Miner Stories

NIH’s first woman scientist

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Dr. Ida Bengston was the first woman the National Institutes of Health (NIH) hired as a scientist in 1916. For 30 years she served the NIH – and several communities throughout the U.S., including Rolla. Bengston came to Rolla in 1924 to lead research on a blindness-causing eye disease named trachoma at the city’s hospital…

Mo Dehghani speaks at the state of the university address

Mo Dehghani: what lies ahead

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Mohammad “Mo” Dehghani, who has been chancellor at S&T since 2019, discusses what he believes…

Inventing the future at ‘the idea factory’

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In the 1950s, AT&T Bell Labs was a hotbed of innovation, a place where engineers and theorists came together to invent the transistor and make major contributions to the field of lasers and cell phones. One reason: the leadership of Bell Labs’ research director Mervin Kelly, a 1914 physics graduate.  Kelly “hired the best researchers…

A civil war fortress

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As the Civil War raged on, the Union Army, following a defeat at Wilson’s Creek in southwest Missouri, fell back to Rolla and in 1863 constructed a double-deck blockhouse to protect the town from any rebel attack from the east. That building – named Fort Dette, after Capt. John F.W. Dette, who supervised most of…

Serial entrepreneurship

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Gary Havener, a 1962 graduate in mathematics, is the founder of several companies, with business dealings including real estate development and investment, refurbishing corporate jets, warehousing textbooks, designing and manufacturing antenna systems, and handling loans. He has served S&T on the Chancellor’s Leadership Academy, the Dean’s Advisory Council, the Dean’s Board of Visitors and the…

Remembering Bataan

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Gene Boyt, who earned a degree in mechanical engineering; Robert Silhavy, ceramic engineering; and John McAnerney, civil engineering, were called up to serve in the U.S. Army two weeks after they graduated in 1941. Stationed in the Philippines, the three were part of Allied troops stranded without air support after the attack on Pearl Harbor.…

One active alumnus

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James E. “Jim” Bertelsmeyer, a 1966 chemical engineering graduate and the retired founder, chair and chief executive officer of Heritage Propane Partners in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is a past president of the Miner Alumni Association, a member and past chair of the Missouri S&T Academy of Chemical Engineers, a member of S&T’s Order of the Golden…

Tom Benton’s ‘Missouri,’ from mural to movie

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It was “over a few root beer floats” one night that James Bogan and Frank Fillo decided to make a documentary of Thomas Hart Benton’s “A Social History of the State of Missouri,” the mural housed in the Missouri State Capitol. Bogan, a Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor emeritus of art at Missouri S&T, and Fillo,…

EV pioneer

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As the auto industry begins to fully embrace the notion of electric vehicles, it has EV pioneers like Jon Bereisa to thank. Bereisa, who earned a bachelor’s degree in 1967 and master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1970, helped General Motors bridge the gap from the EV1 electric vehicle to the Chevrolet Volt’s successful launch.…

Bringing it all together

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Before retiring, civil engineering graduate John Mathes headed his own multidisciplinary engineering business that specialized in high-profile contamination projects. In the early 1990s, Mathes was a part of a team that formed Project 2000 to unite the civil engineering department and its alumni in their efforts to enhance the quality of the program. As a…