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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

‘Inventern’ finalist

Ron Erickson, IST’11, is building his own rally car from the ground up. By himself. The project got him noticed by MythBusters star Adam Savage, who held a contest last fall to find the next “Inventern” for his website tested.com. [Read more…]

Rolla grads play key roles in I-70 bridge construction

 

Miner alumni involved with the bridge project. See story for the names of those pictured.

Miner alumni involved with the bridge project. See story for the names of those pictured.

A number of Rolla graduates were involved in building the new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge, which crosses the Mississippi River connecting downtown St. Louis and southwestern Illinois via Interstate Highway 70. The bridge opened to traffic on Feb. 9.

On July 26, ironworkers reached a milestone by positioning the 80-foot-long, 30,000-pound final floor beam.

According to Randy Hitt, CE’87, bridge project director with the Missouri Department of Transportation, a poster of Joe Miner was placed on the last piece of structural steel to celebrate the “Rolla heritage of the engineers working on the project.”

“The cable-stayed bridge with a 1,500-foot main span is the third-longest in the United States,” says Hitt.

Pictured from left: Ken Berry, CE’94, quality control inspector with Shalom Services; Chris Kelly, CE’03, quality assurance inspector with MoDOT; Kenny Bassler, EE’11, electrical  project manager with Paynecrest, Randy Hitt, CE’87, bridge inspector with MoDOT; Chris Morgan, CE’02, quality assurance inspector with MoDOT; Henry Woods, CE’97, quality assurance inspector with MoDOT; Ron Leible, CE’87, utilities engineer with Crawford, Murphy & Tilly; John Grana, CE’85, resident engineer with MoDOT; Tom Tavernaro, CE’87, project manager with Alberici Corp., Massman Construction and Traylor Bros. Not pictured is Jeff Church, CE’84, deputy project director with the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Men’s basketball player named Academic All-America of the Year

Bryce Foster, a senior in business and management systems from Florissant, Mo., is the Capital One Academic All-America of the Year award winner for NCAA Division II men’s basketball as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America. He was chosen for the Academic All-America first team. [Read more…]

Miners give back

April is Philanthropy Month at Missouri S&T. It’s a time to celebrate giving, growth, pride and progress — and the philanthropic spirit that unites Miner Nation. All month, the campus will be turning the spotlight on the vital role philanthropy plays in our society with a number of on-campus events. [Read more…]

A passion for fitness

Michael Wuest, Bus’07, MBA’08, is campus dining services marketing manager at the University of Missouri-Columbia and now also an owner, manager and trainer at CrossFit COMO in Columbia. He founded the gym with a friend in June 2013.

“When I came to Mizzou in 2011, I was reintroduced to CrossFit through the ‘300’ workout (the workout the actors in the movie 300 did to get so buff). It killed me, took me forever, but I was hooked,” he says.

Wuest says the workout changed his life, making him more confident and improving his outlook on life. After becoming a trainer and working with others for several months, he decided to utilize his business education and open the gym.

“Since we’ve been open, we have touched more than 500 lives,” he says. “It’s been one of the most rewarding endeavors I’ve ever done.”

Small world

Last September, Max Boeh, MinE’12 (left), was in Rolla recruiting at the Fall Career Fair. While wandering around the Havener Center during a break, looking for someone to have lunch with, he was surprised to see his brother, Mitch Boeh, ME’09, who was also on campus recruiting. Neither knew the other was there. Max is a tunnel connections engineer with Kiewit Underground Construction Co., based out of Chicago, and Mitch is a mechanical engineer for Abengoa in St. Louis.

Going green can save green

The energy efficiencies of a solar house can result in significant energy savings and save homeowners money in the long run, says Samantha Wermager, a senior in civil engineering. Wermager performed an energy analysis of S&T’s 2013 solar house with her advisor Stuart Baur, an associate professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering. Their research was published in the Dec. 4, 2013, issue of the journal Energies. [Read more…]

Recovering from disaster

Nearly three years after a major tornado destroyed much of Joplin, Mo., former Joplin resident Suzanna Long created a process to help communities recover quickly from large-scale natural disasters. [Read more…]