Work is under way on a new — and much larger — facility to house Missouri S&T’s student design teams.
At 23,000 square feet, the new student design center will provide ample space for students to build concrete canoes, radio-controlled aircraft, solar-powered cars and other feats of engineering.
The university will renovate the Miner Recreation Building, which is located on the northwest corner of 10th Street and Bishop Avenue, across from Missouri S&T’s Gale Bullman Multi-Purpose Building.
The university had already raised $1.5 million of the $2.75 million needed to complete construction when Fred and June Kummer of Huntleigh Village, Mo., contributed $1.25 million for the center, which will be called the Kummer Student Design Center. The Kummers’ gift ensures that work will begin this summer with completion by December 2010.
Fred Kummer, CE’55, is the chief executive officer of St. Louis-based HBE Corp.
The original design center idea was spearheaded by three other alumni: Richard Arnoldy, CE’69, the retired CEO of ARCO Construction Co. Inc. in St. Louis; Robert Brinkmann, CE’71, founder and president of Brinkmann Constructors, based in Chesterfield, Mo.; and Barry Koenemann, CE’70, CEO of United Construction Ent. Co. of St. Louis. Other recent major donors to the project include Michael Bytnar, ME’68, retired president of Nooter Corp. of St. Louis; and the Sunderland Foundation of Ashgrove Cement Co., Overland Park, Kan.
Missouri S&T has built a strong reputation among technological research universities for its student design team success. S&T’s Solar Car Team has won two North American solar races and its Human-Powered Vehicle Team has won several East Coast and West Coast championships in recent years. Last year, Missouri S&T’s Advanced Aero Vehicle Group was the top U.S. team in an international competition among student-designed and -built radio-controlled aircraft.
Rolla will once again have a place in the sun as an overnight stop for the American Solar Challenge, which Missouri S&T won in 2003.
Last fall, race organizers announced that Rolla would be one of the stops for the 2010 American Solar Challenge. The race begins June 20 in Tulsa and ends near Chicago on June 26. Solar-powered vehicles from North American and European colleges and universities, including Missouri S&T’s entry, will stop in Rolla on June 23. Other checkpoint locations along the 2010 American Solar Challenge route include Neosho, Mo.; Topeka, Kan.; Jefferson City, Mo.; Alton, Ill., and Naperville, Ill.
Missouri S&T students have been designing, building and racing solar-powered cars since 1993. In addition to the 2003 championship, S&T students won Sunrayce’99 and have raced their sun-powered cars in competitions around the world.