Author: bbeach

smorphcade with facade outset

Smorphacade

“The Smorphacade project is the first-of-its-kind collaboration between structural engineers, wind engineers and control engineers to turn a passive building façade into a live façade that protects the building against wind load and turbulence,” said Alice Alipour, associate professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering. Alipour leads a team that’s combining a network of pressure, velocity and acceleration sensors strategically positioned on building surfaces. When excessive vibration-causing flow conditions are detected, the Smorphacade will change surface roughness or smoothness to mitigate inter-story building movements.

Virtual Reality, Real Cybersickness

Cybersickness. No, it’s not being tired of the constant stream of new emails in your inbox. It’s the physical illness some people feel in virtual reality environments. Angelica Jasper, a Ph.D. student in Humana Computer Interaction, is studying how to prevent VR users from experiencing nausea, disorientation, and oculomotor strain.

line art of lettuce

Engineering sustainable, safe food from the field to the table

A team led by Hongwei Zhang, professor of electrical and computer engineering, has developed CyNet, an open-source, wireless networking infrastructure to support data-driven research. CyNet takes on the challenge of quickly and reliably transmitting agricultural measurements from the crop field to plant scientists’ computers – and serves as a prototype for bringing much-needed broadband to rural areas. Food safety testing usually takes place in the lab by highly training technicians, but on-site, real-time, low-cost monitoring is our best tool to stop contaminated food from reaching consumers. Carmen Gomes, associate professor of mechanical engineering, is making key innovations in biosensor fabrication and system design to ensure food safety.

Boeing Undergraduate Research Fellowship program takes flight

A new partnership with Boeing pairs undergraduate students with College of Engineering faculty and Boeing engineers to get hands-on research experience in cutting-edge projects in aerospace engineering, cyber security, autonomous systems, machine learning and more. “The Boeing Undergraduate Research Fellowship has created opportunities for undergrads to learn research by doing, work on high-impact projects, and get familiar with the intellectual property considerations of industry-backed research,” said Arun Somani, associate dean for research, Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering, and Philip and Virginia Sproul Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

All about (data) connections: Precision conservation at the FEW nexus

Amy Kaleita, professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, works at the intersection of food, energy, water and land use systems on data-driven precision conservation. Where there’s good soil and water data, she uses it, where there’s gaps in the data, she creates new models to estimate variables, and where there’s neither existing data nor a good model, she designs new sensing systems. And in all cases, Kaleita says she focuses on the connections – between complex natural systems, land uses and more – to protect our land and water.

Cary Pint

Beyond batteries: New energy systems for a sustainable future

Incremental improvement is the goal of most battery research programs, but Cary Pint isn’t looking to build on existing ways of doing things. He’s out to create new systems of energy storage for a sustainable future. “My background brings together diverse experiences in both academia and industry and across many different disciplines. That allows me to approach these problems in new and unique ways – and I’ve built a multidisciplinary research team that does the same,” said Pint, Charles Schafer (Battelle) Chair in Engineering and associate professor of mechanical engineering.

Mai Zheng

Storage systems keeping data safe

Storage systems are the fundamental computing building block of our modern lives – and like physical building blocks, computer storage systems must function well in fair weather as well as sudden disturbances to keep data safe.

Paper Resonator

Sensors for closed systems open up possibilities in biotech

Ask Nigel Reuel about his research and you start to hear a pattern in how he describes his goals: “merging,” “collaborating,” “tying together,” “multidisciplinary.” Look at his career, and you see how he’s combined industry experience with in-the-lab creativity to create engineering innovations. “When I was at DuPont, one of my roles was a technology scout, looking around for the best ideas that would be useful for core businesses, and I started to see that many other companies were looking to university professors as well to develop the next wave of innovation,” said Reuel, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering. “I realized where I could really push innovation and bring together teams of strong players would be joining academia.” Since coming to Iowa State, Reuel has succeeded in becoming the “entrepreneurial professor” he set out to be.

Engineering probiotics to fight illness

Our gut microbiome – a collection of complex and varied microbes – is important to our health far beyond our digestive tract. We know that too much “bad” bacteria can make us ill, but the opposite may also be true. Engineering “good” bacteria could be key to fighting illness. Mansell seeks to overcome one big challenge of introducing new good bacteria into the gut environment: When we eat foods rich in live cultures or take a supplement that introduces probiotics into our gut, then the probiotics themselves need something to feast on if they are to multiply and remain in place.

Left to right: Gül Okudan-Kremer, Shan Jiang, Nigel Reuel, Ann Gansemer-Topf and Qing li. Photo taken February 2020.

Filling the GAPS

Could graduate students build more than just research skills during their thesis projects? An interdisciplinary project led by Cyclone Engineer Shan Jiang aims to address this question through the first of its kind Graduates for Advancing Professional Skills (GAPS) program.

Revised Exploratory Research Program released for Spring deadline

The College has recently reviewed and revised its Exploratory Research Program. The new guidelines are available here and take effect immediately. The program will now offer two deadlines per year: March 15 and September 15. 20% cost share from either the PI or the Dept is required. The next deadline is March 26, 2020.  Proposals … Continue reading Revised Exploratory Research Program released for Spring deadline

nanovaccine students

Tiny components, big accomplishments for Nanovaccine Institute’s young scientists

The headlines and feature stories have become frequent for the Iowa State University-based Nanovaccine Institute, a multidisciplinary network of scientists devoted to transforming the development and delivery of vaccines and therapeutics that will fight deadly diseases worldwide. Led by Iowa State Chemical and Biological Engineering Anson Marston Distinguished Professor and Vlasta Klima Balloun Faculty Chair … Continue reading Tiny components, big accomplishments for Nanovaccine Institute’s young scientists

In a heartbeat

Adarsh Krishnamurthy (pictured, left) and Ming-Chen Hsu (center) got to talking about their research interests – Krishnamurthy works in simulating cardiac mechanics and Hsu in simulating valve dynamics – when they had an idea. “He had the heart without the valve, and I had the valve without the heart,” Hsu said. “We thought ‘why don’t we just put them together?’”

2019 NSF CAREER Winners

Three Iowa State University Cyclone Engineers have been selected for 2019 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 program aims to build a firm foundation for leadership in integrating research and education.

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.