The Missouri University of Science and Technology has been approved by the Coordinating Board of Higher Education to offer the nation’s first doctorate in explosives engineering, said university officials. Missouri S&T, they noted, was also the nation’s first to offer undergraduate and post-graduate minors in explosives engineering in 2005, a postgraduate certificate in 2006, and a master’s degree in 2010.

The new doctorate will help accommodate critical shortfalls in the government and the industry, according to university officials. In the mining industry alone, they noted, more than 5,000 engineers will retire in the next decade.

Explosives engineers work in mining, construction and demolition industries, among others. Some 6 billion to 7 billion lb of explosives are used annually in the U.S., 85% in providing raw materials for various uses and 12% for new construction.

More than 150 students have graduated from Missouri S&T with explosives credentials, including 18 with master’s degrees, said university representatives said. The program’s 16 courses are available on campus and via distance learning, they added.

The Missouri S&T explosives engineering program is directed by Dr. Paul Worsey, professor of mining engineering, and is a part of the mining and nuclear engineering department. The 72-hour doctorate curriculum requires a dissertation and explosives engineering core courses and electives. Much field work and research will be conducted at the university’s Experimental Mine Facility in Rolla.

Information about the explosives engineering program at Missouri S&T can be found online at

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