Joseph Liefer

Missouri S&T is known for preparing students to be motivated, driven and successful leaders. Joseph Liefer, ME’06, is no exception.


Joseph Liefer. (Photo by Beth Takemoto)

“Like my friends at Rolla, we are all driven individuals with the desire to succeed in everything we do; we’re competitive,” says Liefer, referring to fellow “30 under 30” nominees Kyle Darnell and Jeremy Schnurbush. “Plus, I like a challenge.”
After interning for John Deere in 2005, Liefer, a native of Red Bud, Ill., joined the company’s Ottumwa, Iowa, plant as a full-time employee in 2006. Since that time, Liefer’s dedication and hard work have helped him climb the leadership ranks at a remarkable pace. He was also selected to participate in his company’s Manufacturing Leadership Program, and was a part of a team selected for the 2008 President’s Award for Excellence.
In his newest position, product program manager, Liefer is responsible for the overall process of a key new product, from concept to production, and ensuring interaction between key personnel related to the product.
Though he is younger than many of his team members’ own children, his age has never been an issue with each promotion. “I’ve found that by being transparent, upfront and honest, I can gain a lot of respect,” Liefer says. “I don’t go into something thinking I’m the smartest person in the room.”
Liefer’s outstanding work ethic is also well known throughout the Ottumwa community. He has logged dozens of hours volunteering with the YMCA, Society of Manufacturing Engineers for Southeast Iowa, United Way, Multiple Sclerosis Society, and the Community Vision Team. “My duty is to give back where I can,” says Liefer, “and fortunately I’m in a position where I can.”

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.

[Read More...]

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.

[Read More...]

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 […]

[Read More...]

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.

[Read More...]

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 […]

[Read More...]