RESPEC Engineers Win South Dakota Engineering Society Black Hills Chapter Awards

Jay Nopola

Tyler Artz

RESPEC is honored to have both our engineers and our projects selected as South Dakota Engineering Society award winners continuously since 2017. This year, two more RESPEC engineers, Jay Nopola and Tyler Artz, were awarded by the Black Hills Chapter, which allows them to advance for statewide award consideration.

The SDES Black Hills Chapter considers applications from SDES members who have contributed to the engineering profession and their communities. Candidates must be licensed professional engineers (PEs) or engineers-in-training (EITs). The criteria for the Young Engineer of the Year and Engineer of the Year awards consider factors such as education, continuing competence, professional and technical society activities, civic and humanitarian activities, engineering achievement, and professional experience.

Tyler Artz received the Young Engineer of the Year award. He is a RESPEC staff engineer and EIT with Master of Science and Bachelor of Science in mining engineering. Tyler has worked for RESPEC since 2015, focusing on mining and geomechanical engineering. He completed his undergraduate degree by being inducted into the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology Leadership Hall of Fame, receiving a RESPEC Undergraduate Research Grant, and becoming a RESPEC intern. Since then, he has earned his graduate degree, co-authored six papers, joined professional societies, and proven himself as a trusted, solution-oriented RESPEC employee. Tyler epitomizes an outstanding young engineer, and RESPEC is proud to have him on our team.

“I’m honored to be added to the list of amazing people who have worked hard for our community,” says Tyler. “I believe being a good engineer means being a good steward, and I will do my best to give support to those around me, just like I was given support to earn Young Engineer of the Year.”

Jay Nopola received the Engineer of the Year award. He is a RESPEC vice president, PE, as well as a Doctor of Philosophy candidate in geological engineering. Jay has a Master of Science and Bachelor of Science in geological engineering and nearly 20 years of experience with 10 years at RESPEC. His specialties and experiences in geological and geotechnical engineering have given RESPEC an edge in the mining and energy industry, and his know-how and leadership benefit us, our clients, and South Dakota. Jay’s commitment to his field has driven him to coauthor more than 30 papers, participate in professional and technical societies, and lead a team of 40 employees with a $9 million budget. He continues to produce innovative, customized solutions that people from any background can understand and appreciate. Jay checks all the boxes that prove an engineer successful, whether in his work, for his company, or at the project site, and he could not be more deserving of an Engineer of the Year award.

“After finishing my undergraduate degree at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, I was pulled out of state for my first job. Ten years ago, I made it back to Rapid City and got the chance to focus on local projects and local people,” Jay says. “I’m honored to be recognized by my colleagues and look forward to doing more to serve the Black Hills area as well as all of South Dakota.”

SDES statewide awards will be announced in mid-April 2021. For more information, please go to

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