Technically speaking, S&T was perfect

Killian Knowles graduated from S&T with a bachelors in technical communication in May 2015. Sam O'Keefe/Missouri S&T

Killian Knowles graduated from S&T with a bachelors in technical communication in May 2015. Sam O’Keefe/Missouri S&T

Missouri S&T offered Killian Knowles two things that few universities in the U.S. could: a top-notch education in technical communication and the kind of personal attention that comes through small class sizes and knowledgeable, friendly instructors. That he could get his bachelor’s degree from a school renowned for preparing students for the real world and rewarding, well-paying jobs was a bonus.

S&T consistently ranks among the top universities in the country in terms of return on investment and graduate starting salaries. In a December 2015 report, S&T came in at No. 2 among public colleges on Kiplinger’s list of Best College Values in regards to “salary yardstick” at $65,500. The measure is “based on the median earnings of workers who started at a particular college 10 years earlier and who received federal financial aid.” [Read more…]

King blazes path through math

Christina King teaches math at Owensville High School

Christina King teaches math at Owensville High School on Nov. 3, 2015. An OHS graduate, King plans to pursue a teaching career after graduating from Missouri S&T. Sam O’Keefe/Missouri S&T

No one told her she couldn’t do it. No one, that is, but herself.

Christina King graduated from Owensville (Missouri) High School in 1997, and her path was clear — and it didn’t include college.

“It wasn’t really anything I thought I could do,” King says. “Coming out of high school, I wanted to get married and start a family. Going to college wasn’t anything I even thought about.”

Eighteen years later, that thought has been turned upside down, and King is set to become a December 2015 graduate of Missouri S&T with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.

Before coming to Missouri S&T, King’s path was just as she envisioned it. She married her high school sweetheart, Jason. She had two girls, Kaitlynn and Cassidy.

Before she knew it, King’s children were school age. And with Jason gone for a week at a time working as a welder on railroad bridges, King needed something to do. When her youngest daughter Cassidy, now 15, was in kindergarten, King volunteered at the girls’ school.

The seed was planted for her college career to come.

[Read more…]

Experience: the S&T difference


Service learning is one of the many ways Missouri S&T students can earn experiential learning credit. Student Adam Kochan, left, volunteers to paint the interior of the New Dimensional Christian Ministry in Rolla during the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

The term experiential learning may be a recent invention, but Missouri S&T’s reputation for preparing students for the real world through a hands-on approach to learning extends back to our founding some 145 years ago. Starting this fall, it is now a formal part of the S&T student experience. [Read more…]

Learning outside the classroom box


Missouri S&T students enrolled in the summer Field Ecology course return to the field station at the Bohigian Conservation Area after conducting experiments in Mill Creek.

Southwest of Rolla, 10 acres of land once farmed by some of the area’s earliest settlers is now being explored by Missouri S&T students, who are themselves pioneers of a sort.

Students who took Field Ecology, Cave Biology or Vegetation of the Ozarks courses over the summer were among the first to spend more time in this outdoor laboratory than inside a classroom. They studied in and alongside three spring-fed ponds, a wetland fen, a nearby stream and countless flora and fauna. [Read more…]

A larger-than-life way to give thanks


This month saw the launch of our 2014 Thankful Miners Project, an experiment that gave the Miner community an opportunity to reflect, appreciate and express their gratitude. Standing 4 feet tall, the 3-D S&T logo provided a canvas for more than 500 students, faculty and staff members to share their thankfulness. From parental support and caring faculty, to teammates and roommates, Miners found ways to share their gratefulness for things big and small.

We’re thankful for the ingenuity and creativity shown by all members of the Miner family – our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends. We’re especially grateful to S&T’s Rock Mechanics and Explosives Research Center and the Student Design and Experiential Learning Center for their efforts to make the 3-D logo possible.

While we’re on the subject of gratitude, we invite you to join in. Tell us what you’re thankful for this season and you could see your tweet, photo or comment included here. To share your expressions of gratitude with us, use the #ThankfulMiners hashtag on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


Students, faculty and staff alike shared their thankfulness on this 3-D S&T logo, changing its canvas from white to Miner green. Photo by Sam O’Keefe

Carrying the torch

Carrying the torch

Engineering management graduate Bob Zdvorak with his sons David, (right) a senior, and Chris, (left) a freshman — both second-generation Miner soccer players. Photo by Sam O’Keefe

Once a wing defender in the early days of Miner soccer, Bob Zdvorak is back in the Missouri S&T soccer complex – this time in the stands cheering on his sons, who are the first second-generation players in the history of the program. [Read more…]

Remaking America

Re-making America

Additive manufacturing processes, like 3-D printing, enable complex structures to move from the design phase to production more quickly. Photo by Sam O’Keefe

Over the past decade, many of the world’s top corporations and industries have called on Missouri S&T researchers to improve existing manufacturing processes and develop new approaches and materials.

“We’re always looking for ways to create new capabilities, improve performance and increase productivity,” says Ming Leu, the Keith and Pat Bailey Missouri Distinguished Professor of Integrated Product Manufacturing at Missouri S&T.

Introducing advanced manufacturing processes is important to the nation’s long-term, sustainable economic growth. U.S. manufacturing accounts for 12 percent of gross domestic product, 70 percent of private R&D spending and 86 percent of exports.

The above video provides more information about the Advanced Manufacturing signature area.

“To me, the hybrid aspect of traditional manufacturing and additive manufacturing is the future for the U.S. to remain competitive,” says Jagannathan Sarangapani, the William A. Rutledge-Emerson Electric Co. Distinguished Professor in Electrical Engineering at Missouri S&T. “This aspect requires skill sets from researchers in a variety of disciplines.”

One of S&T’s four signature areas for teaching and research, Advanced Manufacturing has strengths in the emerging fields of additive manufacturing; energy manufacturing; micro- and nano-scale manufacturing; network-centric and cloud manufacturing; advanced materials for manufacturing; and intelligent, sensor-enabled manufacturing.

For example, S&T researchers are working to create “smart parts” by embedding sensors and communication circuits that allow goods to be tracked throughout the supply chain.

“Recording the chain of custody from the point of manufacture of all of the product’s components to the point the customer receives it is helpful when products are recalled,” Sarangapani says. “It also can be used to help stop counterfeit, a rising problem worldwide.”

In the advanced manufacturing area, S&T also has particular strengths in additive manufacturing, composites manufacturing and metal casting. In addition, its micro- and nano-manufacturing program has seen rapid growth in recent years.

“By building components one layer at a time using data from CAD models, additive manufacturing has the potential to fabricate 3-D components with novel material compositions with properties and functionalities that would otherwise be very difficult to create conventionally,” Leu says. “In this area, S&T researchers have developed unique processes for making functionally gradient materials, a new concept for creating composites of continuously varying materials.

Missouri S&T’s expertise in advanced manufacturing has been nationally recognized, which has opened up many collaborative opportunities. Most recently, S&T was one of 23 universities selected to join with industry, governmental agencies and other organizations to form the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, a new national innovative manufacturing institute based in Chicago. S&T is also a member of America Makes — National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, an organization focused on helping the country grow capabilities and strength in 3-D printing.

“During the Henry Ford era, manufacturing was focused on mass production — just making enough quantity so the price could be reduced,” Leu says. “Then came mass customization, where smaller quantities with more variety were offered. Now we’re at the personalization era where parts are designed and fabricated for the individuals. The goal is to make a one-of-a-kind product at or near the same price as the mass production.”

Advancing manufacturing

By developing tailored materials and fabrication methods, S&T researchers are paving the way for a number of manufacturing processes. Here are a few examples:

Greg Hilmas, Curators’ Professor of ceramic engineering, and Robert Landers, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, demonstrated the additive manufacturing of a 3-D part by grading two ceramic materials, alumina and zirconia, which have different properties.

Umit Koylu, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, is using selective laser sintering to create bipolar plates of different flow field designs for PEM fuel cells, a key issue for improving fuel cell performance.

K. Chandrashekhara, Curators’ Professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, is using fused deposition modeling to manufacture sparse-build molds and dies to save material and cost for composites manufacturing and hydroforming.

Frank Liou, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, and Joe Newkirk, associate professor of materials science and engineering, are working with Boeing and GKN Aerospace to repair worn components and to make components with gradients of two different metals.

Suzanna Long, associate professor of engineering management and systems engineering, is working to ensure that the nation’s supply network is efficiently and seamlessly connected — from raw materials to finished products. She says it’s critical for the health and vitality of the U.S. and world economy.

Story by Mindy Limback. Video by Terry Barner. Photo by Sam O’Keefe.

Getting down to business


Sophomore Elizabeth Mulina plans to channel her interest in the psychology of marketing into a career in international business and technology. Photo by Sam O’Keefe

Coming into Missouri S&T, Elizabeth Mulina of O’Fallon, Mo., knew she wanted to work in a business field after she graduated. With an interest in the psychology of marketing, Mulina says she’s looking forward to eventually working in international business and technology. And that’s one reason she decided to come to Missouri S&T. [Read more…]

For family, for country, for the future

For family, for country, for the future

Luis Pereira helps organize an annual recruitment retreat for Hispanic and Latino high school students who want to learn more about STEM fields. Photo by Sam O’Keefe.

Nearly everything Luis Pereira does, he does for future Hispanic college students, especially his four-year-old brother, Johann. [Read more…]

Film for thought

Max Tohline

Max Tohline uses movies to inspire students to “come up with questions that have never been asked.”

Max Tohline came to Missouri S&T from Madeira, Ohio, in 2002 with a plan to study aerospace engineering. But it was an elective course in film that caused his true passion to take flight. [Read more…]

Top 10 things you missed this summer

The new Ph.D. in explosives engineering wasn’t the only new offering to explode onto the Missouri S&T campus over the summer. The campus erupted with young students in summer camps, teachers came for Project Lead The Way instruction, and a new walkway is being constructed next to the Havener Center. Here are a few of the things you missed over the summer:

Turf installation

Artificial turf at Missouri S&T
Construction crews installed the artificial turf at Allgood-Bailey Stadium the first week of August. The Miners play their first home football game on Saturday, Sept. 20. Crews also began installing turf on the intramural field this summer. The fields are striped for both soccer and football. [Read more…]

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