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    Redefining research: new roles for government, corporate sponsors

    Like many schools in the United States, Missouri S&T came of age as a research university during the U.S.-Soviet “Space Race” of the 1960s. Back then, much of the research conducted on campus was funded by the federal government and usually involved the practical application of knowledge to meet specific needs. Today, most research conducted at S&T is still “applied” in nature, but the clients have changed. The private sector has become a significant source of research funding for Missouri S&T, and many expect that trend to continue – here in Rolla and in university research labs throughout the U.S. How this shift in funding affects the role of U.S. research universities is a subject that is generating interest not just at S&T, but across our nation.

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    Firing up the ion drive

    Ever since the Wright brothers flew at Kitty Hawk, the goals of aviation have seemed simultaneously overly ambitious and within reach. It’s no different at Missouri S&T, where researchers are using a pulsed theta pinch to study the physics of high-density, heavy-gas plasma for ion space propulsion in order to meet (and in some cases exceed) the demands of future NASA missions. Inside S&T’s Space and High-Altitude Environment Testing Facility, researchers analyze multiple ion drive propulsion systems.

Headlines

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Greek your iPhone

College students and alumni with iPhones may soon be able to show off their fraternity or sorority pride thanks to Connor Wolk, a sophomore in mechanical engineering, and his business partner, Taylor Jay, a student at the University of Kansas. The pair recently launched Dual Cases LLC to make lightweight yet sturdy iPhone cases that can be customized with Greek letters.

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Oak Ridge brothers: John and Robert Wagner

For more than 14 years, brothers John Wagner, NucE’92, and Robert Wagner, ME’93, MS ME’95, PhD ME’99, have worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the Department of Energy’s largest multi-program science and energy laboratory. ORNL owns a piece of history through its role in World War II’s Manhattan Project. It is also home to Titan, one of the world’s fastest supercomputers.

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Hannah Frye: pathways to the perfect fit

At first glance, it is impossible to tell that Hannah Frye, a junior in chemistry with an emphasis in biochemistry, is helping Robert Aronstam perform groundbreaking research that could lead to treatments for diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. But stop her in the Havener Center at lunch and ask her about her work with the chair of biological sciences and she can explain anything from cell signaling to how she measures the calcium levels in a cell’s endoplasmic reticulum and cytoplasm.

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S&T: a Kiplinger’s top value

Missouri S&T is one of the nation’s top 100 public universities, according to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. Kiplinger’s list of Best Values in Public Colleges, published in the magazine’s February issue, ranks Missouri S&T 81st among public institutions that “combine outstanding education with economic value.”

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U.S. News ranks S&T’s online degree programs

Fifteen online master’s degree programs at Missouri S&T are ranked among the nation’s best in three categories, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 Best Online Programs Rankings.

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