VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota Department of Physics has conferred the first Ph.D. in physics in the state of South Dakota to Wenzhao Wei.

The USD graduate physics program is a joint program with the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

Wei worked with USD professor Dongming Mei on her thesis titled “Advanced Germanium Detectors for Rare Event Physics Searches.” Her work will provide critical knowledge in developing the next generation of ultra-sensitive germanium detectors for the planned experiments at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, South Dakota.

Wei completed her bachelor's degree in computer science from Central China Normal University and obtained a master’s degree in physics from USD in 2014.

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