IMPACT REPORT 2019-2020
Another year has passed
LET TER from the chair
at Iowa State University’s Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ISU ABE). And with that, we are pleased to share U.S. News & World Report ranked our graduate program as No. 1 in the nation. We were able to break the tie for the number 1 slot in 2019 in part because of our dedication to real-world education, world-changing research, and extension and outreach. Our undergraduate program continues to be a top-ranked program as well, coming in at No. 2. With the help of university and industry partners, ISU ABE has been adding to our teaching and lab facilities. This summer, we are installing an off-road vehicle chassis dynamometer. This advanced system can test a number of sizes of off-road vehicles and implements. And this spring, we established a new Soil-Machine Soil Dynamics Lab, and the new Robert T. Hamilton Poultry Research and Teaching Facility opened. Our dedication to student success never wavers. In the past four years, undergraduate numbers have increased by 11%, bachelor’s degrees completed have increased by 17%, female enrollment has increased by 20%, and undergraduate student credit hours have increased 16%, in large part due to increased student retention and class offerings. As ever, we have a well-balanced research funding portfolio. For fiscal year 2020 (July 1, 2019 – June 26, 2020), our research expenditures reached a record $14.4 million, up from $13.68 the previous year. During the spring semester, COVID-19 disrupted normal operations at Iowa State and sent students home. The ABE department adapted and continued to invest in students by moving classes online and conducting important research in unique ways. These changes will affect how we move forward, making us stronger and more innovative in the ways we serve future Cyclones. On that note, please keep us informed about developments going on in your institutions. We encourage you to follow us on the web and social media. We appreciate your interest in our program here at Iowa State University.
Jeffrey Askey CALS (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences), P&S Research Award Thomas Brumm CALS (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences), Outstanding Achievement in Teaching Award Jay Harmon ASABE (American Society of Agriculture and Biological Engineering), PEI Professional Engineer of the Year Award Adina Howe ASABE, New Holland Young Researcher Award Amy Kaleita ASABE, Fellow Ramesh Kanwar ASABE, ADS/Hancor Soil and Water Engineering Award; ASABE, Kishida International Award Dirk Maier ASABE, Sukup Global Food Security; CALS, Outstanding Achivement in International Agriculture Award
Steve Mickelson ATMAE, (Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering), Faculty Excellence Award
Gretchen Mosher ASABE, SMV Technologies Ergonomics, Safety and Health Award
1. Advanced Machinery Engineering and Manufacturing Systems
Michelle Soupir CALS, Faculty Award for Diversity Enhancement; ISU, McNair Faculty Mentor of the Year Award
2. Animal Production Systems Engineering
Charles Sukup 4-H Foundation Legacy Awards, Outstanding Alumni Award
4. Land and Water Resources Engineering
Lie Tang ASABE, AE50-Plant Stand Analyzer
5. Occupational Safety Engineering
James Wright CALS, Outstanding Service in Student Recruitment and Retention Hongwei Xin University of Nebraska, Biological Systems Engineering Hall of Fame
3. Biological and Process Engineering and Technology
OUR DEPARTMENT ranks top in research and development spending among the nation’s agricultural and biosystems engineering departments at public universities. These investments totaled $14.4 million in fiscal year 2019. WHILE MAINTAINING our traditional connection to agriculture, our faculty researchers are also developing alternative production systems, leading innovative research for renewable energy sources, developing value-added products and processes, and implementing new methods to improve air and water quality.
OUR RESEARCH TEAMS conduct many projects that deliver life-sustaining and industry-changing innovations to citizens throughout the state, the Midwest, the nation and the world.
The Tie is Broken
According to U.S. News & World Report
In fall 2019, U.S. News & World Report ranked Iowa State second overall, and second among public universities, for the best undergraduate program in biological/agricultural engineering.
17% RESEARCH EXPENDITURES*
Tenured and tenure-track
BS DEGREES AWARDED*
*Increases in the past four years
RESEARCH STAFF + DEPARTMENTAL STAFF = 58 STAFF
2019 QUANTITATIVE summary WRITING 153
Rescue in Action
EXTENSION Peer-reviewed journal papers appearing in print this calendar year
Fact sheets developed
Extension programs tied to research grants
Peer-reviewed journal papers accepted and to be published in next calendar year
Popular press instances (e.g. radio interviews, appearing in or writing magazine articles)
Journal papers in review
Distinct stakeholder groups served
Conference papers appearing in print
Distinct programs led
Book chapters appearing in print
Books appearing in print
Licensed Technology Transfer Agreements
Views on websites, podcasts, etc. Programs documenting change in clientele behavior based on program education
Annual research reports completed and submitted
Educational workshops/programs organized
Plenary, invited or keynote lectures given
Extension talks delivered
Professional society fellows
Fact sheets downloaded
Conference leadership roles
Postdoctoral researchers supervised
Ph.D. students supervised as a major professor
Ph.D. students supervised as committee member
Ph.D. students graduated
M.S. students supervised as a major professor
M.S. students supervised as committee member
M.S. students graduated
Undergraduate students supervised
Iowa State University Honored with the Borlaug Medallion
Total full-time equivalents (FTE) of Professional & Scientific (P&S) and merit staff supervised Significant cross-department or interdisciplinary cooperative programming efforts
PROJECT PROPOSALS 160
Total funds on submitted proposals
Total awarded amount
Agriculture is one of the deadliest industries in the world. A fatality rate of about 23 deaths per 100,000 workers currently exists in the United States. A common culprit of this high number? Grain entrapment fatalities. Charles Schwab, professor at ISU ABE, is exploring what happens to workers after they have been trapped in a storage bin or silo. This includes the forces at work on a victim as that victim is pulled down by the shifting movement of the grain and the work of mechanical implements, such as augers. Schwab and his team hope that by understanding the fatal nature of these forces, they can formulate better ways to save victims trapped in grain storage units. “The forces imposed on a victim entrapped in a grain-filled storage unit are fast-acting and deadly,” Schwab said. “In this project, we want to show how different body types influence extraction forces and what new rescue methods could be the safest, fastest and most efficient.”
Iowa State Dedicates Robert T. Hamilton Poultry Teaching and Research Farm Iowa State University dedicated the new Robert T. Hamilton Poultry Teaching and Research Farm south of Ames in spring 2020. The hallmarks of the new facility include dedicated spaces for teaching and research, and a welcome area where visitors can see first-hand examples of Iowa egg production systems and learn about Iowa egg production. The state-of-the art building allows ISU to continue to support one of the state’s top industries: Iowa is the number-oneegg-producing state in the nation and processes 70 percent of the eggs produced in state. The nearly $7 million facility was made possible solely through private funding.
The Iowa Egg Council Layer Research Wing was named in honor of the council, which committed over $1.5 million on behalf of the state’s egg farmers. “The farm’s modern facilities will be a vital asset for egg production research, education and extension, especially for training the next generation of leaders in Iowa’s egg community,” said Kevin Stiles, executive director of the Iowa Egg Council. The new facility was developed on the 11-acre site of the former Iowa State University Poultry Science Farm three miles south of central campus. It replaces aging buildings that dated back to the early 1960s.
In December 2019, Ambassador Ken Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation, presented Iowa State University with the Norman E. Borlaug Medallion. The Borlaug Medallion honors world leaders and exceptional institutions for their impact on issues of global food security that benefit humankind. Ambassador Quinn cited the research and leadership of the Seed Science Center, under the direction of Manjit Misra, as one of the reasons for awarding the medallion to Iowa State. “Seed is the beginning of agriculture, of all life and civilization. So, it is truly an honor to be cited by Ambassador Quinn for our work towards making quality seed available to farmers so that they can feed the world,” said Misra, ABE professor and director of the Seed Science Center. Iowa State University joined the past honorees as only the ninth recipient of the Borlaug Medallion.
1340 Elings Hall 605 Bissell Rd Ames, Iowa 50011-1098
@ISUABE @ISU_ABE @ ISU_ABE Search “Iowa State University Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Alumni and Friends” For questions regarding this publication, contact Kristine Perkins, editor tel. (515) 294-9034, email firstname.lastname@example.org Kathy Walker, graphic design
Copyright © 2020. Iowa State University of Science and Technology. All rights reserved. Iowa State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, ethnicity, religion, national origin, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, sex, marital status, disability, or status as a U.S. veteran. Inquiries regarding non-discrimination polices may be directed to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance, 3350 Beardshear Hall, Ames, Iowa 50011-1098, tel. (515) 249-7612, email email@example.com.
ABE students have actively been involved in the Iowa State University chapter of Engineers Without Borders since its creation in 2008. ABE students designed and built a solar powered water system in the winter of 2018-19 to bring water to 1,000 high school students, teachers and staff and are currently working on many other projects, including a clinic, rainwater catchment system, kitchen stoves and sanitation.
Recent ABE members of EWB-ISU include Michelle Friedmann, Emily Hou, Sam Hueser, Brady Nahkala, Jach Swicherath and Danielle Ufheil.
ABE professor Dirk Maier serves as a faculty adviser and travel team mentor to the chapter.
The Iowa State University Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering recaps the past year.