Notable moments of 2023

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On December 14, 2023

Shovels turn and dirt flies at Missouri S&T’s Welcome Center groundbreaking on April 20. From left, Michael Williams, chair of the University of Missouri Board of Curators; curators Jeffrey Layman, Robin Wenneker, Todd Graves and Keith Holloway; Missouri S&T Chancellor Mo Dehghani; University of Missouri President Mun Choi; curator designee Robert Fry; and Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft. Photo by Michael Pierce/Missouri S&T

In 2023, Missouri S&T broke records for Career Fairs, broke ground for two new buildings and took education on the road with a STEM Mobile. These are among our many achievements this year. Here are 10 notable and newsworthy Missouri S&T moments from 2023.

Employers met with students in Gale Bullman Building and inside a large tent next to the building, above, at Missouri S&T’s 2023 Fall Career Fair on Sept. 26. Photo by Michael Pierce/Missouri S&T

Shattering career fair records … again

It’s starting to sound like a broken record. A record-breaking broken record. Missouri S&T hosts two career fairs each year, and once again, both 2023 events set new records. The Spring Career Fair on Feb. 21 brought over 1,000 recruiters representing more than 340 employers, an increase over the previous year’s record of 280 employers. The Fall Career Fair on Sept. 26 brought approximately 1,600 recruiters from 481 employers – up from 440 employers the year before – to network with students seeking full-time employment, co-ops or internships. 

According to our latest annual outcomes report for 2022-23 graduates, the undergraduate salary has increased to a record $74,308. That’s up 7.6% from the previous year. The graduate salary increased 8.9% to $93,077. Both are record numbers.

This outstanding return on investment led the Wall Street Journal to recognize S&T this year as the top public university in the nation for salary impact and seventh overall.

Dehghani and Horne

Honoring a pioneer of integration

George Horne, one of Missouri S&T’s first two black students, was honored with the university’s Chancellor Medal for pioneering an integration movement at S&T when he enrolled in 1950.

Missouri S&T Chancellor Mo Dehghani, left, presented Horne with the medal at his home in St. Louis on March 27. Photo by Michael Pierce/Missouri S&T.

Child with VR headset in front of STEM Mobile
Students visited Missouri S&T as part of the May the Fourth Be With You STEM Day. Photo by Michael Pierce/Missoui S&T

Driven by STEM 

From campus visits and guest speakers to summer camps and the arrival of the STEM Mobile, the Kummer Center for STEM Education spent the year connecting with teachers and students from across Missouri. 

The STEM center is just one of several programs and opportunities created with the $300 million gift in 2020 from June Kummer and her late husband, Fred S. Kummer, a 1955 Missouri S&T graduate.

Missouri S&T employees in facilities planning and operations pose for a staff photo at the Missouri S&T Protoplex groundbreaking site on Oct. 5. Photo by Michael Pierce/Missouri S&T

Breaking ground, advancing education

Construction was a consistent presence on S&T’s campus all year long, as crews continued work on the university’s Innovation Lab and broke ground for the Welcome Center and Missouri Protoplex

In September, the Board of Curators approved three other construction projects: the addition and renovation of S&T’s Engineering Research Facility (ERL), renovation of Schrenk Hall East and expansion of the university’s geothermal energy system. The three projects are all in the university’s initiative named “Advancing Missouri’s STEM Education and Workforce Development.”  

Shelby Ply
The American Chemical Society presented environmental engineering student Shelby Ply with an Undergraduate Student Award in Environmental Chemistry. Photo by Michael Pierce/Missouri S&T.

For the win

Miners are known for their competitive nature, as evidenced by their involvement in more than 20 student design teams, undergraduate research and other endeavors.Here’s a look at some strong finishes this year: 

  • S&T’s co-ed mucking team won second place in an international competition.
  • The Missouri S&T Steel Bridge Design Team won first place at the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Mid-America Student Symposium for the fifth consecutive time.
  • Waleed Addas, a first-year engineering student, was recognized as a top inventor at the 34th International Invention, Innovation and Technology Exhibition (ITEX) in Malaysia for his “PlantBot” invention.
  • NASA selected a student team from S&T to participate in its Breakthrough, Innovative, and Game-Changing Idea (BIG Idea) Challenge: Lunar Forge.
  • Shelby Ply, who graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering, was honored with a 2023 Undergraduate Student Award in Environmental Chemistry from the American Chemical Society.
Erik Gergstrom and Dr. Andrea Scharf in lab
Erik Bergstrom, an undergraduate student in biological sciences from Riverside, Missouri, works with Dr. Andrea Scharf, assistant professor of biological sciences, on a project to help understand how aging occurs. Starting in fall 2024, S&T will offer Ph.D. programs in biological sciences and bioengineering. Photo by Michael Pierce/Missouri S&T

Coming soon – new degree programs

Missouri S&T has long been home to some of the world’s leading biomedical engineering researchers, and the university is now on track to add three new degrees to expand its reach into biohealth: a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering, a Ph.D. in bioengineering and a Ph.D. in biological sciences

The university aims to admit students into these new programs starting in fall 2024, pending approval from the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education. .

Prakash Reddy in chemistry lab
Dr. V. Prakash Reddy, professor of chemistry and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, poses for a picture in his laboratory at S&T. Photo by Michael Pierce/Missouri S&T.

In the national spotlight

Missouri S&T’s name is shared nationally – and in some cases, internationally – thanks to the expertise and work of faculty and students. The following are a few examples. 

Dr. Michael Moats, chair of materials science and engineering at Missouri S&T, testifies about critical mineral production in the United States to the House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on Feb. 9.

An issue of critical importance 

Missouri S&T’s expertise in critical minerals and materials research led to its selection as one of 31 Regional Innovation and Technology Hubs (Tech Hubs) funded through the CHIPS and Science Act. The S&T initiative, called the Critical Minerals and Materials for Advanced Energy (CM2AE) Tech Hub, is focused on   creating economic development strategies for a mineral-rich 14-county region of Missouri.

With support from the National Science Foundation, Missouri S&T brought together leaders from academia, government, and the private sector for its third annual Critical Minerals Workshop in August. Attendees discussed the potential of mining critical minerals in the U.S., mineral processing and recycling, critical mineral policies, and sustainability.

In February, Dr. Michael Moats, chair of materials science and engineering at Missouri S&T, appeared before a U.S. House of Representatives panel to provide expert testimony on critical minerals production in the United States and the impact of foreign production of these minerals to the U.S.

Dr. Shelley D. Minteer joined Missouri S&T from the University of Utah to lead S&T’s Kummer Institute Center for Resource Sustainability. Photo by Michael Pierce/Missouri S&T.

New leaders step up 

Missouri S&T welcomed the following individuals to leadership positions in 2023:

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, right, answers a question from Dr. Larry Gragg, university historian, following Blunt’s talk on Nov. 9 at Leach Theatre. Photo by Michael Pierce/Missouri S&T.

Be our guest

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt and Gary White, CEO and co-founder of and WaterEquity, kicked off Missouri S&T’s new Chancellor’s Speaker Series with talks in November. The series was established to bring notable speakers to campus and the Rolla community to share their compelling stories, insights and perspectives on topics that address issues of importance within society, and to encourage the creative exchange of ideas.

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