Learning for life

Ken Boyko, a former federal government scientist, leads a lab for Remote Sensing Technology in McNutt Hall. Sam O’Keefe/Missouri S&T

Ph.D. student not slowing down after 30-year career as federal government scientist

“The trouble with retirement is you never get a day off.”

Former University of Texas men’s basketball coach Abe Lemons popularized that one-liner in a long-ago interview. Missouri S&T doctoral student Ken Boyko embraces that sentiment to a degree few can hope to match.

At 65, Boyko is preparing to complete a Ph.D. in geological engineering, perhaps as soon as this fall. His research focuses on how LIDAR (light detection and ranging) scanners can be used to “see through” vegetation that might otherwise prevent detection of potential falling rock. The research could enhance safety along highways and bridges and also involved a project for the U.S. Navy, which wants to use the technology as a navigational aid for self-driving off-road vehicles.

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Learn locally, act globally

African Ph.D. student works on small-scale mining safety in Ghana

Ph.D. student Kenneth Bansah has formed a nonprofit organization in his native Ghana to improve working conditions for female artisanal miners who do so as means to survival. The mining engineering student is pictured in the Rock Mechanics Explosive Research Center, his campus home. Sam O’Keefe /Missouri S&T

Two boys swim in the Tano River near Ghana's western border with Ivory Coast. Contamination from artisanal mining has rendered the river's water unfit for human consumption. Photo by Kenneth Bansah.

Two boys swim in the Tano River near Ghana’s western border with Ivory Coast. Contamination from artisanal mining has rendered the river’s water unfit for human consumption. Kenneth Bansah.

As a doctoral student in mining engineering, Kenneth Bansah works, learns and lives nearly 10,000 miles from his boyhood home of Tarkwa, Ghana, a gold mining hub in western Africa.

But even as he fine-tunes his dissertation on mitigating sinkhole hazards and other karst formations − and takes care of three children ages four and under while his wife completes her own graduate studies in Michigan – the subsistence gold miners of Ghana are never far from Bansah’s mind.

Or his heart.

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Fix-it fixation

Alumni couple finds success with furniture restoration business

Nicole Genz demonstrates how to refurbish cabinet doors during a Saturday morning class. Photos by Sam O'Keefe/Missouri S&T.

Nicole Genz demonstrates how to refurbish cabinet doors during a Saturday morning class. Photos by Sam O’Keefe/Missouri S&T.

As Missouri S&T undergraduates a decade ago, Brandt and Nicole Genz never envisioned careers as small-business owners flourishing amid the 21st century version of the Arts and Crafts Movement.

But after earning engineering degrees in Rolla, the St. Louis couple is now carving out an unexpected expertise in the home design market as the creative and managerial forces behind Rescued Furnishings and Designs. Their business began as a basement hobby and now consists of a workshop, new retail showroom and thriving do-it-yourself space occupying 6,600 square feet in a historic building near Lafayette Square.

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A recipe for success

inside-story

Photography by Karen Drinkwater.

Baking industry niche leads graduate to Clif Bar boardroom

Growing up in suburban St. Louis, Rich Berger’s career aspirations were far from singular. [Read more…]

From wide receiver to mining leader

Braden Lusk stands at the entrance of the Missouri S&T Experimental Mine, photo by Sam O'Keefe

Braden Lusk stands at the entrance of the Missouri S&T Experimental Mine, photo by Sam O’Keefe

Braden Lusk first came to Rolla in 1996 as a walk-on wide receiver from central Kansas who excelled at math and science in high school but admittedly “had no idea what an engineer was.” [Read more…]

From shop class to the boardroom

 

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World’s first engineering management program celebrates 50th anniversary

Training engineers to manage complex organizations is now accepted practice on many college campuses as well as in the modern workplace.

Combining the worlds of technical-oriented problem solvers and bottom-line number crunchers into its own academic discipline? A half-century ago, that notion took root not in a corporate boardroom, but on the campus of what is now Missouri University of Science and Technology.

“These companies came to Rolla and said, ‘Please help us,’” says William Daughton, a professor emeritus and former chair of Missouri S&T’s department of engineering management and systems engineering. “’We take these great engineers, we make them managers and then they fail miserably.’”

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Built for speed

Jarrett Harkless Photo By Sam O'Keefe/Missouri S&T

Jarrett Harkless Photo By Sam O’Keefe/Missouri S&T

Jarrett Harkless looks to guide Formula SAE team to new heights

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Greening mines

Dr. Joel Burken and Mariam Al-Lami inspect the progress of her project in the Baker Greenhouse. Dr. Honglan Shi and Mariam test samples in a Butler Carlton laboratory. She is working with Doe Run to explore ways to use biosolids for revegetation of mine tailings. Photo by Sam O'Keefe/Missouri S&T

Dr. Joel Burken and Mariam Al-Lami inspect the progress of her project in the Baker Greenhouse. Photo by Sam O’Keefe/Missouri S&T

Doctoral student earns national recognition for research to restore soil at historic mines

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Summer solutions

High school students experience intensity of lab life in six-week research academy

Dr. Jonghyun Park oversees high school students Daniel Yoon and Jessica Slavick during the Summer Research Academy. The project focuses on energy storage as Daniel creates a lithium ion battery. Photo by Sam O'Keefe/Missouri S&T

High school students Daniel Yoon and Jessica Slavick are taking part in this year’s Summer Research Academy at Missouri S&T. Their projects focus on energy storage. Photo by Sam O’Keefe/Missouri S&T

Jessica Slavick and Daniel Yoon could be spending their summer idly soaking in the sun at the neighborhood pool, or earning extra cash as a coffee barista or movie theater usher.

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