Building a better finger trap

When designing parachutes, engineers need to include attachments that are both strong and easily packed into small and sometimes awkward spaces, says Julie Martin, AE’07. [Read more…]

Yogurt fix

More than 18,000 servings of Yoplait dairy products are consumed around the world every minute. Many of those servings come from the Carson, Calif., General Mills plant, which sits right in the middle of metropolitan Los Angeles. Plant manager Mike Noble oversees the production facility, which helps the brand produce the more than 11 different types of yogurt and over 85 flavors available across the Yoplait product line.

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Chili man

Larry Eastep, CE’69, MS CE’76, started cooking chili competitively in the early ’90s. He competes five to 10 times a year, making everything from traditional red chili to chili verde and salsa in 18 states and Canada. Eastep is considered a Grand Master Cook by the International Chili Society (ICS).

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A perfect match

When former Chancellor John F. Carney III issued a challenge to chemical engineering alumni to help fund a new chemical and biochemical engineering building, a group of alumni at ExxonMobil took action. [Read more…]

Sandy Simmons-Gamble: Meeting a 20/20 challenge

When Milton L. Simmons, CerE’49, died in 2005, his daughter knew she wanted to do something special to honor his memory. [Read more…]

Dear Alumni and Friends,

Twice a day I drive by the corner of 11th and State streets. For years, the scene there was the same: a full parking lot across the street from the Chancellor’s Residence. Today, I pass the amazing 68,500-square-foot building that houses Missouri S&T’s chemical and biochemical engineering program. [Read more…]

Research: Not just for grad students

Missouri S&T is known for providing its undergraduates with lots of opportunities for hands-on learning, and research is a big part of that. Missouri S&T Magazine staff asked Jeffrey D. Cawlfield, vice provost for undergraduate studies, to share his views about the importance of providing research opportunities for undergraduate students. [Read more…]

A front-row seat to the history of space exploration

Ron1In 1963, Ron Epps, Phys’67, rode his 1951 Harley Davidson Panhead from Mount Vernon, Mo., to Rolla to attend the Missouri School of Mines on a Carnation Milk scholarship. When he crossed the stage as a first-generation graduate, NASA was preparing to send a man to the moon.

Outside-the-box hair care

AnitaHeinzkeAnita Heinzke, ChE’10, thinks outside the shampoo bottle.

That creative thinking earned Heinzke, a project engineer in L’Oreal’s Florence, Ky., hair care facility, a $5,000 Beauty Shakers award from the company. Her suggestion — to use corn plastic in L’Oreal shampoo packaging — took third place out of more than 900 submissions in the company’s annual ideas competition.

“Corn plastic is a 100 percent biodegradable material that has a lot of environmental benefits,” says Heinzke, who works with the lines that fill bottles with shampoo. “Most plastic is made from oil, but this type is made from corn. It could potentially save hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil annually by switching our products alone to this material.”

Heinzke is helping the company with its recent launch of the new restage of the L’Oreal shampoo line, Advanced Haircare. It required the purchase of $6 million in new equipment and the installation of four packaging lines that were modified to handle the capacity.

“L’Oreal is a company that gives its employees a lot of opportunity and freedom to be creative,” Heinzke says. “The company has a strong passion for promoting women in science. Every day there is something new and challenging.”

Making tall grass short

SamPattersonSam Patterson is one of the voices of John Deere.

A design engineer in John Deere’s rotary mower group, Patterson, ME’06, is passionate about his work — making lawn mowing easy — and it shows in the company’s latest “How We Run John Deere” video, which features Patterson.

Patterson designed the two new high-capacity mower decks on John Deere’s updated X700 tractor. He followed the project all the way through production, working on everything from computer modeling to performance and reliability testing. That breadth of knowledge made him a natural fit for the video.

“Aside from making tall grass short, my main job is to make it very easy for the customer to attach the mower deck to the tractor,” Patterson says.

There is one latch to flip in the front of the tractor, but the majority of the connection to the vehicle is automatic, which makes maintenance and cleaning simple. Patterson says the technology was first developed for large commercial tractors.

“John Deere first developed this feature for our commercial customers on larger tractors, but it is very exciting to give this flexibility to residential customers,” Patterson says. “It allows customers to mow very tall and thick grass while still leaving a manicured look, and gives them tremendous mulching capability.”

Patterson is now working on Deere’s new EZtrack mowers. When he isn’t fine-tuning a mower deck, he travels with his wife, Amy (Edwards) Patterson, Engl’07, and plays guitar in a garage band near their Beaver Dam, Wis., home. He says the problem-solving skills he developed at Missouri S&T were the foundation of his success.

“Missouri S&T gave me the skills, attitude and discipline necessary to work at an innovative company like John Deere,” Patterson says. “The faculty understand exactly what it takes to be an engineer in today’s rapidly changing workplace, and they provided me with the tools I needed to succeed.”