Paul Worsey: Not your average Joe Blow

UMR connection: Professor of mining engineering, explosives expert.
Claim to fame: Teaches the world’s only for-credit class in pyrotechnics and started the first college commercial demolition class in the United States.

Favorite explosive: RDX, “the explosive component of C4 and many other military explosives.” (He loves it so much, his license plate reads “RDX-HMX” – HMX being his second favorite explosive.)
Lights up the skies: Worsey works with UMR’s Society of Explosives Engineers to put on fireworks displays at UMR football games, the annual Block Party, and other university and student functions, as well as for events across the state. He has fun setting up and shooting numerous fireworks displays in St. Louis over July 4.
License to pyro: Worsey holds state display fireworks and special effects licenses.
Light His fire (cracker): Worsey lit his first firecracker in kindergarten, “and made my first in sixth grade. Nobody would sell us any potassium nitrate to make black powder so we checked out the periodic table, figuring it had to be good for something (otherwise the chemists wouldn’t use it). We found sodium had roughly the same properties as potassium, so we went off and purchased sodium nitrate instead with no problem. The rest of the ingredients were charcoal and sulfur powder.”
How did it work? “Worked great! Just goes to prove that chemistry has its uses.”
What lights his fuse: “Watching the expression on people’s faces when I blow their hair back and their hats off during one of our countless high explosives demonstrations.”
Why he loves to teach: “Don’t know. Never thought about it, just do. Like Nike says, ‘Just do it!’”
Favorite superhero: Wyle E. Coyote.
Awe-inspired by: The power of explosives.
A lot of people don’t know that UMR… is the university to come to for an explosives education.
Latest hot idea: Creating an explosives engineering minor at UMR.

Around the Puck

Generous partners complete ACML fundraising

Thanks to an investment from the University of Missouri System, major gifts from industry partners and alumni support, S&T will break ground on the Advanced Construction and Materials Laboratory (ACML) on Oct. 12, during Homecoming weekend.

[Read More...]

Alumni help with sesquicentennial planning

Seven alumni, including three Miner Alumni Association board members, have been named to Missouri S&T’s sesquicentennial advisory committee. The group is made up of graduates, students, faculty, staff and community members who are involved in planning the university’s upcoming 150th anniversary celebration.

[Read More...]

Using big data to reduce childbirth risks

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, complications during pregnancy or childbirth affect more than 50,000 women annually, and about 700 of them die every year. Steve Corns, associate professor of engineering management and systems engineering, is working with researchers from Phelps County Regional Medical Center through the Ozarks Biomedical Initiative to reduce […]

[Read More...]

Bogan solves Benton mural mystery

Missouri State Capitol muralist Thomas Hart Benton wrote in his memoir about being called into then-Gov. Guy Park’s office and told that a prominent St. Louis politician objected to Benton’s portrayal of black people, especially depictions of slavery.

[Read More...]

Breaking bias

According to Jessica Cundiff, assistant professor of psychological science at S&T, women who consider careers in the physical sciences, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields are deterred by stereotypes that impose barriers on the recruitment, retention and advancement of women in STEM.

[Read More...]


  1. Anne Borman says:

    Hi Dr. Worsey!
    Talked to Alan Hauf at UM- St. Louis. He mentioned that a project on nanotechnology had come his way.
    Then I saw a St. Louis Post Dispatch article on you. It was just great! Looked like you were having fun.
    Some years ago I sat with you and another professor, he works with the water jets, and you explained that it was nearly impossible to get a small business up and running successfully on a university campus.
    I am in marketing and fund raising and publish a book on charitable foundations in our state.
    I am looking at what we can do for emerging small business in Missouri.
    I spoke before a large group of public accountants last year who had ideas for you.
    I am hoping you – or others- are revisiting your thoughts about small business start ups. The future of our state is at Missouri S&T.
    Anne Borman, MA
    The Directory of Missouri Foundations
    P.O. Box 50299
    St. Louis MO 63105
    (314) 725-6834