‘Mr. S&T’ hangs up his slide rule

No matter whether you call it MSM, UMR or Missouri S&T, Jerry Bayless has called it home. [Read more…]

Rolla Miner, Redux: Braden Lusk returns to S&T to lead his home department

Braden Lusk first came to Rolla in 1996 as a walk-on wide receiver from central Kansas who excelled at math and science in high school but admittedly “had no idea what an engineer was.” [Read more…]

Max Tohline: film for thought

Max Tohline came to Missouri S&T from Madeira, Ohio, in 2002 with a plan to study aerospace engineering. But an elective course in film caused his true passion to take flight.

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Matt O’Keefe: memorable mentor

Walk into Straumanis-James Hall and the building’s relaxed atmosphere may be the first thing you notice. The building is home to the Materials Research Center and its director, Matt O’Keefe, MetE’85.

O’Keefe, who is known for his friendliness and accessibility, will tell you he didn’t set the building’s tone — that he’s just trying to maintain what Bill James (professor emeritus of chemistry and a namesake of the building) created when he started the MRC back in 1964. James, who turned 90 in September, still has an office down the hall from O’Keefe’s.

But O’Keefe’s influence is undeniable. He’s been a popular professor at S&T since 1999, receiving several teaching awards along the way. He has a genuine concern for his students’ success, both in his department and in the Phi Kappa Theta fraternity, where he serves as faculty advisor.

Rick Szevery, MetE’02, a senior engineer with ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor, is grateful for O’Keefe’s mentorship.

“Dr. O’Keefe’s conversational teaching style and quirky sense of humor made his classes very enjoyable and memorable,” Szevery says. “He organized the course information in a way that made it easier to comprehend than in my other courses. And he was always positive and helpful. I really valued his advice and our conversations.”

O’Keefe was born and reared in Rolla, the son of the late Thomas J. O’Keefe, Curators’ Professor emeritus of metallurgical engineering. The younger O’Keefe took graduate courses while working for AT&T Bell Laboratories in Allentown, Pa., and earned a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign while working for the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

Although he’s laid back, he’s no pushover and is honest with students. “Students don’t always appreciate or like what I have to say,” he says. “But sometimes it’s what they need to hear.”

Historian wins state book award

Petra DeWitt, Hist’96, an assistant teaching professor in history and political science at Missouri S&T, received the 2012 Missouri History Book Award from the State Historical Society of Missouri in November for her book Degrees of Allegiance: Harassment and Loyalty in Missouri’s German-American Community During World War I. The book was published by Ohio University Press in April 2012.

Eric Showalter: course under construction

Eric Showalter

Eric Showalter’s students used iPads to track construction projects in his Cost Estimating and Scheduling course. Photo by B.A. Rupert

Old class: Eric Showalter, associate teaching professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering, has taught a construction management course called Cost Estimating and Scheduling for more than a decade. One semester-long assignment requires students to pick a construction site and keep a diary of everything that happens — from weather conditions to which subcontractors are on site and what work is being done. It gets them in the habit of observing and writing.

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Courtside lifesavers

AED

Missouri S&T athletic trainers Samantha Welter (left) and Elizabeth Sisemore (right).
(Photo by B.A. Rupert)

When athletic trainers go through certification to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation or use an automated external defibrillator (AED), they rarely think they will actually have to use that training in real life.

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Hank Pernicka

Title • associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering
At S&T since • 2001
Design teams he advises • Formula SAE Team, M-SAT (Missouri Satellite), Miners in Space

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Melanie Mormile: Mars. Salt. Biofuels.

Common juncture • Melanie Mormile, Missouri S&T microbiologist

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Ralph Flori: A jack-of-all-trades

Ralph FloriI didn’t go to college expecting to teach,” says Ralph Flori, PetE’79, MS PetE’81 and PhD PetE’87. “I wanted to be an engineer. My passion growing up was working with tools, building and creating things, and taking things apart.” Flori took his interest in how things work, his experience working in his dad’s heating and air conditioning business, and came to UMR. Today he is assistant dean of engineering for pre-college and undergraduate programs for the UMR School of Engineering, providing statewide leadership for Project Lead the Way. He also continues to teach as an associate professor of interdisciplinary engineering.

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