Alumni-founded gaming startup gets support

The founders of IDC Projects, a gaming company started by three S&T alumni, stepped up their game last fall by getting an infusion of capital from two St. Louis investors. The firm was one of 15 St. Louis-area startup companies to win $50,000 from Arch Grants to further develop the business. Arch Grants also provides free legal and accounting help, plus access to angel investors.

IDC raised another $50,000 from Capital Innovators, a technology accelerator fund based in downtown St. Louis.

IDC Projects is a gaming and mobile app firm founded in 2008 by then-Missouri S&T students Michael Orlando, IDE’09, EE’10, MS EMgt’12, R.J. Miller, IDE’10, and Colby Hall, EMgt’09, MBA’10. The firm released its latest mobile game, Motocross Sniper, a virtual paintball app, last fall. The company’s first product was a free iPhone app that counts down the number of days until the next Best Ever St. Pat’s celebration. That app was created in 2008, in time for the 100th anniversary of St. Pat’s.

For more information about the company, visit idcprojects.com.

Historian wins state book award

Petra DeWitt, Hist’96, an assistant teaching professor in history and political science at Missouri S&T, received the 2012 Missouri History Book Award from the State Historical Society of Missouri in November for her book Degrees of Allegiance: Harassment and Loyalty in Missouri’s German-American Community During World War I. The book was published by Ohio University Press in April 2012.

Like father, like son

Trevor Wiggins, ME’96, switched from professional racing to drag racing so he could bring his wife and kids along and get them involved in the sport.

Featured in the July 2012 issue of Drag Illustrated magazine, Wiggins says the people who participate in motorsports are the type of people — smart, hardworking and ethical — that he wanted his kids to be raised around.

Wiggins’ son, 6-year-old Grady, proved he’s got his dad’s racing gene in October when he made his driving debut at the Music City Quarter Midget Racing Association track in Nashville, Tenn. Grady set a new track record for the fastest lap by a novice and, after missing the start, came from the back of the pack to win the main race.

S&T women honored

Karlynn Sievers, LSci’96, Engl’96, assistant clinical professor at University of Wyoming-Casper Family Medicine, received the 2012 Missouri S&T Alumna of the Year Gold Award.

Rachel (Mace) Morris, AMth’96, assistant to the vice provost for undergraduate studies at Missouri S&T, received the 2012 Missouri S&T Alumna of the Year Silver Award.

Amber Julien, a junior in psychological science from Waynesville, Mo., received the 2012 Woman Student of the Year Gold Award.

Brittney Abel, a junior in psychological science from Republic, Mo., received the 2012 Woman Student of the Year Silver Award.

The Alumna and Woman Student of the Year Award endowment was created by three named female professors at Missouri S&T: Mariesa Crow, F. Finley Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering; Dee Haemmerlie Montgomery, Curators’ Teaching Professor of psychology; and the late Ann Miller, former Cynthia Tang (Econ’85) Missouri Distinguished Professor of Computer Science. The awards are given to alumnae who are dedicated to enhancing the lives
of women and committed to diversity.

A curiously successful business

John Seaber, EE’09, started his business, JDS Labs Inc., as a part-time venture. Two years ago he quit his day job to give his full-time attention to the business and hire a few employees. Since then, he says revenues have grown at more than 300 percent each year and the company has been profitable every quarter. “We’re doing very well,” he says.

The company, located in Glen Carbon, Ill., makes customized, high-performance headphone amplifiers and digital-to-analog converters (DACs). One of its products, the cMoyBB V2.03, is cased inside a new Altoids tin, which protects the circuit board from some forms of electromagnetic or radio frequency interference.

JDS Labs used to outsource its custom aluminum end plates, but now owns a milling machine. “We had absolutely no machining experience, but this was the best way for us to improve our designs and control production,” says Seaber. “Our cases are of noticeably higher quality than those machined by outside shops.” Check out the company at jdslabs.com.

Donald Hey: wetland warrior

(Photo by Rebekah Raleigh)

Donald Hey, CE’63, executive director of Wetlands Research Inc. in Wadsworth, Ill., is passionate about proving the effectiveness, sustainability and economic efficiency of using restored wetlands for water quality management and flood control. He believes wetlands are the answer because they’re good for conservation and the economy alike.

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Steven Frey: Locked in on S&T

A true champion of S&T, Steven Frey, MS Phys’86, is director of applied research for Lockheed Martin Corp. in Orlando, Fla. He has been with the company since he finished graduate school.

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Nikia Chapman: Queen of speed

Female rider Nikia Chapman helped lead the Human-Powered Vehicle Team to victory … in Elmo Socks. (Photo by Bob Phelan)

Stats: sophomore in geological engineering from Columbia, Mo.

Member of: Spelunking Club and Human-Powered Vehicle Team.

Claim to fame: Led the Human-Powered Vehicle team to a first-place win in ASME’s Human-Powered Vehicle Competition in Tooele, Utah, by winning first place in the women’s drag race and riding the four required “female laps” of the endurance race.

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Melissa Morrison: low-impact day

(Photo by B.A. Rupert)

For 24 hours last fall, Melissa Morrisongave up some of her favorite things — chewing gum, toasted Pop-Tarts, the Internet and texting — all in an attempt to minimize her impact on the environment.

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Eric Showalter: course under construction

Eric Showalter

Eric Showalter’s students used iPads to track construction projects in his Cost Estimating and Scheduling course. Photo by B.A. Rupert

Old class: Eric Showalter, associate teaching professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering, has taught a construction management course called Cost Estimating and Scheduling for more than a decade. One semester-long assignment requires students to pick a construction site and keep a diary of everything that happens — from weather conditions to which subcontractors are on site and what work is being done. It gets them in the habit of observing and writing.

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