Student design team competitions coming your way

Miners by Design, the giving society that encourages supporting experiential learning at Missouri S&T, invites alumni to support students by attending one of the upcoming design team competitions. A list of the competitions, sorted by alumni section, follows. Dates of all design team competitions are available at rol.la/designteamdates.

  • Bay Area – Human Powered Vehicle Challenge West,  April 25-27,  San Jose, Calif.
  • Motor City  – Formula SAE Michigan, May 14-17, Brooklyn, Mich.; Robotics Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition, June 6-9, Rochester, Mich.
  • NE-IA  – Formula SAE and Formula SAE Electric, June 18-22, Lincoln, Neb.
  • Oklahoma  – American Society of Civil Engineers’ Mid-Continent Student Conference —Steel Bridge and Concrete Canoe Team, April 24-26, Stillwater, Okla.
  • Peoria  – Baja SAE Illinois, June 4-7, Peoria, Ill.
  • Salt Lake City – NASA Student Launch Rocketry Challenge, May 15-17, Bonneville Salt Flats Tooele County, Utah
  • SW Florida – Human Powered Vehicle Challenge East, April 11-13, Orlando, Fla.

U.S. News ranks S&T’s online degree programs

Fifteen online master’s degree programs at Missouri S&T are ranked among the nation’s best in three categories, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 Best Online Programs Rankings. [Read more…]

Engaging alumni

In 2012, the Miner Alumni Association changed the format for its board of directors. What used to be a large number of small committees, each with a narrow focus, has been consolidated into five larger committees with broad goals. [Read more…]

Robots with brains?

In the future, groups of semi-autonomous robots could take over dangerous tasks currently handled by humans, such as decommissioning a land mine or rescuing victims of a building collapse, thanks to a new feedback system developed by Jagannathan Sarangapani, the William A. Rutledge-Emerson Electric Co. Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering. [Read more…]

Q&A: What was your hardest class at S&T?

Maybe it was beneficial and you use the knowledge you gained daily or maybe you’re just glad you survived. Either way, we asked about your hardest class or your toughest professor. Here’s what you told us: [Read more…]

Letters to the editor

The article on Ron Epps, Phys’67, was of high interest to me as there were four students from Mount Vernon High School in two consecutive years who were physics majors at (then) UMR – Epps, Nick Prater, Phys’67, Charles Steven Nichols, Phys’68, and myself. This would seem to be exceptional as our high school classes were only about 70 students! We all graduated near the top of our classes at UMR — pretty good record for four country kids from a small high school in southwest Missouri. This was due in no small part to the mentoring we received from Henle Holmes, MS Tch Math’61, our physics and math instructor at Mount Vernon, and then the fine university leadership of Dr. H.Q. Fuller and Dr. John T. Park, who later became chancellor.

I taught math and physics for 11 years and then worked 30-plus years in the oil service industry, retiring in April from Schlumberger as project manager in the area of exploration software development.

—Eugene Aufdembrink, Phys’68, MS Phys’70, Needville, Texas

I earned my master’s degree in December 1973 and we moved on to Montréal, Canada, for my doctorate. Now, 40 years after we left Rolla, I am writing from my hometown of Mersin, Turkey. My wife is a professor in Mersin University. I am director of a manufacturing company and our clientele includes Nooter/Eriksen Inc. It is always nice to find out that some of the people at Nooter were students at Rolla at the same time with me.

Looking back, I can say that we have spent some of our most pleasant days in Rolla and we remember them fondly. Thank you, Rolla. It has been a privilege and honor to be among your students and alumni.

(Mehmet) Nihat Taner, MS CE’73, Mersin, Turkey

I just received my Fall/Winter issue of I and it reminded me of Prof. Kent Peaslee, who presented me with the Benjamin F. Fairless Award at AISTech 2013 in Pittsburgh on May 7, 2013. Prof. Peaslee was president of the Association for Iron and Steel Technology (AIST) and he presented the award at the President’s Breakfast with more than 1,200 people in attendance. I have attached a photo of the presentation. Tragically, Prof. Peaslee suddenly passed away the following week. I thought that you may want to include the photo in an upcoming magazine.

— Bruce Bramfitt, MetE’60, MS MetE’62, PhD MetE’66, Steelton, Pa.

Tweets

https://twitter.com/STEMConnector/status/425991339210457088

https://twitter.com/ozarkswriter/status/425448873700507649

https://twitter.com/kaleykmac/status/407169110041051136

https://twitter.com/GLM1/status/414959058756452352

Letter from the editor

The crossroads Our campus has a proud tradition of equipping our students with a practical, applied education. It’s a tradition that began with our founding as a land grant institution — a response to the westward expansion fueled by the Industrial Revolution.

Over the century that followed, Missouri S&T became a full-fledged research university, coming of age — as many research campuses did — during the height of the U.S.-Soviet “Space Race.” Though research became more prominent on campus, the university remained true to its land-grant roots. Today, Missouri S&T continues to evolve, advancing the fields of engineering, science and technology. But it does so in the face of economic uncertainty.

This economic uncertainty means a shift in funding — which in turn redefines S&T’s role as a research university. Last year, for the first time in its history, Missouri S&T received the majority of its research funding from private sources.

As the private sector looks to universities like Missouri S&T to solve real-world problems, we’re also partnering with private interests to support our research goals. This shift allows S&T to continue to push the envelope of innovation. But it also raises questions: Who ultimately benefits from this research? And at what cost?

These are questions our cover story, “Redefining research,” attempts to answer.

One thing is certain: The need for university research will not go away any time soon. It is what fueled innovation in the past — from the Space Race forward — and it will continue to fuel it in the future.

– Megan Kean-O’Brien, MS TComm’12, design and production editor

S&T to launch microgrid training program

Missouri S&T will receive $4.3 million over the next five years from the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative to develop a power engineering curriculum and launch the Mid-America Regional Microgrid Education and Training Consortium (MARMET). S&T will lead the consortium. [Read more…]

Letters of compassion and encouragement, shared

Take a moment to read some of the online comments at amazon.com about Donn Ziebell’s book My Letters to a Prisoner — I had not met and you’ll find a small but captivated group of people who were touched, inspired and entertained by the memoir.

In the book’s foreword Ziebell, MetE’57, writes that his letters to the incarcerated stranger were intended to give the man “tangible proof that someone really cares and has invested quality, personal time to communicate with him.” Ziebell says that the non-fiction work details his “experiences, travel, activities and married life” and hopes it will encourage others to also write to lonely people.

Ziebell is an accomplished artist (yurart.com) who worked in manufacturing and consulting for 30 years and spent a number of years as a licensed minister in The Evangelical Free Church of America. He presented business seminars in Russia in the 1990s, which provided material for a “cross-cultural experiential dissertation” for his Ph.D. from The Union Institute University in Cincinnati, Ohio.