Discover and disseminate

Friday, March 22, 2024

Dedicated students, distinguished colleagues and dear friends,

Happy Friday!

At its core, the mission of institutions of higher education is the discovery of knowledge and dissemination of information. Within their walls, knowledge is discovered, examined, and shared well beyond the classroom or research lab. For millennia, universities around the world, as societal bright lightbulbs, have shed light on their environments, and, by extension through their alumni, unto the broader world. And, in turn, the learned alumni choose their own morphology of knowledge ingredients to discover, invent and disrupt to become change agents. In fact, in response to these Friday messages, I hear from our own forward-facing alumni from around the world who have become creators and rainmakers.

Fortunately, the advent of electronic outreach technology has greatly enhanced both processes of discovery and dissemination of information. Multi-university research teams are commonplace today as they are joint discovery efforts between universities, corporations and national laboratories. In fact, national funding organizations such as NSF, NIH, DOE, DOD, DARPA, DTRA, just to name a few, encourage and incentivize joint efforts. Here at S&T, a significant portion of our faculty-driven, solution-inspired research is a joint effort between industry and academia with results that benefit both. Recently S&T researchers were awarded a MURI research grant jointly with Duke University, Penn State and the University of California, Davis, with S&T as the lead university. The effort will enhance our understanding of material behavior at ultra-high temperatures for hypersonic applications. This MURI research grant is the first for S&T in over 25 years and one of a handful for universities in this state.

Needless to say, the same outreach technologies have enhanced the dissemination of information to the point where virtual reality has become more reality than virtual! Here at S&T, we have shared knowledge for more than 150 years, and our efforts now are to ensure that we disseminate information and share knowledge commensurate with the needs of our constituencies well beyond our physical campus boundaries. Despite constant changes in methods of delivery, our purpose – to share information efficiently – remains constant.

In that light, we are excited by the prospect of changes in the way information is shared. In addition to our broad online educational opportunities, we are enhancing our off-site but in-person operations. We are taking many of our graduate engineering and science programs where they are needed rather than expecting the workforce to come to us for the necessary training. Through our St. Louis offerings, for example, we can address industry needs in new and meaningful ways by offering full cohort master’s degree and certificate programs.

Another way we are beginning to share information at S&T is through special topic short courses that we can offer on site or virtually. This summer, Missouri S&T will host a Conference on National Security in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This specially designed course is for corporate leaders, government officials, military leaders and others who work in and are responsible for national security strategies in an increasingly complex and dynamic environment. Commonly referred to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, this high-demand conference addresses issues characterized by this revolution, including groundbreaking advancements in artificial intelligence, big data analytics, neuroscience and nanotechnology, among others. Our own S&T experts will offer insights alongside other nationally recognized speakers. The first of its kind at S&T, the conference will be offered online synchronously from July 22-26 with topics that include cybersecurity, biosecurity, quantum computing and infrastructure security. 

When our first classes were held more than 150 years ago, no one could have imagined delivering information online or taking the same class simultaneously with someone on the other side of the globe. Today, like in times long ago, our main mission remains to empower and inspire by sharing and disseminating knowledge of discovery, thereby elevating our graduates to achieve more. The essence of education remains to be the discovery and dissemination of authentic truth delivered efficiently and broadly, albeit differently.



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Mohammad Dehghani, PhD
Chancellor | 573-341-4116

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