Archives for June 2013

League of Super Miners: A Homecoming of Heroic Proportions

SuperMinersSummoning all Super Miners to return! Reunite! Reconnect! In Rolla!

Like our miraculous Miner metals, silver and gold, the peculiar, preternatural powers of Miners past and present were forged in the furnace of perseverance and persistence. Now, we’re calling on you to join hundreds of your fellow Miners in Rolla this fall to rediscover the source of your super power. The greater our numbers, the stronger our powers. Join us for a Homecoming of Heroic Proportions and come meet our heroes!

Alumni Achievement
•  Col. John Pierre Powell, AE’87, president, PAMCO Investments Corp.
•  LeRoy E. Thompson, CE’56, MS CE’65, retired principal and vice president, C3TS, and emeritus professor, Florida International University

Alumni Merit
•  Kathryn A. Walker, MS EMgt’82, managing director, OPENAIR Ventures

Robert V. Wolf Alumni Service
•  Bradley H. Hornburg, CE’69, CEO, Landmark Contract Management Inc.

Distinguished Young Alumni
•  Daniel P. Ellis, CE’99, vice president, Crafton Tull and Associates
•  Karlynn Sievers, Engl’96, LSci’96, physician and clinical assistant professor, University of Wyoming

Frank H. Mackaman Alumni Volunteer Service
•  Jerry D. Parsons, CE’70, retired materials engineer, Illinois Department of Transportation

Class of 1942 Excellence in Teaching
•   Jennifer Pattershall, assistant professor of psychological science at Missouri S&T

* Illustrations by Dave Bryant

 

Giant forces in super-strong nanomaterials

GaoandYang

Jie Gao (left) and Xiaodong Yang report that a new class of nanoscale slot waveguides pack 100 to 1,000 times more transverse optical force than conventional silicon slot waveguides.

In a study that could lead to advances in the emerging fields of optical computing and nanomaterials, Jie Gao and Xiaodong Yang, both assistant professors of mechanical engineering, report that a new class of nanoscale slot waveguides pack 100 to 1,000 times more transverse optical force than conventional silicon slot waveguides.

The findings, which were published in the Sept. 24 issue of the journal Optics Express, could lead to advances in developing optical computers, sensors or lasers.

Gao and Yang describe the unusual optical and mechanical properties of nanometer-scale metal-dielectric structures called metamaterials. Using computers, they simulated nanometer-scale models of metamaterial slot waveguides, which are structures designed to channel beams of light from one area to another. Waveguides function like tiny filaments or the wires of an integrated circuit, but on a much smaller scale.

For their study, the Missouri S&T researchers simulated slot waveguides made of layered structures of silver and a dielectric material arranged like the alternating bread and meat in a club sandwich. A nanometer — visible only with the aid of a high-power electron microscope — is one billionth of a meter, and some nanomaterials are only a few atoms in size.

Gao and Yang simulated what would happen with modeled identical waveguides stacked with a tiny air gap between them. They then measured the transverse optical force between the waveguides. Optical force refers to the way beams of light can be made to attract or repel each other, as magnets do.

They found that “the transverse optical forces in slot waveguides of hyperbolic metamaterials can be more than two orders of magnitude stronger than that in conventional dielectric slot waveguides.” For this reason, Gao and Yang describe the magnitude as “giant” in the title of their Optics Express article, “Giant transverse optical forces in nanoscale slot waveguides of hyperbolic metamaterials.”

University of Missouri Legislative Day 2013

On April 3, Missouri S&T alumni and friends visited with lawmakers in Jefferson City to garner support for the four-campus University of Missouri System as part of Legislative Day at the Capitol. Attendees included:
Jim Foil, CE’74; Dan O’Sullivan, Phil’82; Matt Coco, CE’66; Bob Bay, CE’49; and Michael McMenus, LSci’81. Missouri S&T representatives included: Chancellor Cheryl B. Schrader, Darlene Ramsay, Katie Jackson, Nancy Zamazanuk, Katie Machovsky, Steve Tupper, Eric Bohannan, Edna Grover-Bisker, Glenn Morrison, Matt Limmer, Randy Stoll and Mike Bassett.

Remote controlled bridge monitoring

Octacopter

Computer engineering sophomore Chris Seto controls this “multicopter,” designed to inspect bridges safely and efficiently by remote control.

The current method of inspecting bridges for structural damage is labor-intensive and, in some instances, dangerous to all involved. But Zhaozheng Yin is developing a safer, more efficient solution dubbed the “multicopter.”

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Aerospace team rockets to a win

AerospaceDespite crashing its first plane during testing, Missouri S&T’s Advanced Aero Vehicle Group won the Society of Automotive Engineer’s 2013 Aero Design East competition. Sponsored by Lockheed Martin, the competition was held in Texas in March at the Fort Worth Thunderbirds Flying Field.

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Extreme bug boosts biofuel production

MelanieMormile

Dylan Courtney, a senior in chemical engineering, helped microbiologist Melanie Mormile patent a process to improve biofuel production using bacteria.

Using a microbe that thrives in extreme conditions, Melanie Mormile patented a process that could streamline biofuel production, making it less costly and reducing the reliance on fossil fuels.

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Mapping the route to student success

BobBuehlerA group of Missouri S&T students is helping Garmin International Inc. develop new GPS products and technologies through an internship program at a new software engineering facility established on campus last fall.

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Model predicts growth of ‘Super Organism’ ant colonies

AntHillAssistant professor Chen Hou has developed a mathematical model that can predict the survival, growth and life span of ant colonies. According to Hou, smaller colonies — and the ants that inhabit them — tend to live faster, die younger and burn up more energy than larger colonies.

Engineering education center relocates

The Engineering Education Center (EEC) has relocated to a new facility at a central location in St. Louis, sharing space with the University of Missouri-St. Louis West County Continuing Education Center. The EEC delivers 20 to 25 courses each semester, serving 400 to 500 students in Missouri and elsewhere.

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Profs on TV for $1,000, Alex

IleneMorganProfs on TV for $1,000, Alex

It took three tries, but Ilene Morgan finally succeeded in landing a spot on the game show Jeopardy! in 2012.

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