Greening mines

Working in the Baker Greenhouse on the roof of Missouri S&T’s Butler-Carlton Civil Engineering Hall, researchers are growing plants in mine tailings and studying whether the addition of nutrient-rich biosolids helps promotes growth.

20160713_mariam_al-lami_0019

Working in Missouri S&T’s Baker Greenhouse, Ph.D. student Mariam Al-Lami and Joel Burken study ways biosolids can promote plant growth.

The project, led by Ph.D. student Mariam Al-Lami and Joel Burken, Curators’ Distinguished Professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering and chair of the department, is the outgrowth of a 2012 research agreement between Missouri S&T and Doe Run.

Mine tailings are the ground-up rock byproducts created when separating mineral from waste rock during the mining process. Impoundments where they’re stored typically have little ground cover, but through remediation of those sites, vegetation is planted. Miscanthus is one of the few plants that can thrive in such challenging conditions, but Burken and Al-Lami are assessing the addition of poplar and willow trees to that environment.

They found that the tailings that were treated with biosolids dramatically improved plant growth compared to untreated tailings.

The encouraging lab results earned Al-Lami the top student paper at the American Society of Mining and Reclamation’s annual meeting in June, as well as the chance to present her findings at the Ecological Society of America conference in August.

The researchers hope soon to translate their greenhouse findings into field trials on parts of a 300-acre tailings impoundment at Doe Run’s old Mine 28 in Viburnum, Mo.

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...]