|Recent Grant Award Announcements
PIs: Daniel Attinger, Baskar Ganapathysubramanian, Ted Heindel, W. Ross Morrow, Patrick Schnable and Thomas Lübberstedt (Agronomy)
Title: Seminar Series on "Computationally Engineered Plants"
Award Amount: $8,400
Awarding Agency: Plant Sciences Institute, Iowa State University
The funding will help crystallize a new working group on computationally engineered plants at ISU. Specifically, a 2012-13 seminar series will invite to ISU scientists with expertise in microfluidic, soil physics, optimization, plant physiology and genetics. The working group is an interdisciplinary team of ISU faculty members, who aim at modeling and optimizing transport phenomena in crops, for the purpose to genetically engineer better crops. The seminars will be widely advertised to foster communication among ISU faculty across the colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences and Engineering.
PIs: Daniel Attinger, W. Ross Morrow and C. Megaridis (University of Chicago)
Co-PI: Michael Olsen
PI: Terry Meyer
|ME 270 project put to test in Uganda
Each semester students from the sophomore engineering design course ME 270 use their engineering skills, coupled with creativity, to produce technologies for the betterment of developing nations. This summer, one project made it beyond the design stage and was put to use in Eastern Africa, where it has potential to make a big difference for farmers.
Last spring, Brent Smith and classmates Anne Alter, Nathan Beougher, Jeffery Grenier, and Xingyuan Ma, who are all now entering their third year in ME, designed a seed cleaner, or fanning mill, that would provide clean grain, in less time, and with better working conditions for soybean farmers in lesser developed countries.
The project stemmed from a grant awarded to the Value Added Agriculture Program (VAAP), which operates through Iowa State Extension and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to help farmers establish or expand farmer-initiated, value-added agriculture businesses.
"The best thing we can teach our students is what an engineer can truly do for society by serving people," says Jim Heise, a lecturer who teaches ME 270. "Projects like these offer a way for engineers to fight poverty by providing economic opportunity where it already exists."
Projects like this happen each year in ME 270, as Heise continually emphasizes working with organizations like VAAP—groups that are passionate about supporting developing nations as well as advancing the minds of young engineers. (Full story)
Energy systems minor introduced
This minor has been under development for over a year with support from all College of Engineering departments. Although the minor has a home in Mechanical Engineering, it is open to all College of Engineering students, and several classes in all College of Engineering departments satisfy the elective requirements in the minor.
The minor requires two (2) courses, EE 351 – Analysis of Energy Systems and Econ 380 – Energy, Environmental and Resource Economics. The remaining 9 credits can be taken from a variety of electives that are offered in each department.
For more information on the Energy Systems minor, visit http://www.me.iastate.edu/energy-systems-minor/.
Vance named honorary doctorate
Vance was honored for her preeminence in, and outstanding innovative contribution to, advancing virtual reality engineering design applications, as well as for her influence as an advocate to promote the participation of women in engineering. (Full story)