Multicultural Learning Community Explores Biorenewables

Nineteen curious undergraduates gathered with five peer mentors in the lobby of the Biorenewables Research Laboratory (BRL) at Iowa State University for the annual “BRL Experience” on April 4. This event gives undergraduate students an opportunity to meet bioenergy researchers and graduate students, and tour the BRL engineering research labs. Throughout the visit, the undergraduate [Continue Reading...]

Corn Stover Gains Attention in Iowa for Industrial Uses


Corn stover, used for decades as silage and bedding, is now being harvested for industrial use. Currently in Iowa, two cellulosic ethanol plants have biomass needs for corn stover. Producers can learn about engineering, agronomic and financial issues related to corn stover harvest in a new series of fact sheets from Iowa State University Extension [Continue Reading...]

Yin Bao, ABE PhD candidate, profiled by Graduate College


Yin Bao is a PhD student in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department. He received his B.E. degree in Vehicle Engineering from China Agricultural University in 2012. He is currently working on an automated high-throughput field phenotyping robot for biomass sorghum under Dr. Lie Tang’s guidance. This project has the potential to take plant breeding programs [Continue Reading...]

Iowa State, University of Perugia team to compare real-time monitoring of structures

The following is an excerpt from an April 1, 2014, American Society of Civil Engineers Civil Engineering magazine article: Teams in Iowa and Italy collaborate to develop two different sensor technologies that will enable real time monitoring of large, complex structures. Researchers in Ames, Iowa, and Perugia, Italy, are working collaboratively on separate nanocomposite materials [Continue Reading...]

Stinn, ABE PhD candidate, profiled by Graduate College


John Stinn is a PhD candidate in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE). Hailing from southwest Iowa, John grew up on a livestock farm and developed strong passion for animal agriculture, mathematics, and engineering at a young age. Enrolling into ABE at ISU ­ the place where the world¹s first degree of agricultural [Continue Reading...]

Chemical engineering student follows in father’s footsteps on a National Student Exchange program

The following is an excerpt from an April 1 Iowa State University News Service release: AMES, Iowa — Next fall, an Iowa State University student will experience a National Student Exchange (NSE) to the University of Alabama — just like his father did 31 years ago as a college student in North Dakota. It was [Continue Reading...]

Hurburgh comments on new food safety legislation

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) passed in 2011, but its rules won’t be in place until mid-2015. Ostensibly, FSMA offered a paradigm shift in the food safety sector, preventing contamination instead of only responding to it. Part of the legislation applies to handling animal feed. The Food and Drug Administration has a proposed rule [Continue Reading...]

ECpE engineer builds instrument to study effects of genes, environment on plant traits

Liang Dong

AMES, Iowa – Let’s say plant scientists want to develop new lines of corn that will better tolerate long stretches of hot, dry weather. How can they precisely assess the performance of those new plants in different environmental conditions? Field tests can provide some answers. Greenhouse tests can provide some more. But how can plant [Continue Reading...]

Distillers Grains Symposium Set for May 14 and 15


The Distillers Grains Technology Council, based at Iowa State University, will host its annual scientific meeting this May in Irving, Texas. “The symposium will provide the latest information and issues on distillers grains marketing and merchandising, animal nutrition, processing technologies and governmental regulations,” said Kurt Rosentrater, executive director of the Distillers Grains Technology Council and an [Continue Reading...]

Education Report: ISU, DMACC partner on engineering event

Des Moines Area Community College and Iowa State University are co-sponsoring a Discover Engineering Day in April. High school students considering a career in engineering and their parents are invited to attend the free, three-hour interactive program that will allow students to experience activities performed by professional engineers. During the program, planned for 10 a.m. [Continue Reading...]

Room-temperature vaccine could be boon to developing countries

Balaji Narasimhan, Vlasta Klima Balloun Professor of Chemical Engineering, discussed the potential of nanovaccines at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in Dallas, Texas, held March 16-20. Nanovaccines, which embed proteins from disease-causing organisms into tiny, polymer spheres five hundred times smaller than the width of a human hair, can be designed to target any [Continue Reading...]

Iowa State’s Jing Dong publishes study on plug-in electric vehicles

Jing Dong_directory

Below is an excerpt from a March 11, 2014, Green Car Congress article: A study based on a spatial and longitudinal travel dataset by a team from Lamar University, Iowa State University (Assistant Professor Jing Dong) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory found that whether plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) have lower energy costs than conventional gasoline vehicles [Continue Reading...]

ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Recognizes Outstanding Faculty and Staff

CALS awards

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University presented annual awards to faculty and staff at its spring awards ceremony on March 12. Award winners include: The Outstanding Service in Student Recruitment and Retention Award goes to David Grewell, an associate professor in agricultural and biosystems engineering. He developed a strategic plan [Continue Reading...]

The wait is nearly over

Biorenewables Complex construction

Progress continues at the agricultural and biosystems engineering facility, with construction about 90 percent complete. Crews have hand-mixed and troweled nearly three-fourths of a white terrazzo floor in the atrium (pictured), which connects Elings (left) and Sukup (center) halls with the Biorenewables Research Laboratory (right), phase one of the complex. Outdoor site work, including sidewalk [Continue Reading...]

Matthew Nelson, M2I coordinator, interviewed about court case involving FAA and UAS

Matt Nelson drones Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 9.12.31 AM

BSE student voted Government of the Student Body President

Kletscher and Hoefer

Hillary Kletscher, 2014-15 president of the Government of the Student Body, looks forward to starting a new chapter in GSB. Kletscher is a junior in biological systems engineering. Her running mate, Mike Hoefer, is a junior in industrial engineering. “Our campaign went really well and we had a lot of fun,” Kletscher said. “[Mike Hoefer, [Continue Reading...]

Cellulosic ethanol requires efficiently collecting corn stover bales

Corn stover experts have found ways to reduce the cost of bringing corn stover from the field to cellulosic ethanol plants. A study conducted by DuPont Cellulosic Ethanol and Iowa State University was able to reduce the cost of moving corn stover from $91 per ton to $52 per ton – a reduction of about [Continue Reading...]

WE ARE IOWA: ISU Professor Travels Through Space

Anderson Screen Shot channel 5

Professor James Hill named to Council for Chemical Research


James Hill, University Professor of chemical and biological engineering at Iowa State University, was recently named to the 2014 Council for Chemical Research Governing Board of Directors. The 8-member board comprises academic, industry and government experts in U.S. chemistry-related science and engineering. Other newly elected members include Mark Benvenuto, professor of chemistry and department chairman [Continue Reading...]

Ames Laboratory’s Karl Gschneidner won Acta Materialia Materials and Society Award

Karl A. Gschneidner Jr., senior metallurgist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory, was presented the 2014 Acta Materialia Materials and Society Award on February 18. The award honors scientists who have made a major positive impact on society through materials science. Gschneidner, known as “Mr. Rare Earth,” is considered the world’s foremost authority [Continue Reading...]

Fulbright Teaching Scholar Tim Ellis honored in Malta

Tim Ellis, associate professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering, is pictured far left. Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, U.S. Ambassador to Malta, recognized Ellis Feb. 14 during his Fulbright teaching exchange in Malta.

Timothy Ellis, associate professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering at Iowa State University, was recognized in Valleta, Malta, Feb. 14 as a Fulbright Scholar. Last year he earned the Fulbright Teaching Award from the International Council for International Exchange of Scholars. During the Spring 2014 semester, Ellis has been teaching at the University of [Continue Reading...]

Chemical engineering student conducts Army ROTC water combat training

The following is summarized from a Feb. 20, 2014, Iowa State Daily story, “Making a splash: Army ROTC cadets build confidence.” On Feb. 19, chemical engineering freshman Kristine McCunn and about 119 other ISU Army ROTC cadets jumped into the Beyer Hall pool for the bi-annual Combat Water Survival Training Lab. Cadets rotated through five stations [Continue Reading...]

New Holland provides tractors to Iowa State University BioCentury Research Farm

The loan of two tractors by New Holland Agriculture to Iowa State University’s BioCentury Research Farm has provided new options for its biomass research projects. The BioCentury Research Farm combines biomass feedstock production, harvesting, storing, transporting and biorefinery processing into a complete system to develop the next generation of biofuels and biobased products. A New [Continue Reading...]

How Nuclear Bombs Could Save Earth from Killer Asteroids

The most destructive weapon humanity has ever developed could help our species avoid going the way of the dinosaurs. Pretty much any asteroid that poses a threat to Earth can be blasted out of the heavens using a nuclear bomb, even with warning times of a week or less, say a team of scientists who have been [Continue Reading...]

Ashlock receives USGS grant to improve geophysical soil testing

Jeramy Ashlock_Borehole Soil test_featured image

Jeramy Ashlock, assistant professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering, aims to improve the accuracy of geophysical soil profiling for seismic design and analysis. The U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Earthquake Hazards Program recently awarded Ashlock a $64,426 grant for the project, “Seismic Profiling by Multi-Mode Rayleigh Waves.” Ashlock and geotechnical engineering doctoral student Shibin Lin [Continue Reading...]