Wlezien elected to AIAA Board of Directors

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The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) announced today the results of its 2015 Board of Directors election. Richard Wlezien, department chair of aerospace engineering, has been elected to vice president-elect of education. The newly elected board members will begin their terms of office on May 7. President-Elect James “Jim” Maser, Pratt & Whitney Vice President-Elect, [Continue Reading…]

Actually, it is rocket science

It’s not every day you get congratulated by NASA. The Cyclone Student Launch Initiative Team just finished competing against approximately 20 other university teams in a NASA competition for rocket technologies. The intent is that these technologies could be used by NASA to collect and transport samples from planet Mars back to Earth, and the [Continue Reading…]

AerE inducts exemplary alumni into Hall of Distinction

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On Tuesday, April 7, the Department of Aerospace Engineering inducted two alumni into their Distinguished Hall of Alumni. The event included a student showcase featuring work from aerospace graduate students and Make to Innovate teams, and a cocktail hour and dinner in the Iowa State Alumni Center. Chris Chadwick was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. [Continue Reading…]

ISU engineering students will auction Ghanaian folk art coffin to fund village dam

Engineers Without Borders-ISU will auction the folk art coffin by Eric Adjetey Anang to help fund an earthen dam in Ghana. From left, engineering students Kevin Strohm, Jason Schmitt and Joe Gettemy. (Photo by Christopher Gannon)

Iowa State University engineering students hope that auctioning a rare work of folk art can help fund construction of an earthen dam for an African village. The artwork is a painted coffin in the form of an ear of corn. It was sculpted by Ghana’s leading fantasy coffin artist, Eric Adjetey Anang, when he was [Continue Reading…]

Students showcase research, projects at symposium

Students present their boards and research in a gallery at the Undergraduate Research Symposium on April 14 in the Memorial Union. (Photo by Emily Matson)

Iowa State’s ninth annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression Symposium took place Tuesday in the Pioneer Room of the Memorial Union. The symposium included 49 majors, 145 students and 113 presentations of research projects undergraduate students have been developing. The event is coordinated by the honors program to showcase various types of research from undergraduate students. It [Continue Reading…]

Iowa State professor and Ph.D. student explore new phase transformation mechanism

Valery Levitas

Researchers focused on the effect of elastic energy on nucleation. Valery Levitas, Schafer Professor and faculty member of aerospace engineering and of mechanical engineering, continues to work on the solid-solid phase transformation via intermediate melt (IM) research he developed a decade ago. His original work (Levitas et al. Phys. Review Letters, 2004, 92, 235702) has [Continue Reading…]

Rockets shake and rattle, so SpaceX rolls homegrown CFD

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At its engine plant in Texas, SpaceX is trying out a number of different injectors and other parameters to squeeze the most performance out of its engines, and it runs tests every day. These tests are expensive and, more importantly, even if you design engines and do physical testing on them and layer them with [Continue Reading…]

EM Success Center meets the needs of today’s students

Leroy Stuges, EM Success Center

Think of it as one-stop shopping for all your studying needs: the Engineering Mechanics Success Center. Aerospace engineering lecturer Jenny Johannsen and other aerospace engineering professors have created and enhanced a space for students to receive supplemental help, feedback on homework and where other study resources are made available. This service has been around for [Continue Reading…]

2016 U.S. News graduate program rankings

The U.S. News and World Report magazine released its national graduate school rankings for 2016 on March 10, 2015. Several engineering programs climbed in the rankings, including Iowa State’s program in agricultural and biosystems engineering, which  jumped one spot to No. 3. 2016 engineering graduate program rankings: Biological/Agricultural Engineering, 3rd overall, 3rd among publics Aerospace/Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering, [Continue Reading…]

Club ‘shoots for the moon’ by making robot in NASA competition

The ISU Lunabotics Club, led by senior Garrett Schieber, is working on the completion of a robotic machine that could potentially work in space for mining. Their project is being worked on in the Nuclear Engineering Laboratory.

Everything is silent. The surface is cold and dusty and over the horizon — Earth and beyond. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were able to feel what it’s actually like to traverse the moon’s surface, but a group of ISU students is now trying to do the next best thing — send their new creation [Continue Reading…]

Aerospace engineering professor selected as ASME Fellow

Hui Hu

Hui Hu recognized nationally for outstanding engineering achievements With a technical background in experimental aerodynamics, fluid dynamics and heat transfer, Hui Hu, professor of aerospace engineering, has applied his knowledge across the fields of wind energy, aircraft icing and anti-icing/de-icing technology, thermal management of gas turbines, unsteady aerodynamics and microfluidics. Hu’s lasting contributions to the [Continue Reading…]

Iowa State engineers study the benefits of adding a second, smaller rotor to wind turbines

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Hui Hu picked up a 3-D printed model of a typical wind turbine and began explaining two problems with the big, tall, three-bladed machines. First, said the Iowa State University professor of aerospace engineering, check out the base of each blade. They’re big, round structural pieces. They’re not shaped like an airfoil. And so they [Continue Reading…]

AerE department chair interviewed about drone guidelines

This month the Federal Aviation Administration released proposed guidelines for commercial unmanned aerial systems—commonly known as ‘drones.’ Rich Wlezien, chair of the Aerospace Engineering department at Iowa State University, says the current rules are so strict Iowa State students can’t even test the drones they’ve built in class because they pay ISU tuition, technically making [Continue Reading…]

New drone rules could benefit Iowa farmers, businesses

Richard Wlezien

Newly proposed commercial rules for the use of unmanned aircraft open doors for Iowa farmers, realtors and businesses to be more productive, experts said Monday. “On one side we have this great economic development opportunity. (Unmanned aircraft) can have a huge impact on the productivity of farmland, so we don’t want to miss that,” said [Continue Reading…]

Developing the next generation of solar-powered robotic systems

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Ran Dai earns NSF CAREER award to design unmanned vehicles for long-duration, high-efficiency missions Using renewable energy to power aerial and ground vehicles could change the way we handle aspects of environmental monitoring, search and rescue missions, surveillance, and agricultural practices. To navigate these sorts of dynamic environments, Ran Dai, an assistant professor in aerospace [Continue Reading…]

Aerospace engineering professor improves energetic performance of aluminum micron-scale particles

Valery Levitas

Valery Levitas demonstrates value of a new melt-dispersion mechanism Aluminum-fueled composites are known to have high-energy densities, especially in comparison to other fuel. That’s why researchers are interested in the reaction of aluminum particles with various oxidizers. Valery Levitas, Schafer Professor and faculty member of aerospace engineering and mechanical engineering, says the main direction being [Continue Reading…]

Graduate student researches commercial airflight lift after an initial love of toy airplanes

Anil Jairam

Anil Jairam uses new technology to increase lift of laminar wings Even as a child, Anil Jairam had aerospace engineering in his sights. He was always fascinated by flight and enjoyed playing with toy airplanes. Now, he’s focusing his attention on advancing the design of aircraft wings. Jairam attended Bartlett High School, Academy of Science, [Continue Reading…]

Aerospace engineering alumnus takes part in gliding competition

Tony Condon, Jr., 2008 aerospace engineering alumnus, will be one of two glider pilots representing the U.S. this summer in the 1st FAI World 13.5 Meter World Gliding Championship in Lithuania. This story was originally published by Michael Tidemann in the Estherville News.

Abhinaya Raghothaman: Childhood dream takes flight

Abhinaya Raghothaman

ISU senior travels to United States and sets life goal Many children dream about what they will be when they grow up, but few achieve this goal. Abhinaya Raghothaman, aerospace engineering senior, is one of the few. Raghothaman moved from New Delhi, India, to Dubuque, Iowa, when she was 13 years old. She was extremely [Continue Reading…]

Dan Donahue: Get involved in everything

Dan Donahue

Research and Greek life teach aerospace engineering senior the importance of being a team player Most freshmen at Iowa State never imagine they will be on a research team to design an airplane that goes faster than the speed of sound. Aerospace engineering senior Dan Donahue is doing just that. His research experiences have also [Continue Reading…]

Jake Harry: Combining an interest of math with engineering to ultimately help others

Jake Harry

Aerospace engineering senior says being engaged in and outside of classroom shaped his adventure at Iowa State Sometimes things are meant to go together. For Jake Harry, a senior in aerospace engineering, that serendipity was applying his math skills in an engineering field. “I’ve always enjoyed using math to build something useful and help other [Continue Reading…]

New aerospace professor works to connect the world with more efficient air travel 

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Peng Wei, a self-titled “airplane nerd,” joins the Iowa State faculty in the Department of Aerospace Engineering beginning in January 2015. He’ll teach two classes in systems engineering and work on three areas of research related to his biggest interest: air traffic management, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and airline and airport operations. Wei earned his [Continue Reading…]

Aerospace engineering professor published in Aerospace America

How would a scientist go about destroying an asteroid or comet, also known as NEOs, headed toward a major city on Earth? Bong Wie, aerospace engineering professor and Asteroid Deflection Center founder, offered advice on the situation in the January 2015 issue of Aerospace America. Though experts expect Earth to be struck every 100 million years by [Continue Reading…]

Cyclones advance space exploration while working on Orion’s first test flight

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Aerospace engineering alumni are part of successful NASA test flight mission NASA began a new era of exploration with the Orion test flight on December 5, 2014. The Exploration Flight Test (EFT-1) was a two-orbit and nearly five-hour mission to test critical Orion systems, including the avionics, parachute and heatshield. This program would not be [Continue Reading…]

Iowa State students participate in national STEM challenge

Geiken and Kraft's team met with Senator Chuck Grassley while in Washington, D.C.

Real World Design Challenge hosts Iowa State freshmen in Washington, D.C. Getting young people involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) has been an educational goal for many schools, organizations and the government. The Real World Design Challenge (RWDC) also has this goal, which it emphasizes during state competitions and a national competition in [Continue Reading…]