College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

CBE Hall of Fame to induct ISU alums Brady, Roberts

Gayle A. Roberts
Gayle A. Roberts
Dr. Michael D. Brady
Dr. Michael D. Brady

The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering Hall of Fame will soon grow by two with the upcoming inductions of ISU alumni Dr. Michael D. Brady and Gayle A. Roberts, P.E. Brady will be officially recognized as part of the department’s annual Honors and Awards Banquet November 4; Roberts will be officially recognized at a date to be announced.

Process and materials analysis and innovation characterizes Dr. Brady’s career at 3M, Imation (spun off from 3M), Corning Glass and in consulting. He graduated from Iowa State University in 1965 with a B.S. in chemical engineering and went on to earn a Ph.D. at Oregon State University in 1969.

At 3M he invented trade secret processes for coating water based adhesives and fused coating on carpet fibers; worked in processes for reflective highway signs, X-ray film and screens and with color proofing materials for printing. At Corning Glass he was involved in both trade secret processes as well as patented processes invented in the areas of cellular ceramics for automotive catalytic converters and diesel particulate filters, print heads for high density printing for DNA analysis, coating materials for ultra-thin glass for TV and computer screens and as well as hand held devices. He holds more than 20 patents worldwide and many of his trade secret processes are still being practiced.

He was vice president and programs chair for the ISU student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and organized the Midwest Student Chapter 1965 Meeting and Symposium. He continued his involvement with AIChE for many years and is a 50+ year member.

While at 3M Brady continued his connection with Iowa State by arranging guest appearances by many ISU chemical engineering professors and interviewed and helped hire many chemical engineering, electrical engineering, chemistry and physics graduates of Iowa State.

He was involved with establishing the National Science Foundation Coating Center of Excellence at the University of Minnesota, as well as the Microelectronics Research Center at Iowa State. He was the 3M representative for the Center for Process Analysis & Control at the University of Washington, the Center for Solid State Physics at Stanford University, the Emulsion Polymerization Center at Lehigh University, and the Reaction Engineering Center at the University of Wisconsin, as well as Corning Glass’ representative to Cornell University.

Ms. Roberts graduated from Iowa State University in 1981 with a B.S. in chemical engineering, and earned an M.B.A. from St. Ambrose University in 1991. She is a licensed professional engineer in seven states and Puerto Rico. She is president and chief executive officer of Stanley Consultants, a global engineering firm that provides planning, design, consulting, construction and management services to clients around the world. Founded in 1913, Stanley Consultants has a staff of 1,100 members in 31 offices and has worked in all 50 states, U.S. territories and in 110 countries around the world. The firm is ranked among the largest engineering companies in the United States.

She joined Stanley Consultants in 1981 and has more than 30 years of experience in the consulting engineering industry. She was elected the fifth president in the company’s history and became the first female president of a global consulting engineering firm. In 2012 she was elected chief executive officer.

She is a longtime champion of women in engineering and regularly encourages young women to consider the field as a viable and exciting career choice. She has been recognized for these efforts, as well as her contributions to the engineering industry, with multiple awards including: Athena Award from The Women’s Connection; Upward Mobility Award from the Society of Women Engineers; Professional Achievement Citation in Engineering (PACE) Award from the Iowa State University Alumni Association; Woman of Influence Award from the Corridor Business Journal; Voice of the Engineer Award from the Iowa Engineering Society; 50% Solution Award from the Iowa Women’s Foundation; and the Large Company Innovation and Leadership Category of the Iowa Women of Innovation Award from the Technology Association of America.

Her service to Iowa State University includes three terms on the Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering Advisory Council, including one term as president. She also served on the board of the University’s Engineering Policy and Leadership Institute and has held board positions at University of Iowa and St. Ambrose.

She is also a member of Rotary International, the Iowa Engineering Society, the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), and the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME).

Plaques in Brady’s and Roberts’ honor will be placed on the department’s Hall of Fame wall in the Sweeney Hall lobby.