College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Professor Brent Shanks earns top university, college research awards

Mike and Jean Steffenson Professor Brent Shanks, from Iowa State University’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (CBE), recently garnered two top Iowa State awards: the Iowa State University Foundation Award for Outstanding Career Achievement in Research and the College of Engineering’s D. R. Boylan Eminent Faculty Award for Research.

Each award represents Shanks’ pioneering vision and profound impact on biorenewables catalysis research.

“His outstanding research and visionary leadership are responsible for putting Iowa State on the map in the area of biorenewable chemicals,” said Surya Mallapragada, CBE department chair, professor and Stanley Chair in Interdisciplinary Engineering. She specifically speaks to his establishment of the first-ever National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Biorenewable Chemicals (NSF CBiRC), where he serves as director.

The Iowa State University Award for Outstanding Career Achievement in Research recognizes faculty members for outstanding research and/or creative activity. In addition to the national impact of Shanks’ research, his excellent mentorship with students proved him worthy of the award. Fall 2011 chemical engineering graduate Elliot Combs, who did undergraduate research under Shanks, says he “is the definition of cutting edge” and was a major influence on his research and career goals.

This award will be presented to Shanks at the Iowa State University Convocation in September.

College of Engineering’s D. R. Boylan Eminent Faculty Award for Research recognizes Shanks’ national and international acclaim for dedication to academic and research excellence. Shanks will receive this award at the College of Engineering Convocation in early September.