College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Pohl joins College of Engineering

Nikki Pohl

Nikki PohlChemistry Professor Nikki Pohl joined the chemical and biological engineering department this semester, holding a joint position within the Colleges of Engineering and Liberal Arts and Sciences. Pohl is the Wilkinson Professor of Interdisciplinary Engineering.

“One benefit of this joint position is enhanced curricular ties, especially given how many engineering students of all majors take chemistry,” Pohl said. “A second benefit is the enhanced potential for collaborations that come with regular interactions among department colleagues.”

She received her BA degree from Harvard College in 1991 and her PhD in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1997. Following an NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Stanford University, she joined the faculty at Iowa State University in the fall of 2000 to study protein biocatalysts/metabolic engineering, synthetic and analytical methods, and carbohydrates.

Pohl has already mentored students in her research group with chemical engineering backgrounds and collaborates with CBE faculty. “This appointment will formalize such activities as well as provide a more structured setting for future activities,” she said.

She will continue to be part of the chemistry department’s curriculum committee and plans to join the equivalent committee in CBE to better integrate the CBE curriculum for students and even spawn new classes, or broaden the audience for current classes, at the undergraduate and graduate level in both colleges.

Jonathan Wickert, dean of the College of Engineering, welcomed Pohl’s joint appointment as an example of how collaboration can strengthen programs at Iowa State. “We are excited that such an outstanding researcher will share her talents with our college,” he said, “and we look forward to the results of building such ties. Students and faculty in both colleges will benefit.”