Two new department chairs announced
The College of Engineering has announced the appointment of David Jiles as the Palmer Department Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECpE) and Richard Wlezien as the Vance and Arlene Coffman Endowed Department Chair in Aerospace Engineering.
Jiles, who has served as director of the Wolfson Centre for Magnetics and professor of magnetics at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom since 2005, is making his return to Iowa State. He previously held a joint appointment in ECpE and materials science and engineering and was also a senior scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory. Jiles will resume the rank of Anson Marston Distinguished Professor of Engineering at Iowa State, which he was awarded in 2003. (Jiles news link)
Wlezien is coming to Iowa State from Tufts University where he is currently professor and chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He will begin at Iowa State on August 16. Wlezien’s career includes extensive experience in industry, academia, and the federal government. He joined Tufts University in 2006 after more than 15 years at NASA and DARPA, where he advanced through a number of research and management positions, eventually serving as a program director at NASA headquarters. (Wlezien news link)
Team PrISUm begins qualifying events
Iowa State’s Team PrISUm put the finishing touches on its brand new solar car last week and headed to the Motorsport Ranch in Cresson, Texas, for the Formula Sun Grand Prix, June 12-18. That event is a testing and qualifying race for the American Solar Challenge, a June 19-26 race from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Chicago. If all goes as planned, Chicago-area alumni and friends can welcome Team PrISUm at the finish line at the Naperville North High School on June 26. Follow updates on the race at www.news.iastate.edu/. Follow updates on and . (Solar car news link)
This month in INNOVATEonline…
Jacek Koziel and Steve Hoff of agricultural and biosystems engineering work literally to clear the air between large-scale livestock producers and their downwind neighbors. Read about their research into new odor mitigation technologies in Down from the Mountaintop…new for June in INNOVATEonline!
Engineering technology is focus of study tour to Brazil
Eighteen Iowa State and University of Kentucky students recently returned from two weeks in Brazil. Brian Steward, Iowa State associate professor in agricultural and biosystems engineering, and Scott Shearer, chair of biological and agricultural engineering at the University of Kentucky, led the tour. It was an amazing experience, according to Kevin Muell, a senior in industrial technology. “Overall, I feel that I gained a great amount of respect for foreign countries,” he says. “Seeing some of the living conditions and situations they have to deal with made me grateful for what I have.” Kelsey Regan, biological systems engineering freshman from Davenport, adds, “I was able to see how agriculture in Brazil is different than agriculture in Iowa. In Brazil they are able to produce a larger variety of crops, but much of the harvesting is still done by hand.” (Brazil study tour news link)
Kessler’s CAREER award combines quests for self-healing, biorenewable polymers
The successful pursuit of polymer research along two separate lines brought Associate Professor Michael Kessler to a simple yet unexpected confluence of ideas that raised a straightforward question: Why not combine them? His proposal to do so has earned the materials science and engineering researcher a $400,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award for a project titled “Multifunctional Biorenewable Polymers.” Funding for the work will begin in July. (Kessler news link)
Formula car team ready to race
Iowa State’s formula race team is participating June 16-19 in the Formula SAE California competition at Auto Club Speedway, the home of southern California’s NASCAR races. The annual competition is sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers and features five racing events: acceleration, cornering, autocross (a quick and curvy half-mile course that can be raced at average speeds of 25-30 mph), endurance (a 13.7-mile race that features top speeds of 65 mph) and fuel economy. The team has spent the last year designing, building, and testing the $30,000 vehicle. “This is the best car I’ve seen since I’ve been on the team,” says Kyle Dickinson, an ME senior from Urbandale who’s in his third year on the team. Follow updates on and . (Formula car news link)
SPEED gives incoming freshmen a head start
Twenty-one students from the Midwest and from as far away as Tennessee, Texas, and Puerto Rico arrived on the Iowa State campus June 9 for the Summer Program for Enhancing Engineering Development (SPEED). SPEED is an eight-week program designed to provide multicultural students the opportunity to participate in an intensive academic program or a research internship as well as professional and personal development activities including workshops and industrial and cultural field trips. The academic track prepares the students to begin their freshman year taking advanced-level math and physics courses instead of prerequisites and helps them develop stronger study habits. Students in the research track are paired with a faculty mentor and gain hands-on experience working on active research projects. SPEED also gives the participants the opportunity to begin building relationships with faculty, staff, and peers prior to their first semester at Iowa State.
Mars rover gets national press
While Iowa State’s Team MAVRIC (Mars analog vehicle for robotic inspection and construction) didn’t win the University Rover Challenge 2010 sponsored by the Mars Society in Utah June 5-7, they did get some national press. Plus they learned a lot from the competition, which they say will help as they prepare for 2011. The team that traveled to Utah included Andy Frick, 2010 aerospace engineering graduate; Keegan Gartner and Jerry Stoner, ME graduate students; Dustin Hiatt, ME senior and program coordinator with extension IT; and Matthew Nelson, adviser and chief design and operations engineer for the Iowa State Space Systems and Control Lab. (University Rover Challenge 2010 blog)
Note about Alumni E-News links
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TKDA celebrates centennial
A long-time sponsor of student activities for the College of Engineering is celebrating its centennial. TKDA, an employee-owned engineering, architecture, and planning firm based in St. Paul, Minnesota, has established a website featuring a timeline of the past 100 years. The timeline highlights many of TKDA’s projects and also chronicles the leadership throughout the last century. Over the years TKDA has sponsored the Iowa State student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ concrete canoe races and steel bridge competitions, as well as the Chi Epsilon student chapter. TKDA is also a familiar participant in the fall Engineering Career Fair.
Alum receives AISC award for excellence in education
Thomas M. Murray (BSCE’62), professor emeritus, Virginia Polytechnic and
State University, received the Geerhard Haaijer Award for Excellence in Education from the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) in May. The award provides recognition to individuals who have had a profound and lasting impact in developing a unique application for engineering practice or in the mentoring of future technical leaders through their research and teaching. Murray’s many accomplishments include authorship of the AISC design guides, which serve as the seminal works on floor vibrations and moment end-plate connections. In recognition of his contributions to the engineering profession, Virginia Tech dedicated the Thomas M. Murray Structural Engineering Laboratory in 2009, and the Iowa State College of Engineering presented him with a Professional Achievement Citation in Engineering in 2006.
Harold Brock receives honorary doctorate
Harold Brock received an honorary doctor of science degree at the Iowa State University spring commencement. Brock, who is from Waterloo, Iowa, was recognized for his leadership in tractor design that revolutionized agriculture and food production in the mid-20th century and for his contributions to education since his 1972 retirement from industry. He is a fellow of the Society of Automotive Engineers and the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. (Commencement news link)
News and media spotlights
Alum is nominee for next NSF director--June 7
Top student heading to Iowa State from East High--June 7
Tractor pull team hopes new design will overpower field in international competition--May 27
Iowa State engineer explores intersection of engineering, economics, and green policy--May 21
Biorenewables facility aims for ‘cohesion’--May 15