Cardinal Key recognizes engineering students, staff

Nineteen students from the College of Engineering recently became members of Iowa State’s Cardinal Key honor society, an organization established in 1926 to recognize students, faculty and staff at the university for their outstanding leadership, service contributions, scholarship achievements and character. A total of 63 students were inducted during the society’s 88th formal induction ceremony. [Continue Reading...]

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...]

Team PrISUm builds next solar racer; cross-country race includes Ames stop


As campus sidewalks cleared for the day, Dylan Neal settled behind a corner window and a bank of computer screens. He was devoting a recent midweek evening to a few more hours of solar car engineering. Neal, a freshman from St. Louis who’s studying mechanical engineering, was designing parts of Phaëton, Team PrISUm’s 12th solar race car. [Continue Reading...]

Iowa State materials scientist developing materials, electronics that dissolve when triggered

Iowa State's Reza Montazami examines a degradable antenna capable of data transmission. Photo by Bob Elbert.

A medical device, once its job is done, could harmlessly melt away inside a person’s body. Or, a military device could collect and send its data and then dissolve away, leaving no trace of an intelligence mission. Or, an environmental sensor could collect climate information, then wash away in the rain. It’s a new way [Continue Reading...]

Remembering Art Bergles

Arthur Bergles

The engineering community lost a great teacher and researcher when Arthur E. Bergles (78) passed away March 17, 2014, of a malignant brain tumor. Bergles had a presence that made an impact across the country and was known for a career that advanced heat transfer methods and encouraged others to explore and push the boundaries [Continue Reading...]

Levitas uses basic statics principles to solve long-standing problem in interface science formulated by Gibbs

Valery Levitas, Schafer Professor and faculty member of aerospace engineering and mechanical engineering, found a strict and simple solution to the classical problem in the interface and surface science formulated by J. W. Gibbs in the 19th century. Namely, he uncovered a way to define the position of a dividing surface. The Gibbsian view of [Continue Reading...]

Solberg wins 2013-2014 Student Employee of the Year award


Michael Solberg, senior in mechanical engineering, was presented the 2013-2014 Student Employee of the Year Award on Feb. 26. The award recognizes student employees for their hard work and achievements at Iowa State University. Solberg works at Iowa State’s BioCentury Research Farm near Boone, Iowa. “I do everything from grounds keeping to assisting in facility [Continue Reading...]

ME graduate program on the rise in rankings

The mechanical engineering graduate program at Iowa State moved up in the rankings to No. 36 nationally in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 edition of America’s Best Graduate Schools, and among public institutions is ranked 21st overall. In 2013, the program was ranked 44th overall and 24th among public institutions. The Department of Mechanical Engineering is [Continue Reading...]

Guest Post: Campus clubs act as support networks for students

Cara Petrie and Katherine Krettek

Cara Petrie (pictured on the right) is a senior in chemical engineering and the current president of Society for Women Engineers. Katherine Krettek (pictured on the left) is a junior in mechanical engineering with a minor in Spanish and the president-elect for SWE.  Iowa State’s many campus clubs and organizations are great resources for students [Continue Reading...]

U.S. News graduate program rankings: Agricultural and biosystems engineering is No. 4

Iowa State University’s College of Engineering ranks No. 46 nationally in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 edition of America’s Best Graduate Schools, and among public institutions is ranked 25th overall. The agricultural and biosystems engineering program ranked No. 4 nationally, tied with Cornell University and the University of Florida, and No. 4 among [Continue Reading...]

Iowa State part of $320 million national manufacturing lab announced by White House

Digital Lab for Manufacturing

Iowa State University is a top-tier partner in a new Digital Lab for Manufacturing to be based in Chicago with affiliated partners across the country. President Barack Obama today announced a $70 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to support creation of the lab by UI LABS, a Chicago-based research and commercialization collaborative. In addition [Continue Reading...]

Zhang named SPIE fellow


Song Zhang, William and Virginia Binger Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, was elected a 2014 fellow of the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, promotes members as new fellows of the society to honor them for their technical achievements, for their service to the general optics community, and to [Continue Reading...]

Resource Hub – a network of readily available equipment and services for ISU students


From airplanes to Mars rovers, students can find every tool they need to complete their projects through the Undergraduate Resource Hub at Iowa State University. The Resource Hub is a collaborative effort between the College of Engineering and the College of Design to share construction, machining and fabrication equipment and personnel. “Having those services and [Continue Reading...]

Greg Brown finds interest in biomechanics, orthopedics through ME degree

Greg Brown Feature

As an alumnus of five universities, including Harvard and MIT, 1983 Iowa State graduate Greg Brown has put his talents to use around the world. From Iowa to Massachusetts and Canada to New Zealand, his journey has taken him from engineering to the medical field. Now, Brown reflects on his time at Iowa State and [Continue Reading...]

Iowa State engineers upgrade pilot plant for better studies of advanced biofuels


Lysle Whitmer, giving a quick tour of the technical upgrades to an Iowa State University biofuels pilot plant, pointed to a long series of stainless steel pipes and cylinders. They’re called cyclones, condensers and precipitators, he said, and there’s an art to getting them to work together. The machinery is all about quickly heating biomass [Continue Reading...]

BEI’s BRT Program Announces Spring 2014 Graduate Fellows


Written by Robert Mills Bioeconomy Institute Three one-year graduate fellowships, administered by the Bioeconomy Institute, have been awarded as part of the Leading the Bioeconomy Initiative. These competitive graduate fellowships were funded through an appropriation from the Iowa Legislature. The Biorenewables Resources and Technology (BRT) Graduate Committee reviewed all applicants and selected the recipients. The [Continue Reading...]

Brown and Team Awarded Patent Key to BEI Research


Written by Robert Mills Bioeconomy Institute A team headed by Robert Brown, BEI director, has been awarded a patent for bio-oil fractionation. “We have built much of our research around this technology,” Brown said. The patent, number US 8,476,480, was awarded in July 2013 to Brown; Samuel Jones, a former scientist with BEI’s Center for Sustainable [Continue Reading...]

Levitas gives invited talk at Materials in Extreme Environments Army Science Planning and Strategy Meeting

Valery Levitas, Schafer 2050 Challenge Professor and faculty member of aerospace engineering and mechanical engineering, gave an invited talk at the Materials in Extreme Environments Army Science Planning and Strategy Meeting in Towson, MD, Dec. 10-11. The main goal of this meeting was to discuss promising future directions in the fundamental study of materials under [Continue Reading...]

Iowa State professor, post-doctoral associate explore potential of discovering new phases under high pressure and shear

Valery Levitas—Schafer 2050 Challenge Professor and faculty member of aerospace engineering and mechanical engineering—and his post-doctoral associate Mahdi Javanbakht, have published the paper “Phase transformations in nanograin materials under high pressure and plastic shear: nanoscale mechanisms,” in the high-impact journal Nanoscale. There are two main challenges in the discovery of new high-pressure phases and the transformation [Continue Reading...]

Fish & Richardson names Iowa State graduate Bret Winterle as principal in Dallas

DALLAS – Fish & Richardson has named Iowa State University graduate Bret Winterle as a principal in the firm’s IP Litigation Group in Dallas. Winterle represents clients in patent litigation matters involving telecommunications, semiconductors, e-commerce, banking, payments, electronic messaging, computer software, business methods, medical devices, and oil and gas drilling technologies. He received his J.D. from the [Continue Reading...]

Biofuels Digest lists Iowa State faculty and staff in top people in the bioeconomy

Biofuels Digest has named Robert C. Brown, Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering, of Iowa State’s Bioeconomy Institute the No. 23 person on its 2013-2014 list of top people in the bioeconomy. Larry Johnson of Iowa State’s Center for Crops Utilization Research and BioCentury Research Farm and Brent Shanks, Mike and Jean Steffenson Professor and director [Continue Reading...]

Graduate student’s research brings forensics and engineering together

Laura Ekstrand picture

One Iowa State student’s research took her to Albuquerque, New Mexico to present at the Association of Firearm and Tool Mark Examiners annual training seminar. Laura Ekstrand, graduate assistant in mechanical engineering, has been conducting research with Iowa State faculty and the Ames Laboratory to explore new opportunities in forensics technology. Ekstrand’s research focuses on [Continue Reading...]

Joe Crawford, ME alumnus and professor emeritus, passes away


Joe Crawford, an Ames resident and former professor of mechanical engineering, died September 28 at Northcrest Community in Ames at age 92. Crawford was born August 30, 1921 in Otis, Colo. to Charles W. and Elinor (Neel) Crawford. After growing up in Cedar Rapids and attending Washington High School, Joe served as an Army mechanic [Continue Reading...]

Young engineering couple thrives in Silicon Valley


When Keegan and Melissa (Wiechert) Gartner met on the HABET (High Altitude Balloon Experiments in Technology) team at Iowa State, they were both undergrads studying engineering. Keegan was working toward a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering while Melissa was earning hers in aerospace engineering. The couple came to know each other through mutual friends, and [Continue Reading...]

FIRST LEGO League Iowa forges teamwork and leadership at Iowa State, local area communities


Teams of Iowa State University staff, students and alumni from across the state have joined forces to coordinate FIRST® LEGO® League Iowa. FIRST LEGO League (FLL) is an international program, created by FIRST and LEGO, designed to get children interested in and excited about science, technology and engineering. Every year, FIRST releases a new challenge that [Continue Reading...]