Eric Almeida: A pilot’s dream


2009 mechanical engineering alumni completes Air Force pilot training Eric Almeida knew he wanted to be a pilot from the age of 10. After graduating from Iowa State, he was selected for Euro NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training (ENJJPT) but was later medically disqualified due to poor eyesight. Never giving up on his dream, Almeida [Continue Reading...]

Sonal Padalkar: Studying materials systems with microscopy and engineering

Sonal Padalkar

A fascination for microscopes from an early age led Sonal Padalkar, a new assistant professor in mechanical engineering at Iowa State, to develop an affinity for problem solving using microscopic techniques. Sonal Padalkar grew up looking through the lens of a microscope, seeing new worlds of changing colors and patterns. The experience, she says, gave [Continue Reading...]

Two brothers: One major, one company

Luke (left) and Adam (right) Upah stand next to their father at an ATV race.

Luke and Adam Upah work together at Honda after graduating from mechanical engineering in 2008 and 2013 The Upah brothers grew up in Tama, Iowa, racing and riding dirt bikes and ATVs. Over 20 years later, the duo still lives and races together, but now they work together at Honda off-road power sports research and [Continue Reading...]

Bringing virtual reality into the real world

Rafael Radkowski

A German mechanical engineer is using his background in computer vision and object tracking to design software programs that may one day materialize lifelike 3-D models. Is the table in front of you a real or digital copy? Right now, you might be looking at a four-legged, rectangular figure made of wood and metal. You [Continue Reading...]

Mechanical engineering department teaches course in Nicaragua

Mechanical engineering department teaches course in Nicaragua

Nine engineering students learn about the human-centered design process in Central America “The opportunity was great, and I would go back in a heartbeat,” said Michelle Bruns, senior in mechanical engineering, about a recent trip to Nicaragua. Nine students from Iowa State’s mechanical engineering department, as well as Luther College’s biology department, relocated to San [Continue Reading...]

Professor dedicates ice bucket challenge to students’ father

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that has captured the nation’s attention made its way to Iowa State again. Gloria Starns, senior lecturer of mechanical engineering, dedicated her challenge to the deceased father of two former students. “Two of my former students’ father was a victim of ALS,” Starns said. “I’ll be dedicating this challenge and [Continue Reading...]

Lisa Garrett: An engineer with diverse interests

Lisa Garrett

Mechanical engineering alumna awarded Tau Beta Pi Laureate award Marching band, Dance Marathon, Tau Beta Pi and study abroad were just a few things Lisa Garrett participated in during her undergraduate career at Iowa State. Because of her diverse interests and excelling beyond engineering, Tau Beta Pi named her a Laureate. In October, Garrett will [Continue Reading...]

Center for Nondestructive Evaluation joins College of Engineering

CNDE Mural

In an effort to streamline research and economic development units at the university, the Center for Nondestructive Evaluation (CNDE) is one of three centers that will now report directly to the College of Engineering. Originally founded with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory, CNDE moved to the Institute for Physical Research and Technology (IPRT). [Continue Reading...]

Student engineers among Move-In Crew, carry the freshman load

Cars slowed to a crawl around campus Aug. 19 and 20 for freshman move-in days while thousands of students and their totes of clothes, DVDs and plastic dishes were clustered in dorm parking lots. “When I was with my sister when she moved in Illinois State University, it took a couple hours,” said Thomas Siegele, freshman [Continue Reading...]

Remembering Leo Peters

Leo Peters

Mechanical engineering professor emeritus, Leo Peters (82) passed away July 20, 2014. Dr. Leo Charles Peters was a presence in the mechanical engineering department for thirty-five years who preferred spending time mentoring students to doing research. Peters served as an academic adviser in addition to being a professor and researcher, and he enjoyed helping foreign [Continue Reading...]

Mechanical engineering graduate awarded teaching fellowship

Joe Cossette

Joe Cossette (BSME’11) is one of 32 teachers selected as KSTF Teaching Fellow When Joe Cossette graduated from Iowa State in 2011, he thought he wanted to work in mechanical engineering. However, after working at Seagate Technology for two years, he decided his calling was to be an educator. He went on to get his [Continue Reading...]

Ben Sloan: solving problems for farmers

Ben Sloan

Ben Sloan originally majored in mechanical engineering because he wanted to work on cars. However, he eventually became interested in computers and computer software, leading him to his current career at AgSolver. AgSolver offers services that integrate high-resolution data with environmental process simulation and scalable cloud computing resources, providing access to precision agricultural data that [Continue Reading...]

New graduate program offers advanced engineering degree for those with an interest in the energy industry

Iowa State’s interdisciplinary, coursework-only, online master’s of engineering in energy systems engineering launches this fall As the world’s population grows, so does a need for sustainable energy sources. With that need comes a demand for knowledge in a variety of energy-related areas and training for professionals working in these areas. Engineering professors at Iowa State [Continue Reading...]

Could your next car be solar powered?

Written by Ian Edwards, Brightergy “Scotty, I’m taking the solar-powered car for a spin.” That’s something you’ve probably never heard on Star Trek. Or anywhere for that matter. A solar-powered car may sound like something straight out of science fiction, but to people familiar with the American Solar Challenge (ASC), it’s actually old news. For over [Continue Reading...]

Team PrISUm wins best mechanical design award; places third overall in American Solar Challenge

Several solar cars from around the world lined up on the finish line in Minnesota. Photo provided by Team PrISUm.

With the pedal to the metal, Iowa State’s solar car Phaeton raced more than 153 miles from La Crosse to Minneapolis to arrive and place third at the finish line of the American Solar Challenge. “We started the day with a fairly full battery pack of energy and we tried to drive fast (50 miles [Continue Reading...]

Cyclone Space Mining competes in Hawaii; once again demonstrates it has built a strong robotic miner

Members of Cyclone Space Mining, left to right, Katie Goebel, John Heinig, Brian Jend, Nathan Beougher, David Peiffer, Phil Molnar, Alex Grant, and Faculty Adviser Jim Heise demonstrate their robotic miner on Hilo Bay Beach in Hawaii. Photo by Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems.

There they were, at 10,000 feet on the remote and rugged slopes of the Mauna Kea volcano on the big island of Hawaii, running their robot through the same volcanic soil NASA uses to test space rovers. “This was otherworldly,” said Jim Heise, the faculty adviser for Cyclone Space Mining. Six teams of students from [Continue Reading...]

Team PrISUm stopped by police, but still third in American Solar Challenge

From the view of Team PrISUm's lead vehicle, Wisconsin police run verify the solar car's licensing and registration. Provided by Team PrISUm.

Members of Team PrISUm had an unexpected surprise today when they raced across the Iowa border into Wisconsin to the La Crosse stage stop of the American Solar Challenge. Their solar car Phaeton was pulled over by the police. While traveling on a rural highway at about 35 miles per hour in a 55, Iowa [Continue Reading...]

After a brief stop home, Team PrISUm races to finish the American Solar Challenge

Visitors gather from the neighboring American Solar Challenge community event to see Iowa State's solar car Phaeton up close. Photo provided by Team PrISUm.

[jwplayer mediaid="17282"] Team PrISUm raced more than 180 miles today – at speeds reaching up to 50 miles per hour – to arrive in third at the Ames checkpoint of the American Solar Challenge. After much anticipation, Iowa State’s solar car Phaeton and its escorts drove into Iowa State Center parking lots where they were [Continue Reading...]

Team PrISUm strategizes to take first in the American Solar Challenge

Iowa State's solar car Phaeton races at its best in the blazing heat. Photo provided by Team PrISUm.

Today went exactly as Team PrISUm had planned for the second day of the American Solar Challenge. Iowa State’s solar car Phaeton raced more than 180 miles from its overnight stay in Decatur, Texas, and passed Principia College to take third upon arriving at the first stage stop in Norman, Oklahoma. Now Phaeton is closing [Continue Reading...]

ME professor’s research has lifesaving potential

Ganesh Balasubramanian, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, is conducting research with High Performance Computing (HPC) that could someday change the way tumors are treated. Using HPC technology, a surgeon could treat a tumor through chemical injections rather than radiation. HPC technology can compute a much higher volume of atoms than a regular computer, which allows Balasubramanian to study molecular [Continue Reading...]

APEX for Engineers helps incoming multicultural students adjust to university life

2014 APEX E class

Twenty-two engineering students are getting a jump-start on their Iowa State experience through a summer bridge program. When Alexis Moreno was preparing for his freshman year at Iowa State a year ago, he was nervous about the transition from high school to college. Moreno, who is originally from Chicago, says he was looking forward to [Continue Reading...]

CoE alumni amongst Grain Processing Corporation new hires and promotions

Grain Processing Corporation (GPC) recently announced new hires and personnel promotions, some of whom are CoE alumni: Tim Foster has joined GPC as a maintenance division engineer. He graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering, where he also participated in the Naval ROTC. Kyle Burnham has been promoted to feed [Continue Reading...]

Alumni Merit Award winner works to support next generation of engineers

Dale Johnson received the 2014 Iowa State Alumni Association’s Alumni Merit Award. Created in 1932, the award recognizes alumni for outstanding contributions to human welfare that go beyond purely professional accomplishments and bring honor to the university. Johnson received a BA and MS in mechanical engineering from Iowa State in 1960 and 1962, respectively. Unbeknownst to [Continue Reading...]

ME faculty member, student featured on Honors Research Program website


Terry Meyer, associate professor of mechanical engineering, and Chloe Dedic, graduate student in mechanical engineering, are both featured in videos on the Honors Research Program website. For more than 20 years, this spring-semester program has provided opportunities for faculty to work with talented first-year students in their research. This program introduces students to the world [Continue Reading...]

Training the next generation of engineers for a better planet

EOS students

Nine engineering students are currently working in Nicaragua with Emerging Opportunities for Sustainability (EOS), in order to better understand how to design for people with very different needs and environmental constraints. EOS is a not-for-profit organization started by Wes Meyer and Greg McGrath, two Iowa State mechanical engineering alumni. The organization focuses on providing low-cost, culturally and [Continue Reading...]