Author: Lori Ferguson

Engineers have the last laugh: The Loretto Heights water tower caper of 1962

As students in the 1960s, Harold Heinze ’64 and his classmates were committed to a rigorous work ethic. “From Sundays at 6 p.m. to Fridays at 4:30 p.m., Mines was a serious place,” Heinze recalled. “You were a student and worked hard—that’s what you did.”  There were, however, two exceptions to that rule. “Friday evening until Sunday afternoon was fun time, and then there was the annual Engineer’s Day, or E-Day, a spring weekday when classes were canceled and everyone was given time to play in activities and contests on campus,” Heinze continued. In other words, it was the...

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Mines Team Creates Fire Extinguisher for International Space Station

For decades, portable fire extinguishers (PFE) have dispensed halon or carbon dioxide (CO2), agents that were effective, yet presented certain risks. A team of Mines faculty and students have perfected a new alternative—an innovative water-mist PFE—and it’s revolutionizing NASA’s ability to protect astronauts and equipment in the sensitive, closed environment of the International Space Station (ISS). Admittedly, water isn’t a new fire suppression agent. In fact, it’s one of the world’s oldest. But for many years, water has been eschewed in favor of the chemical compound halon and, more recently, CO2. Despite their efficacy, these suppressants come with significant drawbacks: halon damages the ozone layer, and carbon dioxide depletes the oxygen supply—a particular concern in enclosed spaces such as the ISS. When Mines’ Center for Space Resources...

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Current Issue: Summer 2018

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