The University of Missouri-Rolla has received the 2004 Award of Merit from the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) for the campus’ collaboration with Rolla Technical Institute (RTI) on several research and educational projects.
Paul Hirtz, assistant director of the Student Design Competition Center at UMR, accepted the award Friday, Dec. 10, during the ACTE’s annual conference in Las Vegas. The Missouri ACTE nominated UMR for the award after presenting the university with its Award of Merit in July. RTI nominated UMR for the state association’s award.
UMR was cited for involving RTI students and faculty members in several research and educational projects during the past five years. They include the following:
* Collaboration between UMR and RTI students on designing and building the UMR-RTI Solar House, which competed in the first-ever Solar Decathlon, a 2002 competition of college and university teams sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy to showcase solar energy.
* A project involving RTI masonry students in UMR research to strengthen building materials. RTI students worked with researchers in UMR’s Center for Infrastructure Engineering Studies to test the strength of new, lightweight construction materials in concrete blocks. The RTI students built a wall using fiber-reinforced composite materials developed at UMR, then observed as UMR students tested the technology.
* Various partnerships among UMR and RTI students and faculty to attend conferences and provide training. For instance, RTI instructors have helped train UMR students to use computer-aiding drafting software.
"The partnership between UMR and RTI is truly unique because it brings together a major research university and a technical institute to work toward the common cause of providing a relevant and meaningful educational experience to students from both institutions," says UMR Chancellor Gary Thomas. "This award validates our commitment to technical education. Our partnership with RTI has benefitted both parties during the past five years, and we look forward to years and years of continued collaboration."