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.

A league of his own

A league of his own

Historian and former minor league first baseman Russ Buhite has a unique perspective on baseball’s last serious attempt to form a third major league, the Continental League. Photo by Sam O’Keefe

Before he became an author and a history professor, Russell D. Buhite was a minor league first baseman and outfielder for the New York Giants, the Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Senators. [Read more…]

Extreme engineering

Extreme engineering

Missouri S&T researchers are investigating ultra-high-temperature ceramics like this for use in hypersonic vehicles and other extreme environments. Photo by Sam O’Keefe

Through the Enabling Materials for Extreme Environments signature area, Bill Fahrenholtz and Greg Hilmas are testing the thermal and mechanical properties of  ceramics to find out what makes them stronger. They are investigating ultra-high-temperature materials for a variety of applications, including clean energy production, advanced propulsion systems and hypersonic flight vehicles. We sat down with the two Curators’ Professors of ceramic engineering to learn more about their research. [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…]

A booming second career

Steve Hall recently earned his master's degree in explosives engineering. Photos by Sam O'Keefe.

Steve Hall recently earned his master’s degree in explosives engineering. Photos by Sam O’Keefe.

It was 1974 when Steve Hall first crossed the stage in Gale Bullman to receive his chemical engineering degree. This spring, exactly 40 years later, Hall made the trek again, this time to pick up his master’s degree in explosives engineering.

[Read more…]

Packin’ the alpacas

Mariesa Crow spends her free time with her 17 alpacas at her home in Rolla. Photos by Sam O'Keefe.

Electrical engineering professor Mariesa Crow likes to unwind with her 17 alpacas. Photos by Sam O’Keefe.

Watch the video:

Mariesa Crow is about to take a long summer road trip with Elvis and James Bond.

[Read more…]

‘The Dead and Those About to Die’

John McManus recently released his 11th book. Photo by Sam O'Keefe.

Missouri S&T historian John McManus recently released his 11th book. Photo by Sam O’Keefe.

Watch the video interview:

Despite prolific historical documentation of D-Day, there are still unanswered questions 70 years later, especially surrounding Omaha Beach. John C. McManus, a military historian at Missouri S&T, attempts to answer them in his latest book, The Dead and Those About to Die — D-Day: The Big Red One at Omaha Beach, which was published by NAL Caliber in April.

[Read more…]

Examining the JFK news leak controversy

Patrick Huber shows a picture of Father Huber from his latest book, "He’s Dead All Right: Father Oscar L. Huber, the Kennedy Assassination, and the News Leak Controversy." Photo by B.A. Rupert.

Patrick Huber shows a picture of Father Huber from his latest book, “He’s Dead All Right: Father Oscar L. Huber, the Kennedy Assassination, and the News Leak Controversy.” Photo by B.A. Rupert.

On the day President John F. Kennedy was shot, Time magazine Washington correspondent Hugh Sidey, one of a group of reporters who had gathered outside Parkland Hospital in Dallas, claimed two priests left the building and one of them leaked the news of Kennedy’s death before the White House could make an official statement.

[Read more…]

Intramurals: it’s everybody’s game

Nick White (right) and Justin Raymer run Missouri S&T’s intramurals program. Photo by B.A. Rupert

Nick White (right) and Justin Raymer run Missouri S&T’s intramurals program. Photo by B.A. Rupert

Missouri S&T’s intramurals program offers a wide array of competitive sports, including (okay, take a deep breath) badminton, basketball, billiards, bowling, cross country, darts, disc golf, dodge ball, flag football, golf, inner tube water polo, kickball, Madden Xbox, racquetball (time for another breath), soccer, softball, table tennis, tennis, track and field, ultimate Frisbee, volleyball, washers and weightlifting.

[Read more…]

Insights from abroad


The group learns about the Battle of the Somme. Photos submitted

Fifteen students and two professors from Missouri S&T recently returned from three weeks spent abroad where they experienced French culture and witnessed the lingering effects of two world wars on the country. While there, they shared photos and blogged about their trip on the new Miners Abroad website.

[Read more…]