Students provide Steelville with economic development plans

Posted by
On April 24, 2009

Student teams from Missouri S&T have been working this semester on 17 engineering projects for the economic development of Steelville, Mo. Steelville is located in southeast Missouri, with a population of nearly 1,500 people.

steelville.JPG Students enrolled in Dr. Karl Burgher’s Introduction to Project Management course were assigned to help develop a vision and subsequent work plan for projects requested by the city of Steelville related to infrastructure, tourism, recreation, beautification and other improvements.

Student teams presented their white papers, or project briefings, to the community on March 16. After including real-world work plans, budgets and projected work schedules, they will make their final presentations to Steelville’s residents beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 28, at the Golden Echoes Center, 401 N. Spring St., in Steelville. The presentations are open to the public.

One issue facing the community is flooding due to the number of creeks in the area. Matt Miller of Maryville, Mo., a senior in engineering management, and Dustin Rhodes of Rolla, a senior in civil engineering, propose improvements to address stormwater drainage.

John Belshe of Raytown, Mo., and Shadi Khomeis of Saudi Arabia, both juniors in engineering management, propose the installation and operation of a micro-hydroelectric station and a flood control system. Engineering management majors Lauren Bengston of Wildwood, Mo., a senior; Benjamin Fitschen of Canton, Mo., a junior; and Andrew Kohlfeld of St. Charles, Mo., also a senior, propose the installation of a hydroelectric generator and the construction of a lake to deal with the issue.

To improve conditions for pedestrians, a sidewalk on Highway 19 is proposed by Kayla Simmons of Mascoutah, Ill., and Kelli Sterner of Raytown, Mo., both juniors in engineering management.

There are two plans specific to curbing erosion and the beautification of Yadkin Creek, which runs through the middle of town. Ryan Hirsch of Rolla, a senior in petroleum engineering, and Jesse Rollins of Brinktown, Mo., a senior in engineering management, submitted a proposal for the front end of the creek. Josh Buehrer of Liberty, Mo., and Anthony Nix of Newton, Ill., both seniors in mechanical engineering, submitted a proposal for the back end of the creek.

Several groups have plans to increase tourism. Two seniors majoring in engineering management, Devin Anderson of Fulton, Mo., and Amanda Hackmann of Chamois, Mo., propose replacing the Steelville Museum, which is in serious disrepair. Davang Dasani of India, a junior in chemical engineering, and Matt Hume of St. Peters, Mo., a senior in engineering management, propose combining the Tourism Center and Chamber of Commerce into one renovated building. And Jamie Lawrence of Belleville, Ill., and Nicolas Solano of St. Joseph, Mo., both seniors in engineering management, suggest the addition of a Farmer’s Market.
Two groups have plans for annual festivals. John Gillespie of Robertsville, Mo., a junior in engineering management; Chad Lisle of Rolla, a senior in nuclear engineering; and John Ziegler of Webster Groves, Mo., a senior in aerospace engineering, would like to see a “Rock and Roll River Festival” in autumn.

Three seniors in engineering management, Chris Gebhart of High Ridge, Mo.; Christina Ray of San Antonio, Texas; and Antonio Ward of Stone Mountain, Ga., propose an “Annual Spring Lumberjack Festival.”

There are plans to specifically improve sports and recreation for the area. Keith Kernan of Ste. Genevieve, Mo., a senior in engineering management, and Blake Summers of Overland Park, Kan., a sophomore in freshmen engineering, would like to resurface the track and tennis court, which is unusable due to cracking. Kyle March of Columbia, Mo., and Blake Winkelmann of Hermann, Mo., both sophomores in engineering management, propose expanding the Greenway Trails. Eric Castle of Norcross, Ga., and Jonathan Green of Rolla, both seniors in engineering management, would like to renovate an existing building to create a Steelville Health and Fitness Center.

Jared Hellebusch of Washington, Mo., a senior in electrical engineering, and Garrett Stevens of West Richland, Wash., a junior in engineering management, propose the utilization of water resources in a partnership with a company to produce bio-diesel fuel made from algae.
Marci Byrd of Oklahoma City, Okla., a senior in petroleum engineering, and Ashley Wallingford of Revere, Mo., a junior in engineering management, propose a new structure to house the community’s animal shelter, or expanding the existing structure.

Dani Corrier of O’Fallon, Mo. a senior in engineering management, and Drew Foth of Olathe, Kan., a junior in chemical engineering, would like to see the community purchase a Geographic Information System (GIS) to improve 911 response and other services.

Burgher works with Richard Cavender, executive director of the Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC), and his staff, to locate communities suitable for the class projects. The MRPC covers eight counties and more than 30 cities, assisting with development projects.

The engineering management and systems engineering department at Missouri S&T offers undergraduate and graduate courses in project management and a graduate certificate in project management. In addition, the department is a certified education provider for the Project Management Institute.

For more information about the project, contact Burgher at

Share this page

Posted by

On April 24, 2009. Posted in People