College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Mechanical engineers fire up 3D printers, round up supplies to make face shields for Iowa hospitals

Caroline Hayes was in her office for more virtual meetings. But the chair of Iowa State University’s department of mechanical engineering said she really wanted to be back in the lab. For the past two weeks, Hayes, department staffers and a few students still in town have been 3D printing and assembling face shields for …Continue reading “Mechanical engineers fire up 3D printers, round up supplies to make face shields for Iowa hospitals”

The Iowa FIRST LEGO® League State Championships: crowds, bright minds and robots

AMES, Iowa – Students from across Iowa are preparing their teams and their LEGO® robots to help solve the world’s water problems. Their preparations are all part of this season’s Iowa FIRST LEGO® League State Championships Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 13 and 14, at Iowa State University’s College of Engineering. Both days will feature 60 teams of 9- …Continue reading “The Iowa FIRST LEGO® League State Championships: crowds, bright minds and robots”

Change Agent: Tomas Gonzalez-Torres, aerospace engineering lecturer, NASA veteran

Tomas Gonzalez-Torres, a 1998 Iowa State graduate, is back on campus after working as a NASA flight director. He’s passing on some of the lessons he learned at NASA while helping students with senior design projects related to space and courses in lab techniques and computer applications.

Researchers demonstrate engineering approach to combine drugs, control parasitic worms

Cyclone engineer Santosh Pandey helped lead a project that demonstrates an engineering technology used in cell studies can also be used for drug testing on parasitic roundworms used as a model whole organism. In this case, the technology quickly developed a cocktail of four drugs that was effective in paralyzing the roundworms.

Team PrISUm steps up to world stage, prepares to race across Australian Outback

Team PrISUm is preparing to take its new “Solar Utility Vehicle” on a 1,900-mile race across the Outback of Australia. The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge is Oct. 8-15. Iowa State’s student-engineers think they’ve designed and built a car that can comfortably make that journey.

Iowa State engineers will contribute to new Manufacturing USA institute

AMES, Iowa – Iowa State engineers are part of a new, $140 million national manufacturing institute dedicated to reusing materials in ways that can improve the energy efficiency of American manufacturing by up to 50 percent. The U.S. Department of Energy announced the new institute – the Reducing Embodied-energy and Decreasing Emissions, or REMADE Institute …Continue reading “Iowa State engineers will contribute to new Manufacturing USA institute”

Change Agent: James Hill, Team PrISUm mentor

This story was originally published by University News Service AMES, Iowa – Wade Johanns had the honor of announcing the second-ever Lifetime Achievement Award from the organizers of the American Solar Challenge, a cross-country race for student-designed and student-built solar cars. Johanns has two engineering degrees from Iowa State University and spent years as a …Continue reading “Change Agent: James Hill, Team PrISUm mentor”

Iowa State scientists develop quick-destructing battery to power ‘transient’ devices

AMES, Iowa – Self-destructing electronic devices could keep military secrets out of enemy hands. Or they could save patients the pain of removing a medical device. Or, they could allow environmental sensors to wash away in the rain. Making such devices possible is the goal of a relatively new field of study called “transient electronics.” …Continue reading “Iowa State scientists develop quick-destructing battery to power ‘transient’ devices”

Iowa school teams, individuals head to science and technology world championship

This story was originally posted with the Iowa State News Service.  When it launches basketball-sized “boulders” at a castle tower, the robot built by a team of students from Cedar Falls High School can’t see over defending robots. So, at 8:30 on a recent school night, team members were at school, working to solve the …Continue reading “Iowa school teams, individuals head to science and technology world championship”

Iowa State engineers develop micro-sized, liquid-metal particles for heat-free soldering

Martin Thuo likes to look for new, affordable and clean ways to put science and technology to work in the world. His lab is dedicated to an idea called frugal innovation: “How do you do very high-level science or engineering with very little?” said Thuo, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Iowa State University and an associate of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory.

Change Agent: Bong Wie

Bong Wie sent his hands flying, simulating an explosion right there in his Howe Hall office. If his ideas become reality and spacecraft carrying nuclear explosives fly into asteroids one day, “The asteroid can be pulverized – not just fragmented – into dust!” he said, his hands going wild.

Iowa State’s ATHENA Lab dedicated to augmenting, understanding human performance

The first thing you noticed during a visit to a new Iowa State University engineering laboratory was the full-sized mannequin lying across a table. That’s for studies to improve suturing techniques and tools. Then there was a bin full of basketball shoes. Those are for studies of tread patterns and their effects on traction and performance.

Iowa State engineers develop flexible skin that traps radar waves, cloaks objects

Iowa State University engineers have developed a new flexible, stretchable and tunable “meta-skin” that uses rows of small, liquid-metal devices to cloak an object from the sharp eyes of radar. The meta-skin takes its name from metamaterials, which are composites that have properties not found in nature and that can manipulate electromagnetic waves.

Iowa State engineers develop hybrid technology to create biorenewable nylon

Engineers at Iowa State University have found a way to combine a genetically engineered strain of yeast and an electrocatalyst to efficiently convert sugar into a new type of nylon. Previous attempts to combine biocatalysis and chemical catalysis to produce biorenewable chemicals have resulted in low conversion rates.