Author: bbeach

Soil and water samples illuminate antibiotic resistance

Studies of manure application reveal antibiotic resistance movement While using manure as an organic source of fertilizer has helped the agricultural industry maintain balance in integrated crop and livestock systems, there is some risk the manure contains bacteria that may contaminate water bodies if transported off the field by rain. Michelle Soupir, an associate professor … Continue reading Soil and water samples illuminate antibiotic resistance

Easing traffic headaches

InTrans performs need-based research to improve transportation infrastructure Since Iowa State’s Institute for Transportation (InTrans) first began as the Local Transportation Information Center in 1983, researchers have transformed the surface transportation landscape through innovative methods, materials and technologies. Now, with specialization in areas that range from work zone safety and traffic engineering to sustainable pavement … Continue reading Easing traffic headaches

A faster way to optimal solutions

Using simulation and modeling to improve sustainable buildings Insurmountable data is no match for Baskar Ganapathysubramanian. In fact, he says the more data, the better. That way he’s sure to evaluate every possible scenario within the models he creates. Ganapathysubramanian, associate professor of mechanical engineering, uses mathematical techniques and computational tools to solve a variety … Continue reading A faster way to optimal solutions

Customized products, processes

Delivering advanced manufacturing technology ready for commercialization Researchers in Iowa State’s industrial and manufacturing systems engineering (IMSE) department are major players in the country’s goal to strengthen the resurgence of manufacturing in America. With their projects to be supported by three of the recent federal manufacturing research centers – America Makes, the Institute for Advanced … Continue reading Customized products, processes

Wind characterization leads to new innovations

Expanding wind energy volume takes an interdisciplinary perspective Aerospace engineering and atmospheric sciences are joining forces and technology at Iowa State to better understand airflow and wind shear on wind farms. Using computer models, wind and icing tunnel experiments, and field measurements, the researchers say their work can depict individual turbine dynamics, turbine-to-turbine interaction and … Continue reading Wind characterization leads to new innovations

Taking cyberinnovation to the farm

Data from soil sensors gives researchers and farmers insight into sustainable agricultural practices Maintaining soil health by protecting land suitable for growing crops continues to be a priority as the world’s population rises. Issues like managing the nitrogen cycle, which is also one of the 14 Grand Challenges identified by the National Academy of Engineering, … Continue reading Taking cyberinnovation to the farm

Shifting the paradigm of biorenewable chemicals

CBiRC focuses on platform technologies and new chemicals from biomass feedstocks to replace petrochemicals When the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Biorenewable Chemicals (CBiRC) was founded in 2008, its approach of combining biology and chemistry to develop sustainable biobased chemicals was a novel idea. “At the time, we were trying decide if there … Continue reading Shifting the paradigm of biorenewable chemicals

Changing cancer treatment

Polymer science advances drug-delivery mechanisms to better break down cancerous tumors The National Cancer Institute has indicated that in 2014, “it is estimated that there will be 1,665,540 new cases of all cancer sites and an estimated 585,720 people will die of this disease.” That’s why Katie Bratlie, an assistant professor of materials science and … Continue reading Changing cancer treatment

A new kind of solar cell

Improving the performance of organic, thin-film materials with perovskites to make solar energy more affordable and accessible With the sun providing most forms of energy, whether indirectly or directly, it’s no wonder Vikram Dalal has spent more than 40 years working on better ways to access its energy. But it’s the potential to provide the … Continue reading A new kind of solar cell

Advancing production in large-scale industries

Calling for a multidisciplinary, value-driven philosophy for systems engineering Energy. Transportation. Civil infrastructure. Aerospace. These and many other large-scale, complex industries are critical to the security and prosperity of our nation. And they are in need of some serious attention. That’s where Christina Bloebaum says she can make a difference. Bloebaum, the Dennis and Rebecca Muilenburg Professor of Aerospace … Continue reading Advancing production in large-scale industries

Revolutionizing disease prevention and treatment

Using a systems approach coupled with nanoscale technology to develop next-generation vaccines For more than a decade, Balaji Narasimhan has been determined to improve vaccine deliveryand availability, a mission that’s especially important for parts of the world where access to such life-saving, preventative medicine isn’t always practical or even possible. One project includes searching for ways to … Continue reading Revolutionizing disease prevention and treatment

Reducing the cost of wind energy

Sensing skin monitors structural health of wind turbine blades, giving insight into needed repairs An inexpensive polymer that can detect damage on large-scale surfaces could be pivotal in making wind energy a more affordable alternative energy option. The material, which is made into 3-inch square pieces, is a nanocomposite elastomeric capacitor fabricated from a dielectric … Continue reading Reducing the cost of wind energy

A smarter power grid

Cyber-physical testbed gives realistic platform for power grid security research With the nation’s security and economic vitality in his sights, Manimaran Govindarasu is setting out to make the power grid infrastructure more resilient against evolving and continuous cyberattacks. These attacks could result in anything from compromised data within utility companies to significant blackouts across the country. … Continue reading A smarter power grid

Advanced Asphalt Materials Laboratory

The Advanced Asphalt Materials Laboratory contains equipment to test and develop Superpave. Superpave (superior performing asphalt pavements) is a process for designing and analyzing performance-based mixes. The lab was equipped through donations from the Asphalt Paving Association of Iowa, monies from Iowa State University, and asphalt contractors and suppliers. Key Specs Gyratory compactor Bending beam … Continue reading Advanced Asphalt Materials Laboratory