Doubling the space where dreams are designed

A Mars rover with a strong arm broke ground on an 8,000-square-foot expansion of the Kummer Student Design Center at Missouri S&T on April 26. The expansion will double the size of the design center, home of S&T’s 20 student design teams.

A Mars Rover Student Design Team member operates the mars rover to pull the cornerstone of the Kummer Student Design Center marking the groundbreaking of the expansion.

“We’ve been working toward this day for a long time, and it’s great to finally be here,” said Chris Ramsay, MetE’83, MS MetE’85, assistant vice provost for student design and experiential learning. “In the eight years since we dedicated the Kummer Student Design Center, we’ve grown from 10 to 20 student design teams, and the number of students on these teams has tripled to more than 1,200.” 

The addition will expand the design center to the west of the current building and will include additional manufacturing and fabrication bays, a larger machine shop, upgrades to the welding, waterjet and composites labs, new labs for electronics and synthetic biology, and a remodeled innovation suite.

“S&T students are known for their creativity and resourcefulness, and these skills are magnified by the design team experience,” said Joan Nesbitt, vice chancellor for university advancement. “There’s nothing like applied problem solving to give students an edge in the real world. The hundreds of employers who visit our campus every year in search of talent are proof of that.”

The honor of breaking ground — or rather launching demolition — went to a Mars rover designed and built by S&T students. The rover, known as Valkyrie, placed fifth among 36 international competitors in the 2019 University Rover Challenge at the Mars Desert Research Station in Hanksville, Utah.

With appreciation

Missouri S&T gratefully recognizes the lead donors to the Kummer Student Design Center expansion and thanks them for their support.

  • Richard, CE’69, MS EMgt’73, and Nancy Arnoldy
  • Keith, ME’64, and Patricia Bailey
  • The Boeing Co.
  • Brinkmann Constructors
  • Michael, ME’68, MS EMgt’73, and Joyce Bytnar
  • Frederick, CE’55, and June Kummer
  • Roger, CE’70, MS CE’73, PhD CE’77, and Karen LaBoube
  • Chris, MetE’83, MS MetE’85, and Darlene, MetE’84, Ramsay
  • The Estate of John Schork, MetE’47.

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