NSF supports UMR CAREERs

Two UMR researchers will receive an estimated $400,000 apiece during the next five years as part of the National Science Foundation’s CAREER program, which supports promising scientists early in their careers. The program recognizes and supports the early career development of teacher-scholars who are most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century.


Chang-Soo Kim is working to understand the relationship between plant roots and their surrounding environment. His work may help unearth solutions to low crop yields and land pollution.
“The interaction between the plant roots and the surrounding media is the least understood and most challenging aspect of plant research,” says Kim, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at UMR.
His NSF funding will support Kim’s development of “horticulture-on-a-chip,” a microsystem that integrates 3-D sensor arrays with a miniature plant growth system. The device will monitor root zone oxygen distribution and could be used in nearly all aspects of root research, including metabolic engineering, plant stress physiology and plant pathology. If successful, the new microsystem would be a major technological breakthrough for root research efforts. Mehdi Ferdowsi is studying how vehicle fleets could be used to help improve the nation’s power grid.
Ferdowsi, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, envisions a future where at least 10 percent of the vehicles on the road will be hybrid cars with onboard energy storage units. When they aren’t on the road, owners could plug the vehicles into the power grid and their storage units would be used for grid regulation and peak load shaving, a technique that helps stabilize energy prices.
“It has been proven that employing energy storage systems improves the efficiency and reliability of the electric power generation as well as the power train of the vehicles,” Ferdowsi explains. “If both the transportation and electric power generation sectors used the same energy storage systems, we could integrate the two and improve the efficiency, fuel economy and reliability of both systems.”

Around the Puck

By the numbers: Fall/Winter 2018

8,607 Students enrolled for the fall semester at Missouri S&T. Classes started Aug. 20. 91 Percentage of first-year freshmen who receive scholarships and financial aid.

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Making tornado alley safer

Growing up in northeast China, Guirong “Grace” Yan didn’t see many tornados in a country where the number of documented twisters is a fraction of those that hit the United States. But as her academic career took Yan to several postdoctoral fellowships and then faculty positions in Indiana, Missouri and Texas, the assistant professor of […]

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Living laboratory houses lead battery research

This past November, Missouri S&T installed two new advanced lead battery microgrid systems at the EcoVillage, a “living laboratory” that is home to S&T’s solar-powered homes.

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Partners for progress

An expansion of the partnership between Missouri S&T and Missouri State University will allow students to pursue a mechanical engineering degree on the Missouri State campus with courses taught by faculty from both institutions. Students began applying this fall. The program will begin in fall 2019.

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Chancellor search is underway

This past August, University of Missouri President Mun Choi announced the formation of a 23-member committee to lead a nationwide search for a chancellor at Missouri S&T.

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