Category: Graduate Student Profiles

Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student Participates in Prestigious Summer Institute

While interning at Orbital Technologies Corporation the summer before his senior year at the University of Wisconsin—Platteville, Ben Halls’ supervisor encouraged him to consider graduate school. He had heard promising things about the College of Engineering (CoE) at Iowa State University (ISU), so he started digging deeper to see what opportunities were available. He reached … Continue reading Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student Participates in Prestigious Summer Institute

Mazatlan to Ames becomes a path to graduate school

Brenda Carrillo-Conde did not know what she was getting herself into when she decided to participate in a summer research experience in the College of Engineering at Iowa State University five years ago.  The native of Mazatlan, Mexico, was a senior at Monterrey Institute of Technology (Monterrey, Mexico) and planned on a career in industry. … Continue reading Mazatlan to Ames becomes a path to graduate school

Grad student works to improve foundation design for earthquake zones

Brad Fleming, a PhD student in civil engineering at Iowa State, has been working on a project that can make a large impact—literally. Brad is working with Professor Sri Sritharan and a research team composed of the experts, resources, and testing sites from five leading institutions across the country (the University of Oklahoma; Iowa State … Continue reading Grad student works to improve foundation design for earthquake zones

Aerospace graduate student works in planetary defense

Brian Kaplinger, a PhD student in aerospace engineering at Iowa State, is working on something that just might protect humanity from a devastating asteroid impact someday. Working in trajectory optimization for the Asteroid Deflection Research Center at Iowa State, Brian’s area of expertise is computer simulations. Using those simulations he can calculate how to minimize … Continue reading Aerospace graduate student works in planetary defense

German student works to help solve carbon emissions challenge

Matthias Veltman, a PhD student in mechanical engineering at Iowa State, has come a long way from a little town called Lampertheim, Germany, to work on improving clean engine technology. In his third year as a doctoral student, he is working with Professor Song-Charng Kong to evaluate the use of ammonia as fuel in a … Continue reading German student works to help solve carbon emissions challenge

CprE student lands NSF fellowship four months into grad school

How does a graduate student receive a prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) fellowship only four months into a PhD program? Hands-on internships and one-on-one mentors certainly helped. At least, that is how it happened for Cory Kleinheksel, graduate student in computer engineering. Cory enriched his Iowa State undergraduate years with learning experiences requiring applied computer … Continue reading CprE student lands NSF fellowship four months into grad school

From Egypt to Iowa: One engineering graduate student’s journey

Ghada Gad, a graduate student in civil, construction, and environmental engineering (CCEE) at Iowa State University, has had to adjust to a new environment. Literally. There are plenty of cultural and societal differences between her homes in Cairo, Egypt, and Ames, Iowa, but the difference that really stands out for her is the weather. The first … Continue reading From Egypt to Iowa: One engineering graduate student’s journey

MS student researches seismic design of deep bridge pier foundations

Coming from Wisconsin, graduate student Aaron Shelman is not afraid of the cold. In fact, he likes it so much that he is using liquid nitrogen to create subzero temperatures year round. As a civil engineering graduate student with an emphasis in structural engineering, Aaron has been researching the effects of seasonal freezing on soil-foundation-structure … Continue reading MS student researches seismic design of deep bridge pier foundations

Internships provide opportunities for Chinese IMSE graduate student

Xiaoli Yang had earned a bachelor’s degree in management information systems in China and also took some graduate level courses. He was eager for an opportunity to apply his textbook and coursework learning. He found that opportunity at Iowa State as a full-time graduate student in industrial and manufacturing systems engineering (IMSE), ranked by U.S.News … Continue reading Internships provide opportunities for Chinese IMSE graduate student

Interdisciplinary opportunities attract Chem E grad student

When Bret Ulery finished his undergraduate education at the University of Iowa with a BS in biochemistry and a BSE in chemical engineering, he found himself in high demand as a prospective graduate student. Bret considered offers from engineering programs across the country. Ultimately he chose Iowa State because of the opportunity offered for interdisciplinary … Continue reading Interdisciplinary opportunities attract Chem E grad student

ABE graduate takes three-cornered approach to busy schedule

When Martha Zwonitzer started graduate school in agricultural and biosystems engineering (ABE) she joked that she had donned a hat with three corners-mother of four children under 10, wife of a busy husband working full time in corn breeding, and a full-time graduate student. She “turns her hat” as she changes roles. Martha does so … Continue reading ABE graduate takes three-cornered approach to busy schedule

ME grad student works to benefit society through biofuel research

Mark Mba Wright grew up in Equatorial Guinea, Africa. He came to the United States as an undergraduate to study mechanical engineering with a particular interest in hydrogen and fuel cells. He was attracted to Iowa State’s Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME) because of its national ranking and long history of engineering innovation.   Once … Continue reading ME grad student works to benefit society through biofuel research

Shift to mechanical engineering directs student toward research career

Joshua Drake enrolled as a PhD student in mechanical engineering even though he didn’t have an engineering background. Instead, he has a master of arts in teaching with an emphasis in science, and his bachelor’s degrees are in math and in physics. What brought Joshua to study mechanical engineering? He has enjoyed tinkering in mechanics … Continue reading Shift to mechanical engineering directs student toward research career

PhD student’s interest in teaching sparked by industry experience

Cara Dienes, PhD student in industrial and manufacturing systems engineering (IMSE), knows from experience the importance of being prepared. After graduating from Purdue University’s industrial engineering department, she worked in industry for over three years as part of a team that used systems engineering models in the management of defense systems design. Even while working … Continue reading PhD student’s interest in teaching sparked by industry experience

Undergraduate preparation reaps big rewards for NSF fellow

Sasha Kemmet, National Science Foundation fellow and graduate student in electrical and computer engineering, has already discovered something: her undergraduate activities at Iowa State not only prepared her for graduate school but also paved the way for her prestigious NSF Fellowship. As an Iowa State undergraduate student, Kemmet assisted with an undergraduate course, EE 185 … Continue reading Undergraduate preparation reaps big rewards for NSF fellow

Persistence leads to success for NSF fellow

Mike Steffen, in his second year as an Iowa State University graduate student in computer engineering, is a newly designated National Science Foundation (NSF) fellow. A year of experience proved valuable for Steffen, who was unsuccessful in his first try for the fellowship. Rather than be discouraged, Steffen resolved to reapply. He distinguished himself during … Continue reading Persistence leads to success for NSF fellow

MSE graduate student’s research puts rare earth magnets to work

Nathaniel Oster, a PhD student in materials science and engineering, is part of a research group developing rare earth magnets that can be used at temperatures around 200 degrees centigrade. The work has important implications for the auto industry because in electric motors a stronger magnet facilitates greater efficiency. The magnets currently used in electric, … Continue reading MSE graduate student’s research puts rare earth magnets to work

Summer internship leads to PhD study in ABE

Lidia Esteve Agelet, PhD student in agricultural and biosystems engineering (ABE), understands the importance of new experiences. Originally from Lleida in the autonomous community of Catalonia, Spain, Lidia has had the opportunity to gain not only an educational experience different from the one she received in Spain, but also a broader perspective on life. Lidia … Continue reading Summer internship leads to PhD study in ABE