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…]

Making dough

 

Alumnus Jon Leek puts a pizza pie into an oven at Orbit Pinball Lounge. His company, Pulse Pizza serves pizzas made with spent beer grains out of the Maplewood, Missouri, bar on Monday and Thursday nights.

Alumnus Jon Leek puts a pizza pie into an oven at Orbit Pinball Lounge. His company, Pulse Pizza serves pizzas made with spent beer grains out of the Maplewood, Missouri, bar on Monday and Thursday nights.

Beer and pizza have always been a popular late night pairing, but what about beer in pizza? Leave it to a Missouri S&T graduate to start a pizza business that uses spent grains from breweries in preparing its dough.

During the brewing process, malted grains are cracked and mashed to extract sugars, proteins, and nutrients for the beer. The leftover grains are called “spent” grains, and can constitute up to 85 percent of a brewery’s total by-product. Often, breweries donate their spent grains to local farmers to use as livestock feed. But they can also be used to enrich the flavor of baked goods such as cookies, doughnuts and — you guessed it — pizza.

Jon Leek’s Pulse Pizza uses spent grains, yeast and three types of flour, including barley flour, to make its pizza dough. The spent grains can be spotted speckled about the dough once it is prepared and shaped into a nice, round ball and before it is pressed, prepared with toppings and baked. The spent grains and barley flour bring a subtle, slight sweetness to the finished pizza’s crispy, baked bronze dough.

The St. Louis-based pizza company gets its spent grains from a number of area breweries, and the dough they make differs depending on the type of grains used.

“The darker, heavier beer makes a darker, heavier crust,” he says. “The weirdest dough we’ve made was using a rosemary and juniper pale ale. You could taste the herbs in the crust.” [Read more…]

Suit up

Drew Harden, a junior in computer engineering and computer science, poses in front of career opportunities and employer relations' suit closet, which provides students with appropriate attire for job interviews, networking events and the Missouri S&T Career Fair. Sam O'Keefe/Missouri S&T

Drew Harden, a junior in computer engineering and computer science, poses in front of the career opportunities and employer relations suit closet, which provides students with appropriate attire for job interviews, networking events and the Missouri S&T Career Fair. Sam O’Keefe/Missouri S&T

Over 60 button-down shirts, 40 pairs of men’s dress pants, 20 blazers and 10 pairs of dress shoes – that’s the number of clothing items Maureen Harden and her family donated to the Missouri S&T suit closet last summer. Harden’s son, Drew, is a junior in computer engineering and computer science at Missouri S&T. [Read more…]