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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Journey to the core of the reactor

David Brown

As the nation’s nuclear reactors approach middle age, they’re starting to show their age, and that means maintenance is becoming more of a chore. But monitoring the infrastructure near the core of a reactor can become quite dangerous due to the high levels of radiation there. This is where Dave Brown’s research comes in.

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Outer-earth experience

Adam Grelck and Hank Pernicka

If NASA selects a miniature satellite designed by UMR students for a launch in 2007, Adam Grelck’s research project will really take off. That’s because Grelck is researching various options for the onboard computer of the Missouri-Rolla Satellite (MR SAT), a miniature orbiter designed by a team of students as part of NASA’s Nanosat IV competition.

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Out-of-the-ordinary blueberries

David Wronkiewicz and Katherine Downs

UMR senior Katherine Downs has a thing for blueberries, but not the kind that grow on plants. Downs’ blueberries are of a more celestial makeup.

Called “martian blueberries,” these marble-sized rocks, found on Mars, are actually “concretions,” or formations of the iron oxide mineral hematite. They are called martian blueberries because they give the soil and rocks of the red planet a blueberry muffin-like appearance, and they could have huge implications about the existence of water – and possibly even life – on Mars.

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Five degrees of Harvest Collier

Harvest Collier

UMR titles:

  1. Vice provost for undergraduate and graduate studies
  2. Professor of chemistry
  3. Director of the UMR Institute for Environmental Excellence
  4. Former associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
  5. Former chair of chemistry

Unofficial UMR title: Champion of the Opportunities for Undergraduate Research Experiences program

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