S&T researchers suggest ants need work-life balance to survive

fire_ants02As humans, we constantly strive for a good work-life balance. New findings by researchers at Missouri S&T suggest that ants, long perceived as the workaholics of the insect world, do the same.

In fact, according to these researchers, it is imperative that some ants rest while others work to conserve food, energy and resources for the colony. And the larger the colony, the more important this work-rest balance becomes. [Read more…]

Miner hero

A portrait of Lt. George Allison Whiteman hangs in Whiteman Air Force Base's visitor center.

A portrait of Lt. George Allison Whiteman hangs in Whiteman Air Force Base’s visitor center.

One of the first heroes of World War II was a Miner. He was also one of the first U.S. casualties of the war during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor 75 years ago. [Read more…]

Missouri S&T researcher wants to electronically pick your brain

Nikhil Dusane, a graduate student in information science and technology, puts one of the business and information technology department's EEG headsets on Samuel Smith, a senior in information science and technology, in the university's Laboratory for Information Technology and Evaluation.

Nikhil Dusane, a graduate student in information science and technology, puts one of the business and information technology department’s EEG headsets on Samuel Smith, a senior in information science and technology, in the university’s Laboratory for Information Technology and Evaluation.

A researcher at Missouri University of Science and Technology wants to scrap the traditional electronic and paper survey approach to gathering marketing and information systems data in favor of scanning your brainwaves. Dr. Keng Siau, professor and chair of the business and information technology department, is looking at using an electroencephalogram (EEG) headset to pick your brain.

An EEG tracks and records brain wave patterns. Small metal discs with thin wires (electrodes) are placed on the scalp, and then send signals to a computer to record the results. [Read more…]

Merfeld-Langston named chair of arts, languages, and philosophy at S&T

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Dr. Audra Merfeld-Langston. Photo by Marie-Hélène Le Ny

Dr. Audra Merfeld-Langston, associate professor of French at Missouri University of Science and Technology, has been named chair of the department of arts, languages, and philosophy. She served as interim chair of the department from Jan. 1-Oct. 31.

“In the nearly one year that she has spent as interim department chair, Dr. Merfeld-Langston has advocated tirelessly for her faculty, and has worked hard to connect them with meaningful opportunities for professional development,” says Dr. Stephen Roberts, vice provost and dean of the College of Arts, Sciences, and Business at Missouri S&T. [Read more…]

Honglan Shi: Water woman

Dr. Honglan Shi and her students Runmiao Xue and Haiting Zhang conduct drinking water quality research in Schrenk Hall.

Dr. Honglan Shi and her students Runmiao Xue and Haiting Zhang conduct drinking water quality research in Schrenk Hall.

When foul-tasting and potentially toxic water reaches Missouri residents, water utility supervisors know who to call: Dr. Honglan Shi. [Read more…]

Mead-making Miners

Patrick Martin (from left), Esther Martin, Anna Wallace and Derek Martin pose with Martin Brothers Winery's mead offerings at the meadery's guided tasting bar outside of Hermann, Missouri.

Patrick Martin (from left), Esther Martin, Anna Wallace and Derek Martin pose with Martin Brothers Winery’s mead offerings at the meadery’s guided tasting bar outside of Hermann, Missouri.

One Missouri S&T alumnus reached deep into the past to determine his and his family’s future.

Patrick Martin graduated in 2011 with degrees in chemistry and biological sciences. Today he practices the ancient art of mead-making at his family’s winery, Martin Brothers Winery, using his extensive education and passionate interest in microbiology as his muse. His mead has garnered acclaim and a bevy of international awards for the Hermann, Missouri-based winery. The accolades include a gold-award-equivalent Medal of American Excellence for his Orange Blossom Mead at the 2015 Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition in Kansas City, Missouri, and a gold award for his Wildflower Sweet Mead in Beverage Testing Institute’s 2014 World Honey Wine Challenge in Chicago, Illinois. [Read more…]

Lighting a fire

Alumnus Chris Franklin and senior student James "Jimmy" Nash train at the Regional Fire Training Center in Rolla. Franklin volunteered for the Rolla Rural Fire District before taking a job out-of-state, while Nash continues to volunteer for the department. Photo By Sam O'Keefe/Missouri S&T

Alumnus Chris Franklin and senior student James “Jimmy” Nash train at the Regional Fire Training Center in Rolla. Franklin volunteered for the Rolla Rural Fire District before taking a job out-of-state, while Nash continues to volunteer for the department. Photo By Sam O’Keefe/Missouri S&T

Five years into volunteering for the Rolla Rural Fire District (RRFD), Missouri S&T student Chris Franklin thought of one more way he could give back to the department.

Franklin enrolled in Sarah Stanley’s marketing for nonprofits four-­week summer course. The majority of class time was to be spent developing marketing materials for local nonprofit Phelps County Animal Welfare League (PCAWL). But Franklin wanted to promote his fire department, which was, and still is, in need of volunteers.

“The department has a really big recruitment and retention problem,” Franklin says. [Read more…]

Research by Missouri S&T faculty could prevent next major human-related disaster

Human Factors book cover no copyrightHeadline-grabbing disasters like the Chernobyl nuclear incident and the Exxon Valdez oil spill could have been prevented through better labor practices, like shorter shifts and more structured shift rotations, say two Missouri University of Science and Technology researchers in a new book on risk management. [Read more…]

The Science of Softball

Bonnie Wilt, a senior in engineering management, spent last summer and fall on co-op at Rawlings Sporting Goods in St. Louis. Sam O'Keefe/Missouri S&T

Bonnie Wilt, a senior in engineering management, spent last summer and fall on co-op at Rawlings Sporting Goods in St. Louis. Sam O’Keefe/Missouri S&T

Softball is a sport of nuances. The slightest shift in a batter’s stance or in the angle of a pitcher’s arm can have a profound impact on an at-bat, a game and, sometimes, a season. Subtle changes in mechanics can be the difference between a batter striking out and lacing a home run to win the game. Engineering is a discipline of nuances. Much like softball, the smallest tweak in design can be the difference between a project as important as a new bridge holding or crumbling. Bonnie Wilt, a senior in engineering management, had the opportunity to meld the two during a co-op with Rawlings Sporting Goods in Chesterfield and O’Fallon, Mo., from May to December 2015.

Wilt worked with S&T’s cooperative education program, which gives students the opportunity to gain practical work experience in their field of study before they graduate. The program is designed to give students a break from studies to work full time for one semester or a combination of semesters, which allows eight to nine months of work experience versus the three summer months allowed for internship positions. [Read more…]

Pitch perfect

Maigha, a Ph.D. student in electrical engineering and winner of S&T's 3MT competition, presents her research on electric vehicles during the first day of competition. Sam O'Keefe/Missouri S&T

Maigha, a Ph.D. student in electrical engineering and winner of S&T’s 3MT competition, presents her research on electric vehicles during the first day of competition. Sam O’Keefe/Missouri S&T

Imagine being asked to condense years of complicated research into a three-minute pitch with a single slide as a visual aid. That’s the premise of Three Minute Thesis (3MT).

Missouri S&T hosted its first-ever 3MT competition Nov. 16-17, 2015. Over 40 graduate students participated in the two-day, three-round competition, which was organized and sponsored by Dr. Venkat Allada and the office of graduate studies. Participants were expected to summarize their research in less than three minutes – they were disqualified if they went long. A panel of judges scored their presentations. The judges, who differed in each presenting room every round, came from “all different walks of life,” according to Allada, and included S&T faculty, staff and administration, as well as prominent members of the Rolla community. [Read more…]