College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Daniel Kaye: Outstanding senior in industrial engineering


Lake in the Hills, Illinois

Clubs and activities

I have been involved in ballroom dancing, the Honors program, Iowa Statesmen, and Air Force ROTC during my time at Iowa State. 

Valuable hands-on learning in class 

I really valued the labs for our manufacturing classes—it is really satisfying to take the things we learned in theory and apply them, whether writing G-code for CNC mills, casting parts in aluminum, or welding a steel duck together. The Iowa State faculty wants to see each student succeed, recognizing the importance of hands-on experiences to solidify concepts. 

Out-of-the-classroom engineering experience 

My time spent studying abroad in Stockholm, Sweden, was incredibly valuable to me. It gave me the chance to live with a host family while experiencing a different cultural and academic environment. All the courses I took in Sweden had robust field study programs that brought students out of the classroom and afforded us to experience the theoretical topics of study in the real world. For a medical ethics class, we toured Sweden’s maximum security mental ward, where we were able to speak with doctors and the warden about the ethics of providing medical care against the wishes of prisoners. We were also able to tour several labs at Karolinska—one of the world’s premier research institutions learning about cell replacement technology and CRISPR.  

Most influential mentor 

An influential mentor during my time at Iowa State was Amanda Knief, the director of lectures. I had the pleasure of taking an honors seminar with her about the Constitution of the United States and then having her oversee my honors project researching the differences in childcare between the United States and Sweden. She consistently offered clear and useful feedback, which not only applied to my project but also to the way I approach researching and communicating my ideas across all areas of my life.  

Greatest accomplishment

I have very fond memories of my friend group staying up all night at the library during prep weeks doing the barest amount of studying but offering something far more impactful than a few extra hours of preparation. Those moments represent to me what is valuable in life—the times when you can look to those around you and enjoy something as simple as their company.  

Plans after graduation 

I will be commissioned as an officer in the Air Force as a developmental engineer!  

Making my mark on the world 

I want to, first and foremost, leave my mark on the world through the relationships I forge, being a positive and curious constant in the lives of those around me. As an industrial engineer, the capability to directly impact people’s quality of life at work is well within my control, and I strive to use that authority to their benefit.  

Engineering like a Cyclone Engineer 

Iowa State affords students the ability to pursue a myriad of different things alongside their education as an engineering student. I picked up a minor in philosophy, studied abroad, competed in culinary challenges with Innovation Week, built cool personal projects in the Student Innovation Center workshops, and met friends from all backgrounds. This diversity of not strictly being an engineering school, I think, is a key component of what makes Iowa State the very best of engineering schools!