THE STATE OF ENERGETIC MATERIALS RESEARCH AT MONTANA TECH
Montana Tech, with an enrollment of about 3,000 students from 42 states and 24 foreign countries, offers degree programs at the doctorate, masters, bachelor, associate, and certificate levels. Founded as a School of Mines through the Act of Congress that granted statehood to Montana, Montana Tech's mission today is to provide exemplary undergraduate and graduate education, workforce development, research and service, building on its strong heritage in engineering, science, and technology and blending theory with practice to meet the changing needs of society and enable the responsible development and use of natural resources. In this context, Montana Tech's engagement with energetic materials research is a new and growing interest. The university has both a substantial collection of sophisticated instrumentation that should be important to energetic materials research and a group of technologically-oriented engineering and science faculty who are willing to move into this research area. For example, Jack Skinner has had nearly ten years' experience as a staff member at Sandia National Laboratories, focusing on national security issues with technical solutions coming from the development and application of interdisciplinary devices and materials, particularly nanomaterials. Brahma Pramanik was previously involved in research at the University of Mississippi focused on the mechanical properties of those explosives responsible for the sporadic explosion of guns on the battlefield. Douglas Cameron has extensive experience and expertise in the area of chemical analysis, in particular organic compounds, and is accomplished in all of the techniques required to analyze energetic materials and their reaction products (mass spectrometry, chromatography and spectroscopy). Bryce Hill has expertise is in the area of electronics microcontrollers and controls, and is capable of interfacing computers to sensors and developing new strategies to produce feedback in a way that lends itself to the development of the systems necessary to enable the full utilization of energetic materials in a safe and effective way. The Center for Advanced Mineral and Metallurgical Processing is the campus focal point for all academic and contract research and development in those areas related to materials science, including energetic materials.
DR. RONALD J. WHITE is the Director of the Center for Advanced Mineral and Metallurgical Processing at Montana Tech. From 2009 to 2014 he served as the Vice President for Research at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Before that he held a variety of NASA-related positions, including that of Chief Scientist for Life Sciences at NASA Headquarters. He has received the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, was elected to full membership in the International Academy of Astronautics and has received their Life Sciences Award and their Luigi Napolitano Literature Award. He has authored more than 65 scientific papers.