Busting myths, dissecting toys

The hosts of the popular TV series “Mythbusters” may be best known for creating mayhem by destroying stuff in the name of science, but now a UMR professor is helping high school students get in on the action.


Katie Grantham Lough, AE’01, MS AE’03 and PhD ME’05, assistant professor of interdisciplinary engineering at UMR, teamed up with Missouri high school students this summer to develop forensics experiments based on the Discovery Channel’s self-explanatory show. The students also conducted “reverse engineering,” as Grantham Lough calls it, which involves the dissection of toys to see how they are assembled. Product dissection teaches the students how to properly take something apart and, more importantly, put it back together. She hopes to create the nation’s first undergraduate degree program in forensics engineering.
Grantham Lough is leading just one of the projects offered through UMR’s Summer Research Academy, which is associated with the Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing program. This academy is offered for high school juniors and seniors to bypass their last two years of high school and go straight to taking college-level courses for general education requirements.

Around the Puck

Q&A: Miners got game

What was the most memorable sports team during your time on campus? As part of his research for the S&T 150th history book, Larry Gragg, Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor emeritus of history and political science, asked you to share your memories. Here are a few of your answers.

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Honoring new academy members

In October, 12 alumni and friends were inducted into Missouri S&T academies. Academy membership recognizes careers of distinction and invites members to share their wisdom, influence and resources with faculty and students. Some academies hold induction ceremonies in the fall, others in the spring.

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Boosting cyber-physical security

A wide array of complex systems that rely on computers — from public water supply systems and electric grids to chemical plants and self-driving vehicles — increasingly come under not just digital but physical attacks. Bruce McMillin, professor and interim chair of computer science at Missouri S&T, is looking to change that by developing stronger safeguards […]

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MXene discovery could improve energy storage

In spite of their diminutive size, 2-D titanium carbide materials known as MXenes are “quite reactive” to water, a discovery S&T researchers say could have implications for energy storage and harvesting applications such as batteries, supercapacitors and beyond. Their findings were published in 2018 in the American Chemical Society journal Inorganic Chemistry.

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A faster charge for electric vehicles

One drawback of electric vehicles (EVs) is the time it takes to charge them. But what if you could plug in your EV and fully charge it as quickly as it takes to fill up a conventional car with gasoline? Missouri S&T researchers, in collaboration with three private companies, are working to make speedy charging […]

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