The State of Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education (or CBHE) has approved the new master of science degree in explosives engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology.
Missouri S&T, the technological campus of the University of Missouri system, became the first university in the nation to offer undergraduate and post-graduate minors in explosives engineering in 2005. The university has steadily increased its offering of explosives courses during the past decade, with ten explosives classes taught this year.
The master of science degree in explosives engineering has been supported by the International Society of Explosives Engineers as well as the explosives and mining industries.
“The degree will offer new opportunities to students and will help fill the shortfalls in industry and government as the majority of the experts in the field retire in the near future,” says Dr. Paul Worsey, professor of mining engineering and director of the explosives curriculum at S&T.
Explosives engineers work in mining, construction and demolition industries, among others. Some 6 billion to 7 billion pounds of explosives are used every year in the U.S., 85 percent in providing raw materials to maintain standards of living and 12 percent in new construction.
“Most people do not realize how important explosives are in providing materials for roads, houses, schools, hospitals and malls,” Worsey says.
The new 30-hour master’s program requires graduate students to take core explosives engineering courses and complete a thesis. Field work and demonstrations are often conducted on the property of the university’s experimental mine in Rolla.
The courses are taught within the university’s mining and nuclear engineering department. According to Worsey, the program is unique because the explosives courses typically involve hands-on training.
“Our goal is to provide tomorrow’s experts and leaders in the explosives industry,” Worsey says.
Information about the new degree can be found at http://explosives.mst.edu and by contacting the mining department.