Andersen comments on the danger of manure pit fumes

A father and his son who were so close that they were “like glue” were killed Saturday by noxious fumes from a northwest Iowa hog manure pit — the second father and son in the Midwest to die of poisonous manure pit gases this month. It takes just a few seconds for routine maintenance work [Continue Reading…]

Opinion: Improved Testing Could Reopen Bridges

Imagine pulling up to a bridge that you previously used but now is closed to you because of weight restrictions. What will you have to do to get to your destination? How far out of your way do you think you’ll go to complete a delivery or make it home? Well, that is exactly the kind of scenario that happened to me just last year. It was after harvest, and I was taking a shipment of soybeans to the local elevator. I arrived at a small, rural bridge that recently had been given a weight limit that I couldn’t clear. When that happens, it can be a lot more than just an inconvenience.

UAS could save farmers millions, study finds

farm drone

Most farmers are not able to legally fly UAS and will have to wait for the Federal Aviation Administration to finish developing rules to allow the technology to be used regularly for business, while maintaining certain safety and privacy standards. An FAA proposal this year would allow flying UAS that weigh less than 55 pounds, stay within [Continue Reading…]

Boeing’s new CEO: From summer intern to corner office

Dennis Muilenburg, speech

Maybe a few ambitious interns took notice and saw what’s possible when Dennis Muilenburg stepped into his new job at Boeing Co. this month. After all, Muilenburg, the newly anointed CEO of the global aerospace giant, was standing in their shoes exactly 30 years ago. As a Boeing intern, he probably was wondering back in [Continue Reading…]

Former astronaut, ISU grad Clay Anderson on book tour

The only Iowa State University graduate to walk in space is coming back to the Midwest this weekend on his first book tour. Retired astronaut Clayton Anderson flew two missions aboard the International Space Station, spending a total of 167 days in orbit. The 56-year-old Anderson attributes his small town upbringing to giving him the [Continue Reading…]

Ways to make sure drinking water is safe

Everyone is concerned with protecting their drinking water. Small farm and acreage owners can find tips on how to maintain safe drinking water in the Summer 2015 Acreage Living e-newsletter from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. “Maintaining safe drinking water is critical for human health,” said Jamie Benning, water quality program manager with ISU [Continue Reading…]

Iowa State attracts a record $424.9 million in external funding for fiscal year 2015

Iowa State aerospace engineers, left to right, Anupam Sharma and Hui Hu are working to improve the performance of wind turbines and wind farms. Their research has been supported by the Iowa Energy Center and the National Science Foundation.(Photo by Christopher Gannon)

Iowa State University attracted a record $424.9 million in external funding during the fiscal year that ended June 30. The jump in external funding includes a $44 million increase over the previous year from the Iowa State University Foundation and a $14 million increase from federal agencies. The previous record was $388.2 million in fiscal year 2010.

Technical glitches raising concerns over computer reliance, cyber-security

Though he doesn’t think it was a cyber-attack, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson admits U.S. cybersecurity is in need of vast improvements. Experts at the home of the first computer agree. Technical glitches caused The Wall Street Journal’s website to shut down, trading to stop at the New York Stock Exchange, and United Airlines to ground flights. The outages came one after the other, all on the same day.

Farm safety, Chuck Schwab on IowaWatch

Last year also saw another record harvest in Iowa. And while the number of deaths on Iowa’s farms has declined in the past decade, it’s still the deadliest job sector in our state. Iowa State University Professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering and extension safety specialist Charles Schwab told IowaWatch that improving the situation is [Continue Reading…]

Greenhorn grazing to optimize production

Participants in the Greenhorn Grazing program last month learned about identifying plant species, watering systems and managed grazing techniques at the John Schupbach farm near Elgin, Iowa. The next session, offer by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, will be Tuesday, July 21, at Country Junction Restaurant in Dyersville, Iowa. The workshops will begin promptly [Continue Reading…]

Team PrISUm confident of quick laps at this month’s Formula Sun Grand Prix

Team PrISUm's solar racing car turns quick laps at the 2014 Formula Sun Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. Larger photo. Photo by the American Solar Challenge.

The last time Team PrISUm raced around the Formula 1 track in Austin, Texas, the team turned the fastest lap of the 2014 Formula Sun Grand Prix. Iowa State’s solar racing car negotiated the 20-turn, 3.41-mile racetrack – including the 133-foot climb to turn 1 – in a quick 4 minutes and 35.285 seconds during last July’s grand prix.

Aaron Still: From a Raider to a Cyclone

Aaron Still, a 2014 graduate of Hudson High School, is a member of the Iowa State University Cyclone Marching Band.

Aaron Still had a great freshman year at Iowa State University. It was a busy one, too. The week before the fall semester began, Still auditioned for the Iowa State University Cyclone Marching Band. He demonstrated his marching skills for the directors; played a short, difficult composition on his trombone; and finished by performing the “ISU Fight Song” from memory.

Cyclone Racing is making strides in SAE Formula competitions

Cyclone Racing competed in Lincoln, Neb., June 17-20 at a SAE Formula competition. Courtesy of Roger Steinforth.

Kevin Harvick may be leading the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup standings, but did he build his entire car from scratch? Cyclone Racing did. Cyclone Racing is a student run organization that is focused on Formula SAE racing. The 45 horsepower car is designed, manufactured and assembled by its members. The vehicle tops out around 85 mph and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds.

Iowa Learning Farms guest blog post: Making a difference


Today’s guest blogger is Iowa Learning Farms/Water Rocks! student intern Pacifique Mugwaneza Simon, or Pac for short! Pac is a fourth year student at Iowa State University studying Industrial Technology and Agriculture System Technology. His family is originally from Burundi, a small country in East Africa, but Pac spent most of his childhood in refugee [Continue Reading…]

Iowa State among top universities granted U.S. patents

Iowa State is ranked 70th in the world among universities granted U.S. utility patents in 2014, according to a report released this week by the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO). Iowa State researchers earned 31 U.S. patents in 2014, including patents for wind turbine tower systems, computer encryption logic, bioasphalt, use of mesoporous silicates for delivering biomolecules into plant cells and improved treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

Iowa State engineers develop micro-tentacles so tiny robots can handle delicate objects


The tiny tube circled an ant’s thorax, gently trapping the insect and demonstrating the utility of a microrobotic tentacle developed by Iowa State University engineers. “Most robots use two fingers and to pick things up they have to squeeze,” said Jaeyoun (Jay) Kim, an Iowa State University associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and an associate of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory. “But these tentacles wrap around very gently.”

Danfoss Fluid Power Teaching Lab places 3rd in photo contest


A photo submitted by Dr. Brian Steward, and taken by communications specialist Dana Woolley, earned 3rd place in the “Fluid Power Professionals in Action” category. The photo contest was started to celebrate the wonder of fluid power and those in this industry. It’s a fun, creative way to get professionals involved and showcase what they [Continue Reading…]

Axle loads, tires, equipment contribute to soil compaction

Everywhere you look, farm equipment keeps getting bigger and heavier and concerns over soil compaction increase as well. Combine and grain cart axle loads are some of the heaviest on row crop land, with axle loads for larger grain carts easily exceeding 75,000 pounds, according to Mark Hanna, an extension agricultural engineer with Iowa State [Continue Reading…]

Rising egg prices bedevil restaurants, grocers and consumers

It’s not entirely clear how the virus transferred from wild birds, which are carriers of the H5N2 virus, to poultry packed in enclosed facilities. Conventional wisdom says the virus is transferred through physical contact such as bird droppings. But Hongwei Xin, director of the Egg Industry Center and professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering at [Continue Reading…]

Make an ISU bucket list

bucket list

Freshman year at college is a year full of firsts. It’s a year that can be spent learning about the traditions and rituals students take part in. Getting involved and learning the ins and outs of being a Cyclone during freshman year can make your time here at Iowa State more memorable. Starting to check things off your college bucket list during the first year is a great way to become familiar with campus and the city of Ames, while making friends at the same time. Here are 15 things you might put on your ISU bucket list.

Canadian gift will help fund avian influenza research

Egg Farmers of Canada has committed $500,000 for avian influenza research to be awarded to and administered by the Egg Industry Center (EIC) at Iowa State University. Egg Farmers of Canada is the national not-for-profit organization that represents Canada’s more than 1,000 egg farms. Given the significant impact that highly pathogenic avian influenza is having [Continue Reading…]

ISU alumnus, former astronaut, writes book about time at NASA

Throughout his career, Clayton Anderson has covered a lot of ground, both on and off this planet. Anderson, 56, served as a NASA astronaut and traveled twice to the International Space Station. Following his retirement from NASA in 2013, he began working as a distinguished faculty fellow in aerospace engineering at Iowa State University. And now, Anderson can also call himself an author.

Iowa State’s CIRAS partners with NICC to aid area companies

Seth Gilbert, NICC/CIRAS Account Manager for the Dubuque area

Two educational institutions will work together to help Dubuque-area advanced manufacturing companies. Northeast Iowa Community College and Iowa State University Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) recently partnered to provide a single point of contact for manufacturers to help them find programs and support services to reach their long-term goals.

ISU ‘hub for hands-on creativity’ awaits approval from Gov. Terry Branstad

The Student Innovation Center at Iowa State is awaiting approval from Gov. Branstad. If approved, the $80 million center will allow students from different disciplines to collaborate on a variety of projects. (Photo courtesy of Bruce Mau Design)

The Student Innovation Center, a proposed new ISU facility born from a collaboration between the College of Design and the College of Engineering, is currently awaiting approval from Gov. Terry Branstad with the rest of Iowa’s state budget.

Egg Industry Center calls for avian flu research

With the avian influenza outbreak continuing to spread across Iowa, the Egg Industry Center at Iowa State University is focusing its annual call for research proposals on projects surrounding the virus. The center releases a call for proposals for egg industry-related research as part of its research grant program every year, and is focusing on [Continue Reading…]