (605)394-1232
Office : M103/CBE

Dr. Rajesh K.Sani

Professor (Industrial Microbiologist & Environmental Biotechnologist)
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
E-mail :


My research expertise includes Extremophilic Bioprocessing, Biocatalysis, Biomaterials, Gas to Liquid Fuels, Genome Editing of Extremophiles, Homo/Heterologous Expression of Genes, Metabolic Engineering and Bioelectrochemical Systems. Several of my accomplishments in research and advising include: i) Postdocs supervised (8); ii) Graduate students supervised (MS students, 10 and PhD, 11), and iii) Undergraduate students and K12 teachers supervised (over 60). We have one patent, five invention disclosures, and published over 58 peer-reviewed articles in high impact factor journals, and have contributed in several book chapters. We have edited three text books and one proceedings for Springer International Publishing AG. In addition, I have been in proposal panel for the Federal Agencies i) National Science Foundation, ii) U.S. Army Research Office, iii) Department of Energy, and iv) U.S. Geological Survey. I also serve the Industrial Microbiology profession as “Biocatalysis Program Committee Member” of the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (SIMB), technical session chair at the Annual American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and SIMB, and an associate editor. During my tenure as a faculty member, I have taken leadership roles in research, teaching, and service activities, and received several laurels both at national and international levels. For example, please see a list of selected credentials below:

  • We recently (Aug 2017) have been awarded a NSF grant to study “Building Genome-to-Phenome Infrastructure for Regulating Methane in Deep and Extreme Environments (BuG ReMeDEE consortium).” I am leading this consortium having 21 scientists and engineers from three different universities and 5 industries
  • PI or co-PI on over $17.95 million in funded research in the past 11 years. Out of $17.95 million, I am a Lead PI on $7 million in funded research.
  • Chair of “Biology Program” for the Conference on Science at the Sanford Underground Research Facility, SDSMT (2015 and 2017)
  • Chair of “Biocatalysis Program” for the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (2016-2017)
  • A member of an International Advisory Committee for the “International Conference on Recent Advances in Bioenergy Research” India (2015 and 2017)
  • A member of an Organizing Committee for the “Beneficial Microbes: Food, Pharma, Aqua and Beverage Industry” USA (2016)
  • Recipient of "Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Samman award” by NRI Welfare Society of India (2014)
  • International advisor on a Research project funded by Department of Biotechnology, Government of India (2013-2016)
  • A member of “ASM-IUSSTF Indo-US Professorship Awards in Microbiology Selection Committee” (2017-2019)
  • Technical session chair at the annual American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology annual meetings
  • Keynote speakers at “Beneficial Microbes” USA and “Sardar Swaran Singh National Institute of Bio-Energy” India
  • Associate editor of Frontiers in Microbiology (a reputed peer reviewed journal, Impact factor: 4.165), Canadian Journal of Biotechnology (launched in 2017), and for three text books (Springer publishers)
  • Over 60 invited platform presentations at conferences, universities, meetings, and elementary, middle, and high schools
  • Panelist and reviewer for the NSF, U.S. Army Research Office, Department of Energy, U.S. Geological Survey, and Sun Grant Initiative for South Central Region
  • Recipient of ASM-IUSSF Indo-US Professorship Award to teach a short course in India
  • Recipient of the Carol D. Litchfield Outstanding Poster Presentation award at the SIMB 2017 Annual Meeting, Denver, CO
  • Recipient of the best paper (NASA related-research) award at the SURF International Conference