College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

From industry to grad school: Katie O’Donnell found what she was looking for at Iowa State

Katie O'Donnell

Katie O’Donnell is a graduate student in Pete Collins’ research group. She comes to Iowa State after working in the industry for three years. 

“After getting my bachelor’s in MSE, I moved into industry, getting a job at a materials testing company. Near the end of my time there, we started to get additive manufactured parts more frequently, which piqued my interest and prompted me to return to grad school. When choosing grad schools, the MSE department at Iowa State specifically really caught my interest after I did a campus visit. I was able to have a discussion with Pete about his research group, which was right in line with what I was looking for and seemed to be interesting, relevant work. 

I joined the Collins group immediately on coming to Iowa State, and eventually joined a multi-university research initiative, that is focused on gaining a fundamental understanding of metal additive manufacturing. My research is focused on defects and compositional variations in additively manufactured titanium.”