Fireworks and more

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Paul Worsey instructs campers on fireworks safety. Photo by B.A. Rupert

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Paul Worsey is an explosives expert. He’s been known to blow up watermelons and other objects for fun, but, as a professor of mining engineering at Missouri S&T, he also teaches students about the science behind creating various explosions.
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Melanie Mormile: Mars. Salt. Biofuels.

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Melaine Mormile, Missouri S&T microbiologist. Photo by B.A. Rupert

Her Passion

Bacteria. Specifically those organisms that can live in extreme environments — places that don’t support more complex life forms.

Why she’s cool

She helped prove the theory that life could exist on Mars. Mormile is one of a group of researchers studying organisms found in the salt-water lakes of western Australia. The salts and acidic pH of the water mimics conditions found on Mars. Mormile found that prokaryotes (simple organisms that lack a nucleus) could handle the unusual environment.

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Paul Nam: Saving the world with green slime

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Dr. Paul Nam. Missouri S&T professor of chemistry. Photo by B.A. Rupert

Several glass containers filled with algae-stained water sit on a table in Paul Nam‘s laboratory. Next to the big green bottles are two much smaller vials containing an oily substance. At first, the amount of potential fuel in these little vials doesn’t seem too impressive. But Dr. Nam says algae could play a big role in the unfolding dramas associated with finding alternative sources of energy and reducing greenhouse gases.

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John McManus: In praise of ‘grunts’

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John McManus, Missouri S&T historian. Photo by B.A. Rupert

Today’s military relies on a lot of technology to fight battles. But troops – not technology – win the wars.

So says Missouri S&T historian John C. McManus in his new book about America’s ground forces, Grunts: Inside the American Infantry Combat Experience, World War II Through Iraq.

The foot soldier has been the most indispensable – and most overlooked – factor in wartime victory, says McManus, an associate professor of U.S. military history.

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