Archives for May 2011

The clean(er) coal conundrum


David Summers, Missouri S&T Curators’ Professor emeritus of mining engineering. Photos by B.A. Rupert

Edward I, known for being ruthless, banned the burning of coal in London because his mother didn’t like the smell of it. Despite threats of hangings, the ban didn’t work. People defied the king because coal was cheaper than wood.

Centuries later, coal is still the cheapest source of energy that we have. But the only way to get energy out of the dirty stuff is to burn it and release carbon dioxide in the process. It is now widely believed that increasing levels of carbon dioxide will raise global temperatures — which is why you might have heard a lot of talk about “clean coal” in recent years.

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Introducing the Kummer Student Design Center



Kummer Student Design Center – located on the corner of U.S. Highway 63 (Bishop Avenue) and 10th Street. Photos by B.A. Rupert and Bob Phelan


Fred and June Kummer with Chancellor Carney. Photo by B.A. Rupert

A former bread factory’s transformation into a home for Missouri University of Science and Technology’s award-winning design teams is now complete.

Missouri S&T’s Kummer Student Design Center is a 23,000-square-foot facility with retail space and room for the majority of the university’s design teams.

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When proteins ‘behave badly’



Daniel Forciniti, Missouri S&T professor of chemical and biological engineering, works with students to conduct protein research. Photo by B.A. Rupert

Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology are trying to get proteins to create the sticky plaque often associated with neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and even Mad Cow. If successful, the study would better equip researchers to prevent or find a cure for these diseases.

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More than an All-American



Aubrey Moore, Missouri S&T student. Photo by B.A. Rupert

Aubrey Moore stepped up to the starting line in the finals of the 400-meter run at the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Championships knowing she was an All-American. She was attempting to become the second S&T student-athlete with an individual national championship and the first female to win one.

Unfortunately for Moore, it didn’t happen. In contention for the national title, she was running the race of her life when she fell in the final few meters. She finished eighth.

“It was tough,” says Moore, now a senior majoring in chemistry. “Things didn’t end like I wanted them to, but overall I was really pleased with myself for what I accomplished because it was my best year ever.”

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The shoe must go on



Darla Ellis, Missouri S&T 2006 chemical engineering grad. Photo by B.A. Rupert

Darla Ellis begins her workday like many of us do – standing in front of an open closet, pondering what to wear. She takes the time to find the pair of shoes that will coordinate perfectly with her outfit. But her decision never involves pumps or flats. No, for Ellis the perfect shoes are Nikes, every time.

In Ellis’ work, wearing Nikes is a matter of practicality. “We’re a pretty casual bunch here. There are days I might have to crawl behind a big piece of machinery and that’s not really something you want to do in a business suit.”

But wearing Nikes is also part of her job. Ellis, a 2006 chemical engineering grad, is a manufacturing engineer II for Nike’s plant in St. Charles, Mo. She works in extrusion, where sheets of plastic are developed for use in various types of Nike athletic shoes.

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