Archives for September 2009

William Andrews, former professor of civil engineering

William Andrews was my favorite professor and, without a doubt, the most brilliant, perceptive and best teacher I have ever known – but he was also my very special friend. I struggled with addressing him as “Bill” (which after my graduation he insisted on) because of the utmost respect and admiration I carried for him. While he was most comfortable being referred to as “Bill,” to me it seemed too ordinary for such an extraordinary man.

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Vernon Gevecker, former professor of civil engineering

It was the final exam in fluids class. I had studied hard and I was tired. I wore my Army fatigue jacket to classes that cool morning and, back in those days before most of us could afford the really good calculators, most of us had the old standard four-function calculators. I had a Commodore. It added, subtracted, multiplied and divided, and it had a “k” factor for repetitious multiplication, like in accounting, and that was it! It wasn’t the most useful calculator for a scientific class with integrals, “diffy q,” square roots, etc., but that’s all we had (other than the slide rule, of course, and I never did master that very well).

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Design teams excel (as usual)

The Formula SAE Team from Missouri S&T started this racing season ranked No. 9 in the world, and S&T’s 2009 performances have bolstered that standing. Here are some of last spring’s highlights from various student design teams on campus.

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Ercal named Vitek Chair

Nuran Ercal, an expert in the study of lead toxicity, became the Richard K. Vitek/Foundation for Chemical Research Endowed Chair in Biochemistry at Missouri S&T on June 1. The chair was established in 2005 through a lead gift of nearly $800,000 from Richard K. Vitek, Chem’58, and his wife, Marilyn. It will help combine the expertise of faculty from the departments of chemistry, biological sciences, and chemical and biological engineering.

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  • Laura A. Confer, a junior in mechanical engineering, was appointed student representative to the University of Missouri Board of Curators by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon. She began her term during the board’s June 4 meeting at UMKC.
  • Shannon L. Fogg, assistant professor of history and political science, received the 2009 Missouri Conference on History Book Award this spring for her book The Politics of Everyday Life in Vichy France: Foreigners, Undesirables, and Strangers.
  • Frank Liou, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, received an award from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers for a paper he co-authored about the applications of a hybrid metal manufacturing system. The system combines the best traits of additive manufacturing and conventional machining.
  • S&T psychology senior Patrick Maloney received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of College and University Residence Halls.
  • Rajiv S. Mishra, Curators’ Professor of materials science and engineering, was named a fellow of ASM International, an international professional society for materials information.

Missouri S&T Woman of the Year

Kate Drowne, associate professor of English and technical communication, was named 2009 Missouri S&T Woman of the Year. Drowne, who is also director of the S&T Writing Center, was honored during a campus ceremony in April.

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DOE funds S&T nuclear research

Missouri S&T has been selected by the Department of Energy to develop iron phosphate-based glasses for high-level nuclear waste disposal. These glasses can be processed to contain large concentrations of nuclear waste components in a way that keeps those components from dissolving in groundwater.

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Math on film

Movies like A Beautiful Mind notwithstanding, mathematics rarely gets top billing, or even a cameo appearance, in Hollywood movies. But students in Robert Roe’s Foundations of Mathematics class at Missouri S&T starred in a film of their own hoping to better understand a learning method with roots almost as old as mathematics itself.

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The world needs S&T grads, says Olin Brass CEO

Joseph Rupp, MetE’72, chair, president and CEO of Olin Corp., challenged graduates to think critically, but be ethical in their decisions during commencement ceremonies May 15-16.

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I’d like to thank the academy

This year, 32 Missouri S&T alumni and former faculty were inducted into Missouri S&T academies. Academy membership recognizes a career of distinction and invites members to share their wisdom, influence and resources with faculty and students.

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