Professors have multiple responsibilities. That’s how Iowa State Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering’s (CCEE) Simon Laflamme describes his work.
“I think there are two distinct jobs that we do—teaching and research,” Laflamme said. “These are very different.”
This July, Laflamme and fellow CCEE Department Professor Jeramy Ashlock earned promotions from assistant to associate professor with tenure.
The long process to earn associate professorship started in 2015. Ashlock, who started at Iowa State in 2009, echoes Laflamme’s sentiments.
“I tell people I work two jobs—one is teaching, one is research.” Ashlock said with a smile.
Each professor specializes in specific research. Laflamme is a structural engineer. His current research focuses on structural health monitoring. This year, the American Society of Nondestructive Evaluation awarded Laflamme a fellowship for his work. He currently researches development of adaptive systems to monitor structures (like wind turbines or bridges).
Ashlock is a geotechnical engineer. He has earned honors like the Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation (2014-2019). His current research specializes in dynamics and nondestructive testing. This could include evaluation of foundations, aggregate roads, pavements or bridges.
Laflamme and Ashlock split their time working with both undergraduate and graduate students in the CCEE Department. It’s crucial work, says CCEE Department Chair Terry Wipf.
“We need them both, the research and the education—both undergraduate and graduate,” Wipf said. “It’s true of both that they (Laflamme and Ashlock) are contributing to our broader programs, research and overall education.”
And if it’s on the “cutting edge” of engineering, students are hearing about it from the new associate professors.
“When I teach, I like to talk to my students—the undergrads—about cutting edge research in terms that they like to hear,” Laflamme said.
“That’s fun, when you can bring research into the classroom and show students what’s the cutting edge that you’re working on and get them excited about it,” Ashlock said.