Author: bbeach

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 … Continue reading At-Home Disease Testing: Designing Microfabricated-Paper Sensors For Biomarker Detection

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 … Continue reading Educating Today’s Engineers: Examining How, Why and When New Technology Tools Improve Engineering Education

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 … Continue reading Modern Grid: Linking U.S. Electrical Systems to Move Renewable Energy and Increase Reliability

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 … Continue reading Firm Foundations: Refining Pile Design Models For Earthquake-Resistant Buildings

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 … Continue reading Middle Ground: Examining Farm Field Drainage to Develop Balanced Agricultural Practices

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 … Continue reading Data Driven: Smart Systems For Traffic Management

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 … Continue reading New Nylon, New Possibilities

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 … Continue reading Bubbling With Renewable Fuel: Nanoscale Catalyst Splits Hydrogen From Water Quickly and Efficiently

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 … Continue reading FactBoard: Visualizing Data

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 … Continue reading Ecosystems of support

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 … Continue reading Characterizing antimicrobial resistance

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 … Continue reading Safer, more sustainable aviation

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 … Continue reading Increasing electric steel performance

transient battery

Self-destructing batteries

A practical solution for powering transient electronics Researchers at Iowa State have made significant progress in an effort to make transient electronic devices completely autonomous. Reza Montazami, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering and an associate of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory, is leading a team that has developed a transient lithium-ion (Li-ion) … Continue reading Self-destructing batteries

a new $5. 3 million Bio-Polymer Processing Facility located at Iowa State’s BioCentury Research Farm

The road to biorenewable asphalt

Researchers scale-up plans to use soybean oil to produce bio-polymers A new Bio-Polymer Processing Facility located at Iowa State University’s BioCentury Research Farm gives researchers a broader understanding of what it would take to commercialize bio-polymers so they can be added to materials like asphalt. Eric Cochran, associate professor of chemical and biological engineering, and … Continue reading The road to biorenewable asphalt

Diane Rover, professor of electrical and computer engineering, promotes new educational approaches in the classroom through a new interdisciplinary project

A new model of engineering education

Collaborative course design will transform education and develop the next generation of engineers Electrical and computer engineering technologies have evolved from simple electronics and computing devices to complex systems that profoundly change the world in which we live. Designing these complex systems requires a new way of thinking, including developing social, professional and ethical responsibility. … Continue reading A new model of engineering education

Liang Dong

Making progress toward invisibility cloaks

Meta-skin suppresses scattering microwaves, hides objects from radar detection Two professors in electrical and computer engineering have made significant headway in an innovative stealth technology. Liang Dong, an associate professor who researches micro-nanofabrication, liquids and polymers, and Jiming Song, a professor who studies electromagnetics, have combined their areas of expertise to create a flexible, stretchable … Continue reading Making progress toward invisibility cloaks