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119: Stanley May - Counterfeit Protection

Season 101, Ep. 119

tanley May, Ph.D., a professor of chemistry at the University of South Dakota and the associate director for the Center for Security Printing and Anti-Counterfeit Technology (SPACT), spoke about new fingerprint detection technology on the latest episode of USD’s podcast, Credit Hour.


May, who started as a basic researcher at USD 24 years ago, says his research interests have evolved over time. He now considers himself a laser spectroscopist, a physical chemist.


May works with researchers from all backgrounds to create new solutions to end counterfeiting with an interdisciplinary approach. New ideas, May said, come from a collaborative type of environment.


“For most scientists, working with a broader community of people who have complementary skills and ideas has proven to be very productive,” May said. “Science has become so multi-disciplinary in general.”


SPACT was established in 2014 by researchers from USD, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology and South Dakota State University. Each campus hosts a facility that serves as a research center for SPACT. The goal is to develop research solutions that help avoid counterfeiting. 


At SPACT, May focuses on anti-counterfeiting security for products, documents of identification and more. He works with nanoparticles that can generate light to extract DNA from fingerprints and nanoparticle-based ink to make covert marks on any product. 


The research SPACT is doing protects personal safety as well as intellectual property, said Michael Ewald, host of Credit Hour.


"Stanley's research has implications as diverse as policing and national security to consumer safety," Ewald said. "He is an extraordinary asset to USD and the state of South Dakota."

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The University of South Dakota’s podcast Credit Hour welcomed USD School of Law dean Neil Fulton to discuss the legal dimensions of systemic racism, social justice and criminal justice reform as part of its series “Voices Amplified.” “To address these problems, we have to understand, identify and engage with our differences, and then seek out points of commonality. That requires having difficult conversations in a patient way,” said Fulton. “None of us are really built to do that without working at it. Higher education can help us be prepared to do that.” Fulton discussed the legal aspects of criminal justice reform efforts like removing qualified immunity and defunding the police as well as the ways higher education can address issues like systemic racism. “I think particularly here in South Dakota it’s so important because coming to a college campus may be the first time where a lot of students have a sustained encounter with someone who isn’t like them, that doesn’t look like them, who isn’t of the same race or who doesn’t have the same socioeconomic background,” said Fulton. “This can be one of the first places where we have the sustained opportunity to have those conversations and build up both the skills and inclinations to attack these problems.” Credit Hour is the University of South Dakota’s podcast highlighting the achievement, research and scholarship of its staff, students, alumni and faculty. Follow Credit Hour on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and www.usd.edu/podcast.