Mike McEvilly: A natural leader

Mike McEvilly

Mike McEvilly

Whether he’s working on a deep-water offshore development in the Gulf of Mexico or helping Missouri S&T produce top-notch engineers, Mike McEvilly, CE’80, MS EMgt’81, is a natural leader. McEvilly, project director of Hess Corp.’s Tubular Bells Development, supports Missouri S&T as a dedicated member of the Academy of Engineering Management, Academy of Civil Engineers and the Miner Alumni Association board of directors.

[Read more…]

Young alumni gather in St. Louis

On July 24, 28 young alumni met at Blueberry Hill in the Delmar Loop, a vibrant entertainment district in St. Louis. Miners who graduated over the last 10 years gathered to enjoy appetizers over a few games of darts. [Read more…]

Morton elected to ASEE post

LeaAnnMortonLea-Ann Morton, assistant vice chancellor for university advancement, has been elected to a three-year term as chair of the American Society for Engineering Education’s Professional Interest Council V. She began her term with ASEE on July 1, 2013.

S&T to lead small modular reactor consortium

SmallModularReactorAmeren and Westinghouse Electric Co. are tapping into Missouri S&T’s nuclear engineering expertise to lead a new research effort for the nuclear energy industry.

In July, those companies joined S&T, the University of Missouri System, the University of Missouri-Columbia and Missouri Technology Corp. to announce the multi-university Small Modular Reactor Research and Education Consortium. S&T, home to the state’s first nuclear reactor, will lead the consortium. A satellite center will be established on the Columbia campus.

The consortium will identify and develop technology that supports small modular nuclear reactors and improves the security of the energy they produce. Smaller than traditional nuclear power plants, SMRs provide more flexibility for generating electricity. Many are designed to use fuel more efficiently, thereby reducing waste.

“The consortium will support member-driven research,” says Joseph Smith, the Wayne (CE’67) and Gayle Laufer Chair of Energy at Missouri S&T and executive director of the SMR Research and Education Consortium.

“An industrial advisory board representing each consortium member will determine the research projects and direction. We will be working on projects that are of interest to our members, and everyone will benefit from the research and education that result. The work of this consortium will have a significant impact on energy and energy security, and will help the U.S. maintain its leadership role in science and technology.”

In the only laboratory of its kind in the nation, Muthanna Al-Dahhan (left) is developing methods to measure and track how materials move in a pebble-bed small modular reactor. He’s also looking at how the pebbles — simulated by large marbles — would transfer heat and disperse gas in such a reactor.

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.

Seizing opportunities

Issa AhlamAhlam Issa isn’t the kind of person who lets opportunities slip by. Born in Tanzania, Issa left the country at age 10 to live in St. Louis. She didn’t speak any English when she arrived, but overcame that and other obstacles to graduate as valedictorian from Hazelwood East High School. [Read more…]

Experimental Mine: still an ‘awesome’ lab

For the fourth year in a row, S&T’s Experimental Mine topped the list of “Awesome College Labs” published by Popular Science in the magazine’s September issue.

[Read more…]

New name, broader emphasis for biomedical center

The five-year-old Center for Bone and Tissue Repair and Regeneration now has a new name: the Center for Biomedical Science and Engineering. The change took effect July 1. “We believe this new name is appropriate, as we are broadening the scope of the center,” says center director Len Rahaman, professor of materials science and engineering.

[Read more…]

The visualized data is strong with them

V4DiRMembers of the 2013 V4DiR Team are, from left: Nathan Jarus, David Zemon, Nick Eggleston, Robert Higgins, Mark Bookout and Travis Bueter.

Making sense of ever-increasing mounds of data is a huge challenge facing researchers today. But staff and students in Missouri S&T’s information technology department have come up with a way to help researchers make sense of all that information by turning it into 3-D visualizations.

Make that 4-D visualizations, because the tool created by IT’s research support services team at S&T shows 3-D imagery over time.

The tool is called Visualizing Four Dimensions in Rolla, or V4DiR for short. The IT folks call it “Vader,” as in Darth. But unlike Luke Skywalker’s Star Wars nemesis, V4DiR sheds light, not darkness, by letting researchers see their data in 3-D over various time spans.

On campus, RSS director Mark Bookout and his team have been demonstrating V4DiR’s power by showing researchers maps-in-motion of natural disasters: all of the world’s earthquake occurrences from 1920 through 2012 as well as tornado activity in the U.S. since 1950. The earthquake data is also being used by Stephen Gao, a professor of geology and geophysics who is studying seismic activity in the Horn of Africa region.

That on-screen loop of information can be manipulated to help researchers home in on specific data points. For instance, the visualization can be tilted on an axis to provide greater levels of depth or various angles. Or it can be stopped if researchers want to examine data from a particular time frame.

“We can pinpoint exactly where on the earth, as well as how deep within the earth, an earthquake has happened,” says Nick Eggleston, a junior computer science major who leads the project.

“V4DiR has the potential to enhance any sort of research,” Bookout says. “It allows us to use our natural pattern-recognition capabilities to isolate interesting groupings of information. And our association with vendors ensures that we have enough computing horsepower to build and display very large data sets in quick order.”

S&T breaks record

FreshmanWhile enrollment declined this fall at several universities in the state, demand for a Missouri S&T education remains high. S&T has a record number of students enrolled this fall.

At the official fourth-week count, 8,130 students were enrolled — the most in Missouri S&T’s history. The previous record of 7,795 was set in fall 1982. There are 1,263 first-time freshmen, which is the fourth-largest class in school history — and they are some of the brightest. These students are among the upper 10 percent in the nation with an average ACT score of 27.9.