Corn Stover Gains Attention in Iowa for Industrial Uses

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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...]

All four Iowa State Goldwater Scholarship applicants selected for national award

Four Iowa State University Honors students with ties to the College of Engineering received Goldwater Scholarships in March. The program is the nation’s premier undergraduate scholarship in mathematics, natural sciences and engineering. The students—Jacob Harry, senior in aerospace engineering; William Lindemann, senior in materials science engineering and mathematics; Rachel Philiph, senior in materials science engineering; [Continue Reading...]

Yin Bao, ABE PhD candidate, profiled by Graduate College

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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 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...]

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

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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...]

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

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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...]

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...]

Distillers Grains Symposium Set for May 14 and 15

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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...]

Shao grows yeast to economically convert biomass to biorenewables

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Zengyi Shao, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering at Iowa State University, grows genetically engineered yeast to address pentose utilization in mixed sugars. Shao says this is “a critical challenge in biomass utilization” in order to economically produce biorenewable fuels and chemicals. Shao recently received a one-year, $75,000 Iowa Energy Center opportunity grant for [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 civil engineering graduate program increases ranking

Iowa State University’s civil engineering graduate program improved its ranking in the most recent U.S. News and World Report. Based on a survey of 145 civil engineering graduate programs in the U.S., both private and public, Iowa State’s program ranks No. 31 (No. 20 among public civil engineering programs). Rank has improved by one from the 2013 [Continue Reading...]

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

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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

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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...]

Ashlock earns Iowa State civil engineering’s first NSF CAREER award

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Jeramy Ashlock, assistant professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering at Iowa State University, has just received one of the nation’s top research awards for early career faculty. The National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development Program (NSF CAREER) awarded Ashlock $400,000 over five years to develop a research program for integrated computational and physical [Continue Reading...]

Engineering students excel at Iowa Wind Energy Association Conference Poster Competition

Iowa State, Italy researchers collaborate on structural health monitoring

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Two cultures collaborate to develop novel structural detection methods. Researchers from Iowa State University and University of Perugia (Italy) compare U.S. patented soft elastomeric surface sensors with Italian cement-based embeddable sensors. Both of these technologies are being developed as novel nanocomposite solutions to dynamic structural monitoring. The goal is to provide cost-effective solutions for locally [Continue Reading...]

Iowa State researcher invited to leading U.S. high school nanotechnology lab

Peter Taylor mentors Wheeling High School students in their first-of-its-kind U.S. public high school nanotechnology lab.

Peter Taylor, associate director of the National Concrete Pavement Technology Center at the Iowa State University Institute for Transportation, recently partnered with a nationally recognized high school for nanotechnology research and practice. Wheeling High School (Chicago, Ill.) invited Taylor Feb. 21 to speak with high school students and demonstrate nanotechnology laboratory practices with concrete. Wheeling [Continue Reading...]

Grain quality lab prepares students, samples

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Hands-on and first-hand are often terms associated with undergraduate research on campus. Students who aim to further their education or go into industry benefit greatly from their experiences in the many laboratories housed here. But the Iowa State University Grain Quality Laboratory (GQL) encourages their student workers to go beyond those terms by adding efficient [Continue Reading...]

Professor James Hill named to Council for Chemical Research

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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...]

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

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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...]

Iowa State’s icing wind tunnel blows cold and hard to study ice on wings, turbine blades

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From somewhere back behind the Iowa State University Icing Research Tunnel, Rye Waldman called out to see if Hui Hu was ready for a spray of cold water. The wind tunnel was down to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. A cylindrical model was in place inside the 10-inch-by-10-inch test section. The wind was blowing through the machine [Continue Reading...]

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

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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...]