College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Brad Swan is finding the right balance between classes, research and family

“After finishing my undergrad studies at Drake University, I headed to industry, living in Minnesota where I met my wife. It was shortly after that when we returned to Iowa to pursue a higher degree. It was there that we started a family, and I became familiar with the MSE program at Iowa State. I knew I had wanted to be in academia; I wanted to teach. I found out quickly that the jobs I was finding were not going to fulfill my passions. I realized I was forgetting that dream I had, of teaching and being in academia.

After reaching out to past professors, I was able to connect with a former Iowa State professor and I am now in Dr. Chris Cornelius’ research group. I wanted to come to the MSE program at Iowa State because my background is in chemistry. The greatest challenge was finding the balance of time between classes, research and family so that I could succeed professionally while still being a devoted father and husband. I was fortunate to find Dr. Cornelius, and he understands the challenges as a father and as an atypical student. It is all about communication and grace when finding the right program. I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of this department and get great support from the faculty and staff.”