Supercomputers listen to the heart, model native and replacement heart valve function


New supercomputer models have come closer than ever to capturing the behavior of normal human heart valves and their replacements, according to recent studies by groups including scientists at the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES) at The University of Texas at Austin and the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University.

Advancing to a carbon negative economy


Imagine a shift from our current petroleum economy—where carbon is pumped out of the ground to generate energy—toward an economy in which energy and other products are generated while putting carbon back into the ground, ultimately reducing the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air. Iowa State’s Robert C. Brown and a group of [Continue Reading…]

Guest post: Living and working in Nicaragua


This post originally appeared on the EOS International blog. It’s written by Gloria Starns, senior lecturer in mechanical engineering. Starns has been to Nicaragua the past two summers with the non-profit Emerging Opportunities for Sustainability (EOS). EOS was founded by ISU engineering alumni and is dedicated to providing sustainable technology to help generate income and [Continue Reading…]

Team PrISUm dominates Formula Sun Grand Prix, earns first overall victory

PrISUm First Place

Team PrISUm raced to its first overall solar car victory at this week’s Formula Sun Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. It was a dominating performance: No other competitor was within 30 laps after three days and 24 hours of hot racing.

Team PrISUm survives triple-digit temperatures and puts laps on its competitors

Members of Team PrISUm tilt their car's solar array to the sun for better charging. Once the day's solar racing is done, competing teams have several hours to recharge their cars' battery packs. Photo by the Formula Sun Grand Prix.

It was 104 degrees in the pits at the Circuit of the Americas race track in Austin, Texas, on Thursday. And that was a problem for some of Team PrISUm’s closest competitors in the three-day, 15-team Formula Sun Grand Prix.

Team PrISUm takes advantage of pole position, races to lead of Formula Sun Grand Prix


The student-engineers of Team PrISUm have built a fast solar racing car and a nice lead in the Formula Sun Grand Prix. The three-day track race for student-designed and student-built solar cars continues in Austin, Texas, on Thursday and Friday.

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.

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.

IIE awards Outstanding Early Career in Business/Industry Award to recent ISU graduate

Kirpes (center-left) pictured holding the IIE Outstanding Early Career in Business/Industry Award with his wife, Nicole Basile (center right), the president of IIE, James Moore (far left), and the president-elect of IIE, Michael Foss (far right).

Carl Kirpes is being recognized by the Institute of Industrial Engineers for the incredible accomplishments he’s made as a young professional. Kirpes graduated from ISU with bachelor’s degrees in both mechanical and industrial engineering in 2012. After his time at Iowa State, he went to work for GENESYS Systems Integrator, where he was quickly promoted to [Continue Reading…]

Iowa FLL Tek-Konnekt team competes at international invitational

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FIRST Lego League (FLL) team Tek-Konnekt from Muscatine, Iowa, recently competed in the 2015 FLL World Class Open Championship held at LEGOLAND in Carlsbad, California, in mid-May. The team was chosen to represent Iowa after its outstanding performance at the state championship that takes place annually at Iowa State University’s College of Engineering. FIRST is [Continue Reading…]

Make an ISU bucket list

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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.

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.

FPEF Awards Scholarship to Andrew Hansen, Iowa State University

The Fluid Power Educational Foundation (FPEF) Board of Trustees awarded Andrew Hansen, mechanical engineering senior, a $2,000 scholarship. Mr. Hansen was one of the top eight (8) students and received the distinguished FPEF scholarship underwritten by Danfoss, Ames, Iowa. Hansen was formerly enrolled in ABEME 413 taught by Dr. Brian Steward, professor of agricultural and biosystems [Continue Reading…]

Cyclone Racing adds wings to formula racer, looks for quicker laps on track

Iowa State's formula racing car goes up on the tilt table during technical inspection at the Formula North competition. (Photo by Cyclone Racing)

Roger Steinforth has been through all the data from all the computer simulations. And he thinks adding wings to Cyclone Racing’s mini open-wheel racer could cut lap times by a second or two. That’s a big performance boost for the student-designed and student-built race cars of the formula racing series sponsored by SAE International, formerly the Society of Automotive Engineers.

Agba works with CIRAS to inform companies about automation possibilities

A new presentation from the Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS), co-authored by ISU mechanical engineering senior lecturer Emmanuel Agba, seeks to educate company owners about the place automation could have in their business. According to Agba, the presentation was created because of a “gap in communication and understanding of what is needed by manufacturers and what should be provided by system integrators.”

Caterpillar crowdsourcing event demonstrates students’ innovative capabilities

CAT Crowdsourcing story

Student organizations work on real-life design challenge The College of Engineering hosted its first ever crowdsourcing day with Caterpillar on April 11, 2015. Seven student organizations that work with engineering design were invited to participate in this full-day challenge to solve a real problem the company was facing. Students were charged with developing a new [Continue Reading…]

Mechanical engineering Ph.D. graduate awarded for paper on spray research


Benjamin Halls was recently recognized by the Institute for Liquid Atomization and Spray Systems for research he conducted during his graduate program at Iowa State. Halls, a 2014 mechanical engineering Ph.D. graduate, received the Simmons Award for Best Student Presenter for his paper “X-ray Fluorescence Measurement of Mixing in Impinging Jets.” The research for the [Continue Reading…]

Outreach brings Team PrISUm to State Capitol

Team PrISUm; (from left) Nathan Coonrod, Andrew Mallek, Garret Coleman, Lucas Ince, Patrick Fiedler, Matt Goode and Ben Pieper on Tuesday, May 19, 2015, during a visit to the State Capitol by Team PrISUm, Iowa State University's Solar Car Team.   (Merle Laswell/For the Register)

As part of their bi-annual educational outreach tour (called the “SunRun”), members of Team PrISUm, Iowa State’s Solar Car Team made a stop at the State Capitol in Des Moines on Tuesday, May 19. While there, members were able to talk with both students and politicians about how the car works and what the team [Continue Reading…]

Cyclone Space Mining pushing to remain a leader at NASA compeition

Phillip Molnar, left, Tyler Broich, right, and the rest of the Cyclone Space Mining team are busy assembling their robot for NASA's May 18-22 competition at the Kennedy Space Center. Larger photo. Photo by Mike Krapfl.

Early in the week, the mining robot of Cyclone Space Mining was mostly a pile of parts in the team’s campus workshop. And that pile was still too small. So team members were working at a bank of nearby computers, designing more parts for their mining machine. And Tyler Broich, the team’s vice president, was getting ready to order a few more blocks of aluminum that could be turned into all those new parts.

Graduate student in mechanical engineering named honorable mention for Zaffarano Prize

Ammar Meliabari, graduate student in mechanical engineering, was selected as an honorable mention for the 2015 Zaffarano Prize. The Zaffarano Prize recognizes superior performance in publishable research by an Iowa State graduate student. This year’s recognition continues a streak in graduate research awards for the mechanical engineering department. In 2013, Joe Miller became the first [Continue Reading…]

Iowa State’s Baja racing team slowed in first race, ready to regain off-road speed

The Iowa State Baja SAE Team recently competed in Auburn, Alabama. Team members are, left to right, Zach Verbeck (far back), Jameson Gavac, Nathan Eick, Derick Whited, Andy Raudabaugh, John Bavlsik, Erik Rasmussen (the driver), Katie Ginapp, Jake Conway, Nick Dugan and Ryan Werner. Larger photo. (Photo courtesy of the Iowa State Baja SAE Team.)

It was a Friday afternoon and there was Zach Verbeck in the back of the Cyclone Racing garage, working away on a homemade brake dyno, looking for data that could improve the performance of Iowa State’s mini off-road racer. The senior from Cedar Falls who’s studying mechanical engineering was taking torque readings in foot-pounds. He [Continue Reading…]

Iowa State freshmen build multidisciplinary research, 3D printing technology experience

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Three freshman honors students used 3D printing technology and more to conduct structural engineering research with Simon Laflamme, assistant professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering at Iowa State University. Students involved in the project were mechanical engineering freshman Heather Murphy, pre-industrial design freshman Derek Coulter, and industrial engineering freshman Connor Theisen. They participated in [Continue Reading…]

Matt Hagge named ME Professor of the Year

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Each year, the senior class in mechanical engineering votes for Professor of the Year. This year, the recipient was senior lecturer Matt Hagge. Pi Tau Sigma, a mechanical engineering honor society, held a reception on April 30 to recognize and congratulate him for this honor. Associate professor Terry Meyer was also recognized for his contributions as the [Continue Reading…]

Current and past Iowa State students selected for NSF graduate research fellowships

Jordan Barr

Jordan Barr, William Lindemann and Jill Middendorf are recognized as outstanding students in NSF-supported disciplines Three students who started their engineering careers at Iowa State were selected for a prestigious research award. The National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) was started in 1952 to encourage involvement in science and engineering and has continued [Continue Reading…]

Faculty positions announced for 2015-16

The state Board of Regents approved 70 Iowa State faculty promotion or tenure awards for the 2015-16 year during its April 23 meeting at the Iowa School for the Deaf, Council Bluffs. The full list is posted on the provost’s website. The awards take effect July 1 for A-base (12-month appointment) faculty and Aug. 16 [Continue Reading…]