2016

Above and beyond

Posted by on November 21, 2016

If influence is about shaping outcomes, the 10 alumni spotlighted on these pages have achieved remarkable results. Across diverse fields and demanding challenges, they have made a difference through the power of technology, the sure footing of national security, the engine of job creation, the exploration of outer space and earth’s resources — and as […]

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Joe Ballard: Chief and commander

Posted by on November 21, 2016

Joe Ballard, MS EMgt’72, says it was Chicago winters, the Army — and Bernard Sarchet — that brought him to Rolla.

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Bob Brackbill: Petroleum pioneer

Posted by on November 21, 2016

Bob Brackbill, MinE’42, remembers the day he put his career plans on hold to serve his country. It was a December afternoon in 1941, and he was hanging out with the guys at the Sigma Nu house in Rolla.

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Bob Brinkmann: Builder and big thinker

Posted by on November 21, 2016

Bob Brinkmann, CE’71, credits a mindset he calls looking for “the second right answer” with growing the company he founded more than 30 years ago.

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Matt Coco: True and tireless believer

Posted by on November 21, 2016

Matt Coco, CE’66, was a student the first time he served on the Phi Kappa Theta building committee after a fire destroyed his fraternity house in 1964. “I wanted the new house to have a red brick exterior and a fireplace,” he says. “I didn’t get either.”

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Roger Dorf: Communications pioneer

Posted by on November 21, 2016

As a commuter student, Roger Dorf, ME’65, carpooled to Rolla to earn his degree. On days when he finished classes before the others riding with him, he’d head to the student union to study. But what Dorf remembers most about those afternoons is the magical hour when studying succumbed to slapstick.

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Bipin Doshi: Industry champion

Posted by on November 21, 2016

Photo by Matthew Cashore

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Don Gunther: Global ground-breaker

Posted by on November 21, 2016

In a construction career that took him from Iowa to Abu Dhabi, Don Gunther, CE’60, says that the toughest challenge he ever faced was in Canada, building the colossal Syncrude refinery in northern Alberta.

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Sandra Magnus: Space sojourner and super role model

Posted by on November 21, 2016

For a woman who flew three space missions, including a four-month stint aboard the International Space Station conducting experiments, installing structural upgrades and blogging about it with children, Sandra Magnus, Phys’86, MS EE’90, is low-key about her legacy.

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Dick Vitek: Chemist, entrepreneur and crusader

Posted by on November 21, 2016

Dick Vitek, MS Chem’58, started his career as a research chemist — an archetypal scientist in a white lab coat mixing substances and studying the results. He worked for the Atomic Energy Commission producing uranium from ore. Then, as a scientist with Allied Chemical Co., he developed solid oxidizers for rockets and missiles for the […]

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