The next generation

Creating a better tomorrow. That has been a theme for Rolla graduates for more than 140 years.

Throughout the university’s history, a steady stream of students has come to Rolla in search of a world-class education. For these individuals, Missouri S&T is more than just a place to get a diploma. It’s a place where they find their direction, learn how to be leaders and question conventional thinking. It’s a place where they can follow their own personal path and shape a future that’s distinctly their own.

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Engineering … with a twist

Wesley Hackett knows a good problem when he sees it. And he loves problems. Perhaps that explains why he’s a huge fan of the Rubik’s Cube, the iconic 3D puzzle from the 1980s. In fact, he has at least five different models of the twisting object, from the simple 2×2 Mini Cube to a V-Cube 7 that has more than 200 pieces.

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Good works

Rachel Feist witnessed the destructive effects of poor water quality. But she’s also seen how her skills can make life a little better for people — especially those living thousands of miles away from her hometown of Tulsa, Okla.

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A man with a plan

Do you know where you will be five years from now? How about 10 years from now? Michael Bouchard does. He has a 15-year plan for personal success and has carefully outlined every step required to get him there.

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Dancing with code

It’s no surprise that Marquia Lewis decided to study computer science in college. “I was around computers all the time growing up, and I really like them,” says Lewis, a sophomore whose mother, a software engineer for the Boeing Co. in St. Louis, also majored in computer science.

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A lesson in dedication

An offensive lineman, Peterson helped the Miners end the 2012 season at No. 24 in the American Football Coaches Association poll. He sees hybrid power systems — the combination of solar photovoltaics with other power generation devices —­ as key to
the future. His portrait was taken in Emerson Hall.

Brian Peterson’s dedication to football — and to Missouri S&T — helped push the Miners to a record 10-1 season and landed him on the Capital One Academic All-America team. He is only the 19th Miner in the history of the football program to be selected for this honor.

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S&T to help train Saudi miners

Missouri S&T received a $24 million grant from the Saudi Arabian government to help train and educate Saudi mining professionals.

S&T will partner with the Technical and Vocational Training Corp., a Saudi government entity, and the Saudi Arabian Mining Co., Ma’aden, to establish Saudi Mining Polytechnic. With S&T leading the way, SMP plans to educate 200
professionals annually in mineral processing and surface and underground mining.

Canadian Petroleum Services, Caterpillar Global Mining, The Doe Run Co., Immersive Technologies, Orica Inc. and P&H Mining are also partners in the venture.

Official business

Missouri S&T’s business and information technology degree programs have earned initial accreditation by the board of directors of AACSB International — the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

AACSB is the longest-serving global accrediting body for business and accounting programs.

To be accredited, S&T’s programs met 21 quality standards, including quality of faculty, resource management, and interactions of faculty and students. Fewer than 5 percent of institutions worldwide are AACSB accredited. S&T’s program started in fall 2001.

S&T offers new flexible degree

In January, S&T began offering a new bachelor of arts degree in multidisciplinary studies. Designed for flexibility, the program lets students customize their education while taking advantage of the university’s emphasis on engineering, science,
technology and liberal arts.

Through Missouri S&T’s newest degree program, a student interested in ecology could combine coursework in geology, biology and mining engineering. A student interested in an education career could combine business and economics with teacher certification.

The program uses only existing faculty and funding and is expected to attract 32 full-time students and seven part-time students within five years.

Preventing cataracts

Nuran Ercal (left) recently received a grant to fund the use of an antioxidant to prevent degenerative eye conditions. Pictured with Ercal is Sri Krishna Yasawi Maddirala, a Ph.D. student in chemistry.

Using eye drops prepared with the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine amide (NACA), Nuran Ercal is conducting research that could prevent or cure cataracts, macular degeneration and other degenerative eye disorders.

Ercal, the Richard K. Vitek (Chem’58)/Foundation for Chemical Research Endowed Chair in Biochemistry who is also an M.D., says NACA is better than the experimental treatment N-acetylcysteine because it crosses cell membranes easier and can be used in lower doses.

“NACA eye drops could represent an alternative to costly surgery, while greatly improving the quality of life for those afflicted,” says Ercal, who has been testing NACA on HIV-related problems, lead poisoning and other toxicities for 10 years. About four years ago she began testing it on eye disorders.

Ercal received a three-year, $378,000 research grant from the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health using preliminary data based on research by her former Ph.D. student, Joshua Carey, Chem’07, Phys’07, PhD Chem’12.

Carey’s dissertation showed how NACA could slow cataract growth on rats that had been given a solution that causes cataracts to form.

“The NACA solution prevented cataracts from forming,” says Ercal. “Our research will build on Josh’s research, to see if NACA can actually reverse the degeneration as well.”