College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Jacob Eisbrenner: Guardsman, student and Cyclone Engineer

Jacob Eisbrenner portrait

“Ever since I was a kid, my dad and I were always in the garage, tinkering, tearing apart old cars,” said Jacob Eisbrenner, Ph.D. student in electrical engineering. “I used to always think about the design of all the different components and how they could be better.”

When in high school, Eisbrenner took a couple of basic electronics classes at Des Moines Area Community College. Those classes revealed the world of electricity to him and all the possibilities it could create for an electrical engineer.

A month after graduating high school, Jacob Eisbrenner joined the Iowa Army National Guard to help pay for college. He now holds the rank of sergeant, leading a team of four junior enlisted soldiers.

He is able to put his engineering expertise to use in the Guard as a power generation repair specialist; he supervises and performs the maintenance and overhaul of power-generation equipment.

When he isn’t working to keep the Guard’s equipment up and running, he is a Ph.D. student in Vikram L. Dalal Professor Liang Dong’s research group at the Microelectronics Research Center. Dong had a significant influence on Eisbrenner during his undergrad studies.

“My first class with Dr. Dong was an early morning virtual class,” Eisbrenner said. “I could tell he was passionate about the subject matter and really tried hard to connect with all his students, even though we were all in different locations. He was always available to talk and explore questions with me and really cared.”

Although he just started in Dong’s group, he is focusing on bioengineering and health-related technology.

He is looking into a new point-of-care detection method for edema, hoping to add a long-term and accurate monitoring solution for those at increased risk of heart failure.

“I love to look towards nature for inspiration and attempt to mimic its functionality with engineering,” Eisbrenner said.

Eisbrenner recently accepted a summer internship as a graduate research and development electrical engineering intern at Sandia National Labs. The future is bright for this Cyclone Engineer.