Kent D. Peaslee was the founder and Director of the Steel Manufacturing Research Center at Missouri S&T, having worked tirelessly for many years to develop this industry/university research consortium. It was Kent’s dream to realize this cooperative research center, which would provide research funding to help support future generations of metallurgical engineers in training at Missouri S&T, and which would provide fundamental problem solving to the steel industry through collaborative research.
To our sorrow and loss, Kent passed away just three days before the inaugural meeting of the new center. With determination and a dedication to seeing this dream come to fruition, the industrial partners and Missouri S&T faculty proceeded with the launch on schedule. The first act of the Industrial Advisory Board was to request that the name of the center be formally changed to the Kent D. Peaslee Steel Manufacturing Research Center (PSMC), and this was approved by the University of Missouri Board of Curators at their June meeting, 2013.
At the time of his passing, Professor Peaslee was the F. Kenneth Iverson Chair of Steelmaking Technologies, and a Curators Teaching Professor in Metallurgy, the Associate Chair of the Materials Science and Engineering Department at Missouri University of Science and Technology, and Director of the new Steel Manufacturing Research Center being established at Rolla. After graduating with a BS in metallurgical engineering from Colorado School of Mines, Kent spent 13 years working in the steel industry starting as a metallurgical engineer at CF&I Steel (now Evraz-Pueblo) and working his way through a number of technical and operating positions to General Manager of Technical Services for Bayou Steel (now ArcelorMittal-LaPlace). In 1991, he decided to pursue an academic career by enrolling full-time in the metallurgical engineering PhD program at University of Missouri-Rolla (now Missouri S&T). After graduation in 1994, Kent joined the Missouri S&T faculty and taught 19 years of metallurgical engineering. As a faculty member, Kent received several teaching and research awards, including the Governor of Missouri’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2007, J. Keith Brimacombe Memorial Award from the Association for Iron and Steel Technology in 2008, four best paper awards in iron and steel from the American Foundry Society during the last three years, two best paper awards from AIST-ISS, 10 outstanding teaching awards and 7 faculty excellence awards from the University of Missouri. Kent published more than 140 technical papers in the area of steelmaking and steel manufacturing, and in 2013 concluded a term serving as President of the Association of Iron and Steel Technology, the first academic elected to this position.