College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Sukup Manufacturing’s gift commitment to help complete Biorenewables Complex

ABE Building 2 Groundbreaking

Iowa State University announced a new gift commitment from Sukup Manufacturing Company at the September 30 groundbreaking for the second phase of the Biorenewables Complex.Sukup Manufacturing Company’s gift commitment builds on the firm’s initial financial support provided in 2007, and completes the private gift portion of the total project. One of the new buildings in the second phase of the project will be named Sukup Hall along with the atrium area, pending Regents approval.

The $107 million project includes three buildings connected by an 8,000-square-foot atrium. The first building, the Biorenewables Research Laboratory, was completed and dedicated one year ago.

In September, the state Board of Regents approved the $74.5 million budget for the second phase of the project, which includes $60.4 million in state funds over four years and $14.1 million in private gifts for the final two buildings and the atrium that will connect all three buildings.

The structures will house the agricultural and biosystems engineering department. U.S. News & World Report recently ranked the department second in the nation. Steve Mickelson, chair of the department, says its programs are educating graduates who willprovide creative and innovative solutions that help Iowa’s competitiveness in a global economy.

“The new facilities will put us in a great position to become ranked by our peers as the number one department of our kind in the nation,” Mickelson said. “This will help us attract world-class faculty and students, which will help us compete for contracts and grants.”

Charles Sukup, president of Sukup Manufacturing Company, said the facilities at Iowa State have needed upgrading for decades and the new complex will not only benefit Iowa agriculture and industry, but the entire world.

“We’re very pleased to support this top ranked program that finds solutions for providing food, safe water, and renewable energy for people around the world,” Sukup said. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural engineering from Iowa State.

Eugene and Mary Sukup started Sukup Manufacturing in 1963 and both received honorary degrees from Iowa State in 2010. The company was started after Eugene developed and patented a grain-stirring device and then sent his two sons, Charles and Steve, to Iowa State to get engineering degrees.

Sukup Manufacturing Company is the world’s largest family-owned grain bin manufacturer, whose product line now includes grain dryers; farm and commercial grain bins; bucket elevators; and materialconveying systems. Steve Sukup, who earned an Iowa State degree in industrial engineering, serves as vice president and chief financial officer. Eugene and Mary’s grandchildren have attended Iowa State University and Jonathan, Charles’ son, is currently a junior in agricultural engineering.


Steve Mickelson, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, 515 294-6524,
Ray Klein, ISU Foundation, 515 294-3303,
Barbara McBreen, Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications, 515 294-0707,