College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Iowa State engineer develops power-saving tools to keep solar-powered robots in action

The small robots in Ran Dai’s basement lab at Iowa State University look like fancy electronic toys. But they’re really very smart. And they’re getting smarter. Dai, an Iowa State assistant professor and Black and Veatch Faculty Fellow in aerospace engineering, is developing power-management technologies that would allow land- and air-based robots to monitor solar conditions so they can maximize operating efficiency and battery life.

Developing the next generation of solar-powered robotic systems

Ran Dai earns NSF CAREER award to design unmanned vehicles for long-duration, high-efficiency missions Using renewable energy to power aerial and ground vehicles could change the way we handle aspects of environmental monitoring, search and rescue missions, surveillance, and agricultural practices. To navigate these sorts of dynamic environments, Ran Dai, an assistant professor in aerospace …Continue reading “Developing the next generation of solar-powered robotic systems”

Fall 2014 named faculty positions continue tradition of excellence in engineering

With the 2014-2015 academic year well under way, several newly and reappointed named faculty appointments within Iowa State’s College of Engineering are able to bring creativity and insight to students and research activity thanks to many generous donors. The college believes named positions help retain and recruit great faculty while also inspiring leadership, innovative research and …Continue reading “Fall 2014 named faculty positions continue tradition of excellence in engineering”

Optimal control engineer joins AerE

Trajectory optimization, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) path planning, and automotive accident reconstruction are just a few interests new aerospace engineering faculty member Ran Dai plans to expand upon as she makes her start at Iowa State. Dai, a native of China’s Jiangsu Province, began her undergraduate studies at the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, …Continue reading “Optimal control engineer joins AerE”