Feb. 17, 2014

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Celebrating National Engineers Week

This week is National Engineers Week, which is always a special time at Missouri S&T. Although we have growing degree offerings beyond engineering, from our innovative business program to our new industrial-organizational psychology program, I'm proud of the fact that we continue to be one of the nation's top schools for engineering with three times the number of engineering programs found at most universities.

As an engineer myself, I found my ears perking up during the last Super Bowl. Did you happen to notice that Volkswagen commercial where an engineer “gets his wings” every time a VW crosses the 100,000-mile mark? The spot caught my attention because not one woman was shown getting her wings! Judging from that TV ad, you would assume the entire design floor of Volkswagen is an exclusive club.

You can read more about my thoughts on this here, including a silver lining of sorts: Toy company GoldieBlox, which makes engineering toys marketed to girls, was also featured during the big game.

Still, it's clear to me that we as a society have, as Robert Frost put it, “miles to go” before we sleep. If we are to meet the nation's needs for engineers, we must not discount the contributions and potential of women engineers.

I encourage you to mark this special week by encouraging the young people in your lives to consider a rewarding career in engineering. It's an exciting field, and we need to make sure more young people of all stripes know about the possibilities that are out there.

Design teams featured at St. Louis Science Center
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Missouri S&T design teams featured at St. Louis Science CenterIn recognition of National Engineers Week, Missouri S&T will send almost a dozen of its student design teams to the St. Louis Science Center to display their inventions this weekend.

The Science Center will host Missouri S&T's teams all day on Saturday, Feb. 22, and Sunday, Feb. 23. The teams will all have members on hand to answer questions about their respective projects. Find out which teams will be there!

Business booming for explosives program
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Missouri S&T has been approved by the Coordinating Board of Higher Education to offer the nation's first Ph.D. in explosives engineering. Missouri S&T was also the first in the nation to offer undergraduate and post-graduate minors in explosives engineering in 2005, a postgraduate certificate in 2006, and a master's degree in 2010.

The new doctorate will help the university fill critical shortfalls in government and industry. In the mining industry alone, more than 5,000 engineers will retire in the next decade. Learn more here.

Driving culture change
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MoDOT rebar project - Missouri S&TFebruary is also Black History Month, and at S&T we are celebrating with several events and profiling alumni like Steve Parks, who serves as director of diversity for Ameren Corp. in St. Louis.

“Our culture is so powerful that it sometimes makes us think certain behaviors are okay that really aren't,” says Parks, who earned his degree in engineering management in 1982. “If everyone understood the pain we put on people who are excluded, I think most of us would say, ‘I need to stop doing that. I just didn't know.'”

He speaks from experience. The first in his family to attend college, Parks came to Missouri S&T through the Minority Engineering Program, which will celebrate its 40th anniversary this year. The program was developed by professors and student representatives from the Association for Black Students to bring more minority students to the university through a scholarship program supported by industry. Today, the MEP mission is part of the office of student diversity, outreach and women's programs.


Missouri University of Science and Technology