National experts come to S&T for GeoMO 2017

Civil and environmental engineering experts are the featured speakers when Missouri University of Science and Technology hosts the 2017 GeoMo symposium May 18.

The symposium, titled “Geophysics and Nondestructive Evaluation in the Assessment and Monitoring of Geotechnical and Infrastructure Systems,” is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 18 in Room 125 Butler-Carlton Civil Engineering Hall on the Missouri S&T campus. [Read more…]

Hidden gems

Halite from Searles Lake in Trona, California.

Head down the hall in McNutt’s first floor and you will stumble upon a hallway dedicated to minerals. First opened in 1904, geosciences and geological and petroleum engineering’s Mineral Museum is an exhibit of gems, gold, fossils and meteor fragments totaling over 3,500 samples from 92 countries.

Pyrite Octahedron from Huanuco, Peru. Donated by Jose E. Arce.

One of the largest collections of minerals in the state, Missouri S&T’s Mineral Museum dates back to the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. After the fair, exhibitors did not want to face the costs of shipping a large collection of minerals back to their original homes. The collection was donated to the care of Dr. George E. Ladd, director of the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy between 1897 and 1907.

Cryloite from Ivigtut S.W. Greenland. Donated by Dr. Hans Pauly.

The collection is laid out in the same way students would learn about the minerals in class. It begins with native elements, moves on to sulfides and then calcites.

Calcite from Cumberland, England. Donated by Edward Lyons.

Visitors can see minerals provided by Charles Laurence Dake, geology instructor at Missouri S&T from 1912-21; Col. John Kingston, a Civil War colonel and later surveyor and geologist; and John Wesley Powell, one of the first USGS surveyors and possibly the first person to travel down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.

Malachite from an unknown location. Donated by donor number 3470.

“The display is a great teaching tool and living lab; each week I send Mineralogy and Crystallography course students here to review,” says Dr. David Wronkiewicz, associate professor of geology and geophysics at S&T. “And it is not just for geologists; nuclear engineering students come down here with Geiger counters to find which minerals are radioactive, ceramic engineers visit to study raw materials and even history students could visit and write a paper about some of the donations we have received.”

Szenicsite from #1 Mine, Inca De Oro in Chile. Donated by Terry Szenics.

Over the decades, the collection has grown thanks to generous donations. The sample of Szenicsite (above), was donated to Missouri S&T by the founder it is named after, Terry Szenics, who discovered it in Inca De Oro’s Mine No.1 in northern Chile.

Artinite Acic Xls from San Benito, California. Donated by Raymond J. Marlotte.

“We do not sell any specimens and very rarely have we traded for a piece that is not currently in the museum,” says Wronkiewicz, who has been curator and “keeper of the keys” for 20 years.

Wulfenite and Quartz from Mammoth-St. Anthony Mine in Arizona. Donated by E.A. Stone.

The display has a black-light display stand that allows students to see minerals glow, a compass pointing to a “false North” due to a meteorite’s magnetic pull, and a mysterious Buddha-like statue with unknown origins.

Amphibole from an unknown location. Donated by donor number 2535.

“My favorite specimen has to be the mud deposit with a preserved yellow jacket in it,” says Wronkiewicz. “It is 30-40 million years old, but the preservation of that stinging insect is clearly displayed.”

Calamine Stalactite from Granby, Missouri. Donated by Col. J. Kingston.

The Mineral Museum is open daily during regular business hours when classes are in session at Missouri S&T. Special guided tours can be arranged by contacting the GGPE department at rocks@mst.edu.

S&T Academy of Mines and Metallurgy inducts new members

Eleven graduates of Missouri University of Science and Technology were inducted into the Missouri S&T Academy of Mines and Metallurgy on April 20.

The academy is an advisory group that was founded in 1954. The group includes graduates and others who have made outstanding contributions to their professions. [Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

S&T students win WARDJet challenge — and new waterjet

The Missouri S&T Rock Mechanics Explosive Research Center team won a new WARDjet waterjet during a competition in September in Chicago. Wearing green shirts, from left team members Jay Schafler, Marty Langenderfer, John Rueschmann and Jeff Heniff put together a WARDjet to win the competition. It was installed at Missouri S&T on Tuesday, Nov. 1.

The Missouri S&T Rock Mechanics and Explosives Research Center team won a new WARDjet waterjet during a competition in September in Chicago. Wearing green T-shirts, from left team members Jay Schafler, Marty Langenderfer, John Rueschmann and Jeff Heniff put together a WARDjet to win the competition. It was installed at Missouri S&T on Tuesday, Nov. 1.

A team of Missouri University of Science and Technology students helped bring a new waterjet cutting machine to campus — and the machine will help propel research into expanding areas and show new uses for the technology.

During the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) Sept. 12-17 in Chicago and as part of the Smartforce Student Summit Build It! Challenge, sponsored by WARDjet, student teams competed against industry professionals. WARDJet’s build-off competition offered teams a chance to win a waterjet cutting machine. [Read more…]

Rocking the Rollamo

Tegan Brand skims the 1955 Rollamo yearbook. Sam O'Keefe/Missouri S&T

Tegan Brand skims the 1955 Rollamo yearbook. Sam O’Keefe/Missouri S&T

As a child, Tegan Brand would often make the trek through the rolling Ozark hills to visit the banks of the Meremac River as it flowed through her grandparents’ farm in Steelville, Missouri. [Read more…]

Rogers named an ASCE Fellow

J. David RogersDr. J. David Rogers, the Karl F. Hasselmann Missouri Chair in Geological Engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology, has been named an American Society of Civil Engineers Fellow.

Rogers is an expert in the geoforensics of dam, levee and slope stability failures, flood control and fluvial geomorphology, the Mississippi Delta, and site characterization for seismic site response. He has written articles and prepared posted lectures on the evolution of flood control practice, dam and levee failures, landslide dams, Hoover Dam, the Panama Canal and the Tennessee Valley Authority, among many others. [Read more…]

Maerz takes over rock mechanics and explosives center

Norbert Maerz 6-3-16Dr. Norbert Maerz, professor of geological and petroleum engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology, has been named the director of Missouri S&T’s Rock Mechanics and Explosives Research Center. His appointment took effect Monday, May 9.

He takes over for Dr. Stewart Gillies, professor of mining and nuclear engineering at Missouri S&T. [Read more…]

Missouri S&T signs commitment to climate

Missouri S&T's geothermal project reduced the university's carbon footprint by 25,013 tons in it first full year of operation.

Missouri S&T’s geothermal project reduced the university’s carbon footprint by 25,013 tons in it first full year of operation.

Climate change is one of the world’s great challenges, and Missouri University of Science and Technology has committed to be a demonstrated leader in climate action and sustainable solutions by signing the Second Nature Climate Commitment charter.

According to Second Nature, the commitment “integrates a goal of carbon neutrality with climate resilience and provides a systems approach to mitigating and adapting to a changing climate.” Signatories commit to exercising “leadership in their communities and throughout society by providing the knowledge, research, practice, and informed graduates to create a positive and sustainable future.” [Read more…]

41 S&T faculty members honored for outstanding teaching

Forty-one Missouri University of Science and Technology faculty members will receive the Outstanding Teaching Award for 2014-15. The winners will be recognized at a ceremony scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30, in St. Pat’s Ballroom A of the Havener Center.

The Outstanding Teaching Award is given each year to faculty members by the Outstanding Teaching Award Committee, which bases its selections on student evaluations. [Read more…]