The world is flat. Or is it fat?

After Columbus and before globalization, we realized the idea of a flat world was a myth. We’ve known for a long time that the world was really quite round. But, recently, we learned the world is being flattened by global competition. Or is it?

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From Beijing to Pine Street

Kim “Mac” McGinnis, ME’79, hasn’t missed a single St. Pat’s celebration since graduation – even though, for the past five years, he’s had to travel halfway around the world to get back to Rolla.

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America’s quiet crisis

William J. Daughton, chair of engineering management and systems engineering, reviewed Thomas Friedman’s book The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century for the American Society for Engineering Management’s Engineering Management Journal. Friedman’s book, Daughton writes in his December 2005 review, “brings into focus trends and events that most readers would recognize but perhaps have not thought about in the larger context of flattening the world.”

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UMR in a global society

In April, UMR convened a panel of alumni and faculty to discuss a variety of issues related to globalization. The forum – “UMR in a Global Society” – was held on Friday, April 22, as part of the annual Order of Golden Shillelagh (donor society) Weekend on campus.

Panelists:

  • Bipin Doshi, ChE’62, MS ChE’63, president and CEO of Schafer Gear Works of South Bend, Ind.
  • Ralph E. Flori, PetE’79, MS PetE’81, PhD PetE’87, an associate professor of interdisciplinary engineering at UMR and Missouri director of Project Lead the Way
  • Antonio Nanni, the Vernon and Maralee Jones Missouri Professor of Civil Engineering at UMR
  • Prasenjit Shil, MS EMgt’04, a Ph.D. candidate in engineering management and former president of the UMR Council of Graduate Students
  • Joan Woodard, Math’73, executive vice president and deputy laboratories director for nuclear weapons at Sandia National Laboratories.

Moderator:

  • Wayne Huebner, CerE’82, PhD CerE’87, vice provost for research and sponsored programs at UMR.

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A good problem isn’t hard to find

There’s nothing like wrapping your mind around a good problem, and getting your hands on it too. This requires a certain amount of trial and error. Take, for instance, wheelbarrow racing – which can be tricky. Jon Schneider, an aerospace engineering graduate, says participating in a wheelbarrow race during St. Pat’s Games was one of his most memorable experiences at UMR.

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Where the wildfires are

It inspired Matthew Gann, ECE’05, to pursue graduate school, and instilled in Michael Ellebrecht, ECE’05, a newfound love for writing. It could save the lives of firefighters, preserve countless acres of natural resources and cut the huge annual costs of firefighting.

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No beards allowed

UMR’s mascot, Joe Miner, recently swapped his traditional stubble for a more modern five o’clock shadow. The new Joe would have fit in with the freshman class of MSM’s early years, when upperclassmen forbid freshmen to wear beards.
The no-beard rule was one of many restrictions upperclassmen imposed on all male freshmen, according to Stephen Foster, a senior history major who is investigating the rituals surrounding MSM’s infamous “freshman fights,” an annual event during the first half of the 20th century.

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Amphibians among us

frog_t.jpg Anne Maglia, assistant professor of biological sciences, has likened frogs to the “canary in a coal mine” because physical abnormalities occurring in the amphibians could foreshadow similar problems for humans.

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The glass that binds

Trini King

As materials for orthopedic implants, titanium-based alloys have given millions of people the opportunity to live fuller lives. But patients’ lives could be even better if the materials used to bond the implants to bone could be strengthened. Stronger bonds could mean fewer problems with the implants later in life. Trini King, BioSci’05, a naval medic for six years prior to attending UMR, has been testing materials in hopes of finding a method to improve the longevity of implants.

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Turning plants into paint

Harvest Collier, Kylee Hyzer and Kyle Anderson

Paving the road for less U.S. dependence on foreign oil are Kylee Hyzer and Kyle Anderson, Chem’05, whose research at UMR could lead to a soybean-based replacement for the petroleum used in roadway paint.

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