College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Forever True, For Iowa State

Forever True, For Iowa State
Ryan Harms
Ryan Harms, executive director of development

Ryan Harms, the College of Engineering’s executive director of development, talks about Iowa State University’s comprehensive fundraising campaign and what it means for the college’s students, faculty and staff.

Making a difference at Iowa State means making a difference in the world. Our students, faculty and staff are committed to solving daunting challenges that will become increasingly prevalent as the world’s population increases over time.

Imagine the positive changes and solutions we will see when the right people receive the right resources through the university’s recently launched comprehensive fundraising campaign, Forever True, For Iowa State. The effort aims to raise a historic $1.1 billion to provide support and resources for important areas like research, student scholarships, new facilities and innovative programming.

The College of Engineering has a strong tradition of preparing future Cyclone Engineers to make a difference through their careers. Our hands-on and practical approach to learning, coupled with opportunities to learn abroad and through research means our students are global thinkers. Our research endeavors focus on key areas, such as sustainability, energy, cyber security, advanced manufacturing and infrastructure, and we know the people in our college are our greatest resource. We work to foster collaborative environments that encourage idea sharing, and our outreach efforts impact local communities.

For example, more effective vaccines, quicker nerve regeneration and more durable joint implants are all solutions just over the horizon thanks to the work of Surya Mallapragada, the Carol Vohs Johnson Chair in Chemical and Biological Engineering, and her research group. The interdisciplinary team is developing polymers and nanocomposites with a variety of medical applications as part of Iowa State’s Nanovaccine Initiative, a research collaboration with a systems approach to vaccine development that aims to transform vaccine design and manufacturing.

Students in the Transformative Learning Area
Students in the Transformative Learning Area in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering use the space’s state-of-the-art lab equipment and large meeting areas to work on collaborative projects.

As part of this campaign, we are looking to raise $225 million and plan to use those funds to support undergraduate students, their research, their educational communities and their classroom experience – both on campus and abroad. We also want to create endowed chairs, professorships and fellowships, and update existing teaching and research space. We also plan to increase the number of graduate students through scholarship support and first-year research funding. Finally, we want to enhance entrepreneurial activities within the college and expand our statewide outreach efforts.

We know advancing these areas will help shape the leaders of tomorrow, leaders who will undoubtedly play a critical role in the years to come. We’re looking forward to pushing the boundaries of what we can achieve together through this remarkable campaign.

To learn more about giving options, visit the ISU Foundation’s website or contact Ryan Harms, executive director of development for the College of Engineering, at (515) 294-7043 or