Alumni Spotlights

R. Tim Bradley, Petroleum Engineering ’77

I am a retired president of Kinder Morgan CO2 Co. Missouri S&T’s faculty members did a remarkable job preparing me with the knowledge and skills necessary to embark on a successful career. I secured a job with Shell Oil Company prior to graduation and am proud of the impact I made while working in the field of enhanced oil recovery.

 

Words of advice

Become a student of your business – not only your piece of it, but also everything that surrounds your piece. Become immersed in it, marinate in it and soak it all up. Doing this will prepare you and give you the skills to see opportunities before others and increase the odds of being able to take them in the direction you want them to go.  

John W. Cash, Geology and Geophysics '94, MS Geology and Geophysics '95
I currently serve as the CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors for Ur-Energy Inc.; a Wyoming based uranium producer using in situ technology. Over the last thirty years, the uranium mining industry has offered me so many opportunities across several disciplines including regulatory affairs, exploration, mine operations and management. The wonderful education I received from Missouri S&T made this possible and opened so many doors due to the universities’ solid reputation. One of the highlights of my career was my selection in 2005 to participate as a fellow at the inaugural World Nuclear Association’s Summer Institute.

Words of Advice
Make continuing education in your chosen field a priority so you have a deep understanding of limitations and opportunities. Push the envelope by developing novel solutions and taking informed risks. If you never fail, you weren’t taking enough risks.

 

Dr. Farouk El-Baz, MS Geology ’61, Ph.D. Geology ’64
I am a retired director of the Center for Remote Sensing at Boston University. During my time at Missouri S&T in the early 60s, the dawn of the space age sparked exploration opportunities, which led to me working with and competing against experts from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Division of Astrogeology. This eventually led to me becoming secretary general of NASA’s Apollo Lunar Landing Site-Selection Committee, which selected the sites for all six lunar landing missions from 1969-1972. My education at Missouri S&T played a large role in my success, as it prepared me to analyze situations and determine the best courses of action.

Words of advice
With a great education from Missouri S&T, there is no limit to what can be achieved. After you graduate, make sure to never stop learning. When you leave S&T, you will have developed the skills necessary to be a lifelong learner and find opportunities to continue teaching yourself important lessons.

Fun fact
The producers of Star Trek: The Next Generation celebrated his work by naming one of the show’s spacecraft, El-Baz, after him.

Dr. Katherine Grote, Geological Engineering ’97
I am an associate professor of geological engineering at Missouri S&T. My undergraduate education at S&T prepared me to be successful in graduate school and gave me a love of the topics I teach and research today.

Words of advice
Try to take as many hands-on and as many quantitative courses as you can. They may be difficult, but the learning is worth it.  Also, get to know your professors. They can be very helpful in preparing you to look for jobs and in finding the right one!

Dr. Jennifer Kingston, Geological Engineering ’03, MS Geological Engineering ’04
I am a senior project manager for Haley & Aldrich, Inc. Missouri S&T helped by providing a well-balanced education in geological, environmental, and civil engineering and geology. This wide range of background allows me to participate in multiple projects in different capacities. Without this breadth of background, I would have been limited on the types of projects I could participate in.

Words of advice
Never be afraid to ask the question.  There is never a dumb question because every question causes those listening to think.  That thinking might identify a risk that wasn't considered or an opportunity that had been overlooked.  Keep asking those questions, as this will allow our industry to continue improving and supporting the environment and people.

Dr. Alan Kornacki, Geology and Geophysics ’74
I work as a part-time petroleum geochemistry consultant for Stratum Reservoir — after retiring from Shell Oil. I apply oil fingerprinting methods to help petroleum engineers understand from which shale pay zones oil is flowing after hydraulically fracturing them. The broad geology education I received at Missouri S&T as an undergraduate helped me have a successful career in the oil and gas industry.

Words of advice
Work as an intern at an oil and gas company at least once before you graduate. Take an overview course in petroleum engineering as an elective. Perform research as an undergraduate student to help prepare you for graduate school.

Molly Laegeler, Petroleum Engineering ’00
Currently, I am the vice president of strategy and sustainability for Chevron. My experiences at Rolla provided a strong engineering foundation. The ability to think critically is paying dividends as I work in my current position to address the significant challenges of the energy transition.

Words of advice
Concentrate on your classes today. Physics and chemistry do not change — yet, the application of our knowledge continues to evolve, so it is important to find a love for learning.

Kim Morrison, Geological Engineering ’96
Since 2019, I have served as the global function lead for tailings, dams and heap leach at Newmont’s corporate headquarters in Denver. I am responsible for implementing and overseeing governance programs and leading implementation of the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management. In April 2024, I will leave Newmont to take a professional break while I decide my next career move.

Words of advice
It is not about “what” you know, but “how” you are — be curious, ask questions, be open to others' ideas and be open to feedback (negative and positive). Technical knowledge opens some doors, while soft skills/emotional quotient opens many doors.

Terry Palisch, Petroleum Engineering ’86
I am of vice president of engineering and technology at CARBO Ceramics and current president of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.  My petroleum engineering degree has opened many doors of opportunity to both work and travel the world. I've been able to do my small part in making a difference in people's lives by bringing affordable, reliable and sustainable energy to humanity.

Words of advice
First and foremost, take pride in your profession. You will have a lasting impact on the world for generations to come as countries continue to develop.  Second, you have to always be learning and networking in our industry. Technology is changing rapidly, and we will only solve future energy challenges by working together to develop new technologies. The future is bright!

J. Michael Party, Geology and Geophysics ’78
I am the president and owner of Beryl Oil and Gas LP. Missouri S&T gave me the tools I need to succeed as a geologist in the oil and gas industry. The reputation of the university helps open doors, and you gain a high level of respect when people know you graduated from S&T.

Words of advice
Geoscientists today need to have a high level of technology in their background. Everything today is done with computer programs, from mapping to petrophysical analysis. To succeed as a geologist, no matter if you are in oil and gas, minerals or hydrology, you have to give 110% to your job. Always try to learn more, as you will find there are new concepts being advanced every day.

Brian Tepper, Geological Engineering 80
I retired from Shell Exploration and Production Company after 37 years specializing in formation evaluation of unconventional and difficult reservoirs. My degree at Missouri S&T opened my eyes and prepared me for the many opportunities in the subsurface geology, geophysics and petroleum engineering fields.

Words of advice
Be prepared to integrate technical data and information across the spectrum of reservoir geology, geophysics, petrophysics, reservoir engineering and geochemistry. Also, embrace new technologies and be open to listening to those with unconventional ideas.