Trump pardons famed South Dakota scientist

Zay Jeffries was pardoned on Thursday by President Trump for antitrust charges.

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Yesterday, President Donald Trump granted clemency to famed metallurgist and mining engineer, Zay Jeffries, for antitrust charges.

Born in 1888, Jeffries was from Fort Pierre, South Dakota. He has a BSc in mining engineering and MSc in metallurgical engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines, as well as a Doctor of Science degree from Harvard.

While at School of Mines, he was the captain of the football team.

Jeffries worked on the famous Manhattan Project, the project to build the atomic bomb. He also helped develop armor-piercing artillery shells to be used against German tanks in World War II.

In 1941, Jeffries was awarded the Presidential Medal of Merit by President Truman and he was also indicted on antitrust charges. In 1948, he was convicted and fined $2,500.

Dr. Jon Kellar, Ph.D, is a Materials and Metallurgical Engineering professor at South Dakota School of Mines said that Jeffries is revered in the metallurgy community and the science he discovered is still used today.

"Metals are made of what we call grains, they're really crystals, and Zay Jeffries figured out that the size of those crystals would impact the strength of the metal," said Kellar. "If you could control the size, you could strengthen the metal. And so, that sort of processing ability, allowed us to take a lot of these metals that weren't very useful and turn them into incredible products."

Jeffries was a member of the National Academy of Science and the John Fritz Medal.