Research Highlights

    • Doug Jacobson, University Professor of electrical and computer engineering, left, and Daji Qiao, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering Cyber Everywhere: New Tools to Optimize and Secure the Internet of Things

      Cyclone Engineers are developing new tools to optimize networking and secure information in our new world of mobile devices in every pocket, “smart homes,” and remote sensors on everything from bridges to plants. “Cyber is no longer just in our computers. It’s now ‘cyber everywhere,’” said Daji Qiao, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. […]

    • Mapping paths to productive plants

      A computer network and a plant don’t seem to have much in common at first glance. But when Julie Dickerson looks, she sees many similarities – and sees how her expertise in computing network science can help unravel complex biological systems. “Mapping networks of how genes influence plant growth and development is key to increasing […]

    • Timothy Bigelow, associate professor of mechanical engineering and electrical and computer engineering Noninvasive treatment of medical implant infections

      Timothy Bigelow, an associate professor of mechanical engineering and electrical and computer engineering, is using high-intensity ultrasounds as a noninvasive way to treat infections that can grow on medical implants. “Medical implant infections are uncommon, but when they do occur you have to have a second operation to remove the implant and replace it,” Bigelow […]

    • Rozier standing with a NASA robot Safety systems for autonomous flight

      Looking to the sky of the future, Kristin Yvonne Rozier sees Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) criss-crossing the horizon – and many new challenges for UAS safety and air traffic control. Rozier, an assistant professor of aerospace engineering, is developing new tools to help pilot-less aircraft safely fly themselves. “Our goal is to create on-board systems […]

    • treating printed graphene with lasers to create electronic circuits that repel water Flexible, water-repellent graphene circuits for washable electronics

      Cyclone Engineer Jonathan Claussen is creating new graphene printing technology and using it to produce low-cost, flexible, highly conductive and water-repellant electronic circuits. “We’re taking low-cost, inkjet-printed graphene and tuning it with a laser to make functional materials,” said Claussen, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering and an associate scientist at the U.S. Department of […]

    • 2018 NSF CAREER Award Winners

      Seven Iowa State University College of Engineering faculty have been selected for 2018 National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER). CAREER awards are the NSF’s most prestigious awards given to early-career faculty. The support aims to build a firm foundation for leadership in integrating research and education. […]

    • nanostructure sensor surface At-Home Disease Testing: Designing Microfabricated-Paper Sensors For Biomarker Detection

      Imagine testing for cancers, hepatitis and tuberculosis as quickly, easily and inexpensively as today’s home pregnancy tests and blood glucose monitoring strips. Cyclone engineer Meng Lu is using the power of microfabrication to create state-of-the-art, on-demand diagnostic technology. Lu, an assistant professor in both electrical and computer engineering and mechanical engineering, says the key to […]

    • Benjamin Ahn Educating Today’s Engineers: Examining How, Why and When New Technology Tools Improve Engineering Education

      Benjamin Ahn’s research goal is to identify the best educational approaches for educating new generations of engineers, using technology tools available today. “The next generation of engineers will face new challenges, and we have new technology tools to help educate and prepare students,” says Ahn, assistant professor of aerospace engineering. “But technology is only as […]

    • James Mccauley Modern Grid: Linking U.S. Electrical Systems to Move Renewable Energy and Increase Reliability

      James McCalley is working with researchers from across the nation to find ways to tie the United States’ largest – but separate – electricity grids together. In a study that is part of a U.S. Department of Energy $220 million Grid Modernization Initiative, McCalley and his Iowa State University researchteam are building computer models simulating 15 […]

    • Jeramy Ashlock Firm Foundations: Refining Pile Design Models For Earthquake-Resistant Buildings

      Many researchers say they want to shake up their fields of study. Iowa State engineer Jeramy Ashlock means it. Ashlock, the Richard L. Handy Professor of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, studies how building and bridge foundations interact with soil during earthquakes and structural vibrations. In research funded by an National Science Foundation CAREER award, Ashlock and his […]

    • Matt Helmers with farmers in field Middle Ground: Examining Farm Field Drainage to Develop Balanced Agricultural Practices

      Matt Helmers’ mission is to put the “middle ground” in managing agricultural land. Crops need enough but not too much water in the soil. Agricultural producers seek to get just the right amount of nutrients to plants, without the excess traveling elsewhere. “The overall goal of my research in water quality and drainage flow is […]

    • Realtime Analytics for Transportation Lab Data Driven: Smart Systems For Traffic Management

      Cyclone engineers are using big data to make big improvements to road safety and traffic management. Anuj Sharma, associate professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering, and a team of researchers are using continuous traffic data streams – video, traffic volume, speed, backups, weather and more – to build automated, real-time traffic management tools. With support […]

    • Zengyi Shao and Jean-Philippe Tessonnier New Nylon, New Possibilities

      Cyclone engineers Zengyi Shao and Jean-Philippe Tessonnier created a new type of biobased nylon that outperforms nylon created from petroleum chemicals. Shao and Tessonnier, both assistant professors of chemical and biological engineering, combined their expertise in biocatalysis and chemical catalysis to design a hybrid biomass-to-nylon process that integrates fermentation and downstream upgrading. This hybrid process […]

    • iron-nickel phosphide nanoparticle Bubbling With Renewable Fuel: Nanoscale Catalyst Splits Hydrogen From Water Quickly and Efficiently

      At the macroscale, rust is a common, everyday material. But at the nanoscale, it might hold the promise of sustainable clean energy. Shan Hu, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, is developing new catalysts made of rust nanostructures that convert light into fuel faster and cheaper than other leading catalysts. “Rust, or iron oxide, is […]

    • Steve Martin Jump-starting battery advancements

      Solid electrolytes are key to making batteries more powerful and safer For more than 30 years, Steve Martin has been studying and characterizing different materials to identify properties that would allow for optimal energy transfer and storage in batteries. He says ceramic-like sulfide glasses may hold the solution, and now he’s working on a project […]

    • FactBoard: Visualizing Data

      Creating a real-time data-driven visual decision support system for the factory floor Guiping Hu has set out to make manufacturing production more efficient. The associate professor of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering is working on a project for the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII) to develop a shop floor decision support system called […]

    • Joe Zambreno Ecosystems of support

      Promoting an accessible, responsive approach to engineering education A new initiative in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering will help a pool of talented students pursue a degree in engineering. The project, called ECSEL: Electrical, Computer, and Software Engineers as Leaders, is part of the National Science Foundation’s Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and […]

    • Characterizing antimicrobial resistance

      Interdisciplinary team uses systems approach to sequence microbial genes Historically, treatments for disease-causing microorganisms have relied heavily on the use of antimicrobial drugs. Adina Howe says this very practice (both when it’s used properly and when it’s misused), along with naturally occurring phenomena, has accelerated how quickly microorganisms are evolving into resistant strains. “If we […]

    • Des Moines International Airport pavement testing area Safer, more sustainable aviation

      Iowa State’s partnership in FAA program advances airport runways, operating technology Engineers from Iowa State are part of a collaborative partnership to help navigate and improve the complex, ever-changing aviation industry with innovative ideas and new research projects. “When you look at addressing any problem in the field, from the weather to security to operational […]

    • Jun Cui Increasing electric steel performance

      Materials research will make electric motors more efficient, cost effective Can electric steel, a popular material that’s already a key functional material for modern society, get better? Jun Cui, an associate professor of materials science and engineering and a senior scientist at the U.S.  Department of Energy Ames Laboratory, says it can. That’s why he’s […]