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

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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…]

S&T named to National Academy of Inventors

In October 2013, Missouri S&T became a charter member of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), an organization that promotes research and innovation among research universities. [Read more…]

S&T offers new I/O psychology master’s degree

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the need for industrial-organizational psychologists could grow by as much as 53 percent by 2018. To help meet that need, Missouri S&T is now offering a master of science degree in industrial-organizational psychology. [Read more…]

In print

Aluminum Recycling (2nd Ed.) by Mark E. Schlesinger, professor of metallurgical engineering, was published in December by CRC Press.

Experimental Russian Verb Modification Dictionary, by Irina V. Ivliyeva, associate professor of Russian, was published in December by Azbukovnik Publishing House.

S&T to lead transportation consortium

Missouri S&T is leading a consortium of four universities that will share $1.4 million per year through a two-year grant authorized by Congress under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). [Read more…]