Center for Nondestructive Evaluation

The Center for Nondestructive Evaluation (CNDE) develops noninvasive methods and instruments for assessing the integrity of structures and materials.  The Center’s mission is to pursue research that defines underlying principles of nondestructive evaluation technologies and to transfer those technologies to industry, promoting the integration of nondestructive evaluation with other disciplines so that a product’s lifetime reliability is enhanced.  Research areas include ultrasonic techniques, electromagnetic techniques (including microwave and terahertz), thermal techniques (including vibrothermography), radiographic techniques, magnetic techniques, dye penetrant techniques, signal processing, embedded sensors, probability of detection, and integration with structural health monitoring.  NDE techniques are developed for flaw detection and characterization as well as material property characterization.  Applications to all materials systems, metals, ceramics and composites are under investigation.  This work is performed in collaboration with a large number of industrial and academic partners in the U.S. and, increasingly, abroad.  CNDE’s outputs include improved understanding of inspection physics, new inspection concepts, prototype instrumentation, simulation software and a variety of educational offerings.  Among the latter are an emerging program in NDE distance education and the development of a web-based focal point for technical education in NDE under the support of NSF.  The Center seeks other areas that can benefit from NDE applications, such as agricultural, animal science, and biomedical areas.  CNDE is the site of one of NSF’s Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers, which conducts generic, pre-competitive research for about 20 industrial and government sponsors.  The work of CNDE also includes major programs sponsored by AFRL (Quantitative Inspection Technology) and ARL (NDE of Multi-Utility Materials) and is closely coupled to that of the FAA sponsored Airworthiness Assurance Center of Excellence.  CNDE is a center of the Institute for Physical Research and Technology, a network of research and technology-transfer centers and industrial-outreach programs at Iowa State University.

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Center for Integrated Animal Genomics

The Center for Integrated Animal Genomics (CIAG) at Iowa State University (ISU) comprises an interdisciplinary group of faculty and students using integrated systems-wide genomics approaches to address current and future challenges and opportunities in animal agriculture and human health.  Scientists at the Center work to identify, map and understand the function and control of genes to improve animal and human health.  CIAG embraces basic research areas of animal biology and veterinary medicine that build on current strengths at ISU and are predicted to be of particular importance in agricultural research in the next five to ten years.  These areas include functional genomics, comparative genomics and animal-microbe interactions and bioinformatics.

The potential impacts of CIAG are substantial.  Animal agriculture benefits through continued genetic improvement of important livestock qualities related to food quality and waste, through improvements in disease resistance and pre-harvest pathogen control, and through improved design and utilization of livestock feeds.  The fundamental scientific discoveries made using the integrated genomics approach contribute to permanent improvements in animal health and production systems that are compatible with current environmental concerns and long-term sustainability of agriculture.  Human health benefits accrue directly from food safety and public health considerations and directly through comparative genomics work with model species.  The understanding of basic molecular and cellular processes, for example, allows for rational design of therapeutic drugs and treatments.  It also enables more effective methods to combat bioterrorism mediated by infectious agents of animals, thus helping to secure the safety of the citizenry and the security of the food supply.  Finally, the Center has the opportunity to enhance economic development in Iowa for the animal and food industries.

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Center for Crops Utilization Research

The Center for Crops Utilization Research (CCUR) is responding to the urgent need to improve American agricultural competitiveness by developing new products, markets, and processing techniques, as well as by improving our understanding of the basic properties of agricultural products and their components.  Its broad mission includes expanding the market for Midwestern products by developing new technologies for food and feed products, biofuels, and biobased products.

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Center for Computational Intelligence, Learning, and Discovery

The Center for Computational Intelligence, Learning, and Discovery (CCILD) pursues fundamental research and research-based advanced training in algorithmic models of intelligence, learning, and discovery.  A major research focus of CCILD is on the development of advanced algorithms and software infrastructure for data-intensive, distributed, collaborative, integrative e-science driven by scientific, economic, and technological problems of major societal importance in virtually every area of human endeavor.

CCILD core faculty have significant breadth and depth of expertise in artificial intelligence, cognitive modeling, machine learning, data mining and statistical inference, information integration, knowledge representation, semantic web, service-oriented distributed computing, algorithm design and analysis, theory of computation, and related areas.  They are engaged in transformative research on cyber-enabled discovery in collaboration with their colleagues in several areas.  Some of this research is leading to fundamental advances in plant and animal genomics (e.g. genome annotation, characterization of macromolecular sequence-structure-function relationships, discovery and modeling of genetic interactions in development, aging, and disease), critical infrastructure (e.g. power systems) monitoring and protection.  Additional collaborative projects are underway in Security Informatics, Medical Informatics, and Materials Informatics, as part of the center’s e-science initiative.

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Center for Catalysis

The Center for Catalysis, or CCAT, is a research and education organization focusing on “green chemistry,” which refers to environmentally benign chemical processes.  These often occur at room temperatures and ordinary pressures, and use water, preferably, as a solvent.  They require less expenditure of energy, occur more rapidly, and produce significantly fewer unwanted byproducts than competing industrial processes.

CCAT is working to create catalysts that will enable firms to replace chemical processes that generate large volumes of hazardous pollutants.  It is developing new catalysts and biocatalysts that mimic nature and is transforming laboratory-scale catalysts into industrial-scale catlysts.  With this technology, the CCAT is creating new markets for agricultural commodoties as raw materials for industry, thus benefitting the farm economy.

CCAT is a member of the Institute for Physical Research and Technology, and works closely with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory.

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Center for Building Energy Research

The Center for Building Energy Research (CBER) focuses on efficient and renewable energy technology issues related to buildings.  Center research activities include developing new technologies and improving existing technologies to reduce energy consumption while maintaining performance and productivity.  Endeavors to reduce energy consumption include improving the efficiency of HVAC systems and industrial processes, improving indoor air quality, enhancing productivity while reducing waste, implementing alternative energy sources, and promoting green building technology in building designs.  The center also provides opportunities for technical and continuing education.

CBER serves as a resource for undergraduate and graduate students, building operators and others involved in building energy technology and issues.  The center emphasizes interdisciplinary research, involving the efforts of not only engineers but also researchers in fields such as architecture, agriculture, geological and atmospheric sciences, and business.  The center also works with industry and government agencies to develop energy efficient and environmentally friendly buildings, processes and equipment.  Many of the CBER’s research efforts focus on solving problems affecting people living in Iowa and the Midwest, helping to reduce energy usage and improve air quality.

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Bridge Engineering Center

bridge-engr-centerThe Bridge Engineering Center at Iowa State University was established in 1988. The center’s mission is to conduct research on bridge technologies to help bridge designers/owners, particularly the Iowa Department of Transportation Office of Bridges and Structures, design, build, and maintain long-lasting bridges.

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Biosafety Institute for Genetically Modified Agricultural Products

The Biosafety Institute for Genetically Modified Agricultural Products (BIGMAP) was established to provide independent, unbiased, and science-based evaluation of the risks and benefits of genetically modified agricultural products.  The institute also provides strategies for mitigating the risks to safeguard consumers and the environment.  It communicates the results of these activities to key policy and regulatory groups, private entities and the public in a transparent manner to build public trust.

BIGMAP is commited to developing the scientific safeguards and education needed to protect human health and the environment while introducting genetically engineering products and technology for economic development in Iowa and the U.S.

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Bioeconomy Institute

The Bioeconomy Institute (BEI) is an outgrowth of the Bioeconomy Initiative — a campuswide effort, launched in 2002, to investigate the use of biorenewable resources as sustainable feedstocks for producing chemicals, fuels, materials, and energy.  Today, the BEI has over 160 faculty affiliated members who contribute to the Bioeconomy Initiative with over $60 million in cumulative sponsored research funding from industry and federal agencies ranging from the Department of Agriculture to the National Science Foundation.

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BioCentury Research Farm

Biocentury Research FarmThe BioCentury Research Farm is the first-in-the-nation integrated research and demonstration facility dedicated to biomass production and processing.  Biomass includes both lignocellulosic crops and grain.  This facility presents a unique opportunity for industry collaboration.  It will accelerate innovation and production capacity associated with biobased fuels, chemicals, and products.  Collaborations for developing sustainable technologies will provide solutions that pave the way to meet national energy, economic, and environmental directives.

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Biobased Industry Center

Launched in 2008, the Biobased Industry Center (BIC) leverages the intellectual resources of interdisciplinary research and education programs to address critical business, infrastructure, supply chain, and policy issues facing the growing biobased economy.

To facilitate expansion of the biobased products industry, new investment, training, and analytical effort is needed.  With the committed partnership of industry leaders, BIC has the depth and breadth of academic scholarship as well as the resources neccessary to address these efforts thoroughly and successfully.

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Ames Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy

ames-labThe Ames Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science national laboratory devoted to “creating materials and energy solutions”.  Established in the 1940s with the successful development of the most efficient process to produce high-purity uranium metal for atomic energy, the Ames Lab now pursues a much broader portfolio that has given it international creditability and stature, notably in the area of rare earth science and technology.  Responding to issues of national concern, the Lab’s scientists bring together expertise in chemistry, engineering, materials, mathematics, and physics to solve large, challenging and complex problems.  They are actively involved in innovative research, science education programs, the development of applied technologies, and the quick transfer of those technologies to industry.  Uniquely integrated within a university environment, this national lab stimulates creative thought and encourages scientific discovery, providing solutions to critical problems and helping to inspire tomorrow’s scientific talent.

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