Up, up and away in my…glass balloon?

Making a balloon out of glass might not seem like such a great idea on the surface – but Hank Rawlins, MetE’91, MS MetE’92, a graduate student in metallurgical engineering, thinks glass balloons might turn out to be the best way to put monitoring equipment in the upper atmosphere.


Rawlins took third place in the 2007 Strength in Glass Contest, a year-long challenge for university students interested in identifying marketable new products, engineering opportunities and cost savings that would be possible “if glass of any type were available at 50 times its current strength.”
Rawlins received $5,000 for his proposal of “Eversphere Glass Balloons.” The concept involves high strength, thin-walled vacuum glass balloons. The balloons would have a greater lifting force than helium or hydrogen balloons and would allow scientists to permanently place monitoring equipment in the upper atmosphere.
The competition was sponsored by the Glass Manufacturing Industry Council (GMIC), the glass and optical materials division of the American Ceramic Society, the International Commission on Glass, the Center for Glass Research and the National Science Foundation’s International Materials Institute on New Functionalities in Glasses.
“The industry now has a clear look at some of the amazing products that will be possible when the barriers to stronger glass are overcome and the target strengths are achieved,” says Michael Greenman, executive director of GMIC. “The next step of this process will be the creation and announcement of an X-Prize in Glass.”
The X-Prize in Glass would be similar to the $10 million Ansari Prize, which was offered in 2005 to encourage privately funded space flight.

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...]