November 10 – Humanities and Social Sciences Open House

IMG_0214Missouri University of Science and Technology tried something a bit new in its self-identification as a hotbed of research. It ‘reached in’ instead of ‘out’ by holding an open house with five departments who comprise a bulk of the expertise in humanities, and social sciences. Department chairs Greg Gelles of Economics, Larry Gragg of History and Social Sciences, Lance Haynes of Arts, Languages and Philosophy, Nancy Stone of Psychological Science and Kristine Swenson of English and Technical Communications in turn gave powerful evidence of the scholarly work of their faculty. You missed an insightful and compelling case if you didn’t attend – the 35 in attendance were given keys to open lots cabinets that enclose pockets of remarkable authorship and cooperation.

The deans from each of S&T colleges along with the Vice Provost for Research provided context and articulated in clear terms why Missouri S&T does research, what researchers contribute to the intellectual health and reputation of the university and hoIMG_0229w they personally value the interdisciplinary nature of the environment that Missouri S&T  is today. Thoughtful, consistent and committed K. Krishnamurthy, Steve Roberts and Ian Ferguson provided context to the assembled faculty and made the strategic plan RISING TO THE CHALLENGE: MISSOURI S&T’S STRATEGY FOR SUCCESS come to life.IMG_0223

In the informal reception following faculty, staff members and administrators engaged each other in detailed but warm interchanges of personal and professional interests. If one is allowed to judge by watching IMG_0230people, that little party was a success all by itself.  But perhaps the most telling of all was a comment by Lance Haynes noting that this style of interchange between faculty members: freeform, spontaneous, casual and comfortable, is something that barely occurs outside of a faculty lounge/center. Missouri S&T, Lance noted, has long been missing a venue for such healthy and convivial conversations across the spread of faculty.

Funding Watch

Missouri S&T subscribes to ProQuest PIVOT a database that keeps a current and comprehensive list of research funding opportunities accessible to all S&T personnel. Please check it out and establish your personalized funding matches.

Here are a few items this week that may tickle your interest:

OSP 2020 — survey of research staff professional development

OSP 2020 K. Krishnamurthy (

Missouri S&T Strategic Plan is supported by other plans from departments, school and functions. Our campus research enterprise is one of those supporting plans and is called OSP 2020. I invite you to participate in it and a copy can be had at the sponsored programs website.

We have five themes for improvement A – E and each theme has a set of actions to be conducted. As an example one theme has an action that called for a survey, since conducted, of the faculty and research staffs on needs and level of service satisfaction. That survey informed us of actions to be taken for improvement. I am now working my way through that list of needs and have done things like subscribing to ProQuest PIVOT for the campus. 

An action called for this quarter is to discover the professional development needs of our research staff members from the administrators and the technical staff at the various centers and with OSP personnel. A temporary committee is being formed to help me look at this and will be surveying you for your opinions in the first part of November. The analysis of that survey will help me create a set of improvements for our campus research performance.

Spotlight on RMERC

The Rock Mechanics & Explosives Research Center (RMERC), founded in 1964, maybe our oldest research center on campus. It provides research leadership in a broad range of scientific and engineering fields with emphasis on activities centered on or related to the mineral resource lease.

The Center serves the mining and petroleum industries, the nuclear industry, geological science and engineering and the related wider industrial manufacturing community. A particular emphasis is to foster innovative and responsive research in rock physics and all fields of science and engineering that deal with rock, including energy production, mining, geology, geophysics, nuclear and related fields.

Top things you ought to know about RMERC are:
• Gatherings are held each Friday during the academic year from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. in the Rock Mechanics conference room (106). All are welcome; event is open to the public.
• We are located at the edge of campus @ 1006 Kingshighway, Rolla, MO 65409 across the street from Wendy’s fast food.
• You may ask us for seed funding which typically takes the form of graduate stipends, but some support is also available for preliminary data collection or meeting with potential sponsors. Requests are considered at the beginning of each semester. Please submit requests of no more than two pages to Dr. Stewart Gillies by Jan. 7 for the spring semester.
• We have some unusual research facilities/capabilities. We don’t mind sharing and we don’t mind getting dirty.


Research Events of Interest

Working on this busy campus it is hard to track key research events. Here are a few coming up soon. The author welcomes other events to post.

  • October 22, 2014 (Wednesday) from 3:00 – 4:00 PM at 140 Toomey Hall – Meeting Topic: Understanding the Human Brain. The intent of the meeting is to identify interested faculty, facilitate formation of teams and answer any questions you may have on a statewide limited submission NSF EPSCoR funding opportunity.
  • October 23, 2014 (Thursday) from 6:30 – 8:00 pPMat Leach Theater the American Nuclear Society presentation on the New Nuclear World.
  • October 28, 2014 (Tuesday) from 3:00 – 4:00 PM at 140 Toomey Hall – Meeting Topic: Water-Food-Energy Nexus. The intent of the meeting is to identify interested faculty, facilitate formation of teams and answer any questions you may have on a second statewide limited submission NSF EPSCoR funding opportunity.
  • November 4 2014 f(Tuesday) from 4 until 5 PM; Research Center Directors Meeting at OSP
  • November 10 2014 (Friday) from 3:30 until 5 PM; Open House for Humanities and Social Sciences
  • November 10 until November 21; Survey Responses Sought for Professional Development of Research Staff Workforce;