CoE faculty, staff, alumni reflect on 9/11 anniversary

The September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were a defining moment in America’s history. Among the devastation and destruction emerged a sense of community, with citizens reaching out to strangers, neighbors, and anyone in need, to help in any way they could.

The impact of the attacks was felt across the country, and as the 10-year anniversary approaches, faculty, staff, and alumni of Iowa State’s College of Engineering share how they each took action to help the country respond and heal.

Chris Holland (BSEE’99), president of Holland Moving & Rigging Supplies in Forest City, Iowa, helped bring a symbol of hope, renewal, and rebirth to the families of 9/11 victims. He designed equipment to plant trees in New York City’s 9/11 Memorial Plaza, which opens on September 11, 2011.  In addition to Holland, two other Iowa State College of Engineering alumni played a part in the project. Senior design engineer Gus Marmaras (BSIE’97) led the project and provided all on-site training in New Jersey at the tree farm, and Chris’ wife Natalie Hammer (BSAerE’95) also works for the family business. Read the Innovate story.

Iowa State civil and construction engineering lecturer Beth Hartmann was a US Naval personnel officer on September 11, 2001. For one day, she was a hopeful ear for many who had little hope left. A 1-800 number on CNN was put in place for anyone with questions regarding individuals working in the Pentagon. Hartmann was one of many who answered as thousands of frantic loved ones called during the night and into the morning. Read the CCEE news story.

The aftermath of 9/11 brought an increase in airport security screening, among many other things affecting national security. In 2006, Iowa State assistant professor in transportation engineering Nadia Gkritza, who was a PhD student in civil engineering at Purdue University then, and two colleagues reported on the standpoint of airport passenger satisfaction post-9/11. Read the CCEE news story.

At 9 a.m. on Sunday, September 11, 2011, from the carillon studio in the Campanile, Amy Brandau, an academic adviser for the College of Engineering, will play “America the Beautiful.” She then will ring the bells 10 times, one for each year since the attacks. Read an Ames Tribune article to find out about other commemorative events on campus.