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Iowaengineer Engineering for the next generation

Innovative Undergraduate Research Russell Martin Biomedical Engineering Major

In this issue: Carver Gift for Biomedical Engineering Leading Human Factors Engineering at Apple NEXUS Open House

university of iowa college of engineering

ta b le o f co nt ents

FIRST Tech Challenge celebrates 10 years Page 26

Iowaengineer The University of Iowa College of Engineering Office of the Dean 3100 Seamans Center for the Engineering Arts and Sciences Iowa City, Iowa 52242–1527 Phone: 319-335-5764 Fax: 319-335-6086 Iowa Engineer is published for College of Engineering alumni and friends. Dean Alec Scranton Editor Jason Kosovski Contributing writers Wendy Brentner, Anna Dizack, Rick Fosse, Jason Kosovski, Chelle Lehman, Kaitlin Reither, Breanna Shea, Jackie Stolze, UI Strategic Communications, Rebecca Whitaker, G. Deanne Wortman, UI Center for Advancement

Carver Trust’s transformative gift

Teaching STEM at Noches de Ciencias

Racing a concrete canoe

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Contributing photographers Hailey Boileau, Aneta Goska, Jason Kosovski, Sherry Schons and Bryan Butcher, Jackie Stolze, Kaitlin Reither, UI Athletics, UI Photography: Tim Schoon and Justin Torner Design Benson & Hepker Design © 2019, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa

The University of Iowa prohibits discrimination in employment, educational programs, and activities on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, disability, genetic information, status as a U.S. veteran, service in the U.S. military, sexual orientation, gender identity, associational preferences, or any other classification that deprives the person of consideration as an individual. The university also affirms its commitment to providing equal opportunities and equal access to university facilities. For additional information on nondiscrimination policies, contact the Director, Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, the University of Iowa, 202 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242-1316, 319-3350705 (voice), 319-335-0697 (TDD),

NEXUS open house Page 36

6 Helping Iowans recover from floods 8 A new material world 10 20 years of driving safety 12 3D reality 14 Restoring a fixture in the Lichtenberger Engineering Library 15 Greg LeFevre awarded an NSF CAREER grant 16 Russell Martin works at the intersection of biomechanics and neuroscience 22 Engineering design at Apple 24 Flying high at the Operator Performance Laboratory 32 Iowa Baja completes successful season 34 Focusing on people through industrial engineering 35 Supporting process safety for chemical engineers 40 Connecting girls with engineering through the Femineers program 42 Industrial and Systems Engineering’s heavy lifting 44 $1.6 million to connect engineering and agriculture 46 Taking engineering to the football field and back 47 College news 48 Alumni notes

Alumni notes Page 53

Iowa Engineer 2019

from t h e d e an

Friends of the College of Engineering,


s we look back on another year in the College of Engineering, I am excited to share with you stories of our enterprising students, our innovative faculty members, and our generous alumni and supporters. This issue of Iowa Engineer highlights the way in which our research is transforming lives and improving the world in which we live. At the same time, we are training the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs who have benefited from the wisdom of our faculty members and the support of our donors. These are the stories that I hope you will find engaging in the pages that follow. The University of Iowa has a long history of fostering collaborations between our college and the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. Whether through advances in medical imaging, operating room optimization, or the development of new prosthetics, the connection between engineering and medicine is symbiotic. Across our college, departments, and research centers, we are developing technologies that will make healthcare safer, increasingly efficient, and more affordable. We empower our faculty members to pursue areas of inquiry that will benefit the healthcare industry and enhance the lives of patients here in Iowa, across the United States, and around the world. In recognition of the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust’s support for biomedical engineering research focused on pulmonary and respiratory disorders, we have named the Roy J. Carver Department of Biomedical Engineering. The resulting research advances will revolutionize treatments for ailments that affect millions of individuals worldwide. Beyond engineering in the healthcare space, our work impacts our communities in many other ways. Our faculty members and researchers look to predict and prevent flooding that continues to have enormous economic and social consequences across Iowa and surrounding communities. Increased reliance on automated technologies in vehicles means that we must understand both the technical function of such systems as well as user experiences and expectations. New techniques for virtual and augmented digital communications mean that what was once science fiction may someday become a reality in our homes and on our mobile devices. The promise of using drones for activities ranging from mapping to deliveries means we must work to understand how these devices learn from and adapt to the world around them. This kind of path-breaking research is at the heart of everything that we do in the College of Engineering. In a college of our size, students have significant access to faculty labs in which these innovations are being produced. They take what they learn in lectures and classrooms and apply those concepts through hands-on, experiential learning opportunities. We position them for co-ops, internships, and eventually positions in industry where they can then produce the next generation of cutting-edge technologies. Those students who go on to enter the academy will themselves devote the time, care, and attention that they received as students from their faculty members and mentors in the College of Engineering.

Although our annual issue of Iowa Engineer looks back on the previous academic year, it is also a forward-looking publication. What we have accomplished in the last year will have an impact for generations to come as our students go out into the world with a dynamic experience and world-class education that will position them to improve the quality of life for people everywhere.

Alec Scranton Dean, College of Engineering UI Foundation Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

university of iowa college of engineering


Transformational gift names Roy J. Carver Department of Biomedical Engineering


recognition of the University of Iowa’s position as a cutting-edge research institution in the fields of medicine and engineering, the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust has committed $12 million to enhancing UI research in pulmonary and respiratory biomedicine in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. To honor the Carver Charitable Trust’s $15 million in total giving to the department, it is now the Roy J. Carver Department of Biomedical Engineering, one of the six academic units that make up the college and the first to be permanently named.

The grant will support pulmonary and respiratory biomedicine research and innovations focused on finding solutions for the growing issues of lung disease and respiratory system disorders. “The Carver Charitable Trust has demonstrated its unwavering commitment to elevating research that addresses the most pressing human health issues,” said UI President J. Bruce Harreld. “The Carver Charitable Trust’s unequaled support of the University of Iowa furthers our leadership role in biomedical discovery. We are incredibly thankful for our partnership.” “A new commitment of $12 million builds upon previous investments by the trust in this dynamic area of biomedical engineering,” said Troy Ross, executive administrator of the Carver Charitable Trust. “We are confident that this gift will serve to accelerate ongoing research and graduate training, as well as attract exceptional new faculty investigators, all of which should lead to enhanced scientific understanding and effective care for those living with conditions affecting the airway.” According to the American Lung Association, lung disease is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Respiratory system disorders, 2

Iowa Engineer 2019

“We are confident that this gift will serve to accelerate ongoing research and graduate training, as well as attract exceptional new faculty investigators, all of which should lead to enhanced scientific understanding and effective care for those living with conditions affecting the airway.� T r o y R o s s , e x e c u t i v e a d m i n i s t r at o r o f t h e C a r v e r C h a r i ta b l e T r u s t (r i g h t, i n s e t p h o t o , w i t h A l e c S c r a n t o n , l e f t, a n d J o s e p h R e i n h a r d t,

university of iowa college of engineering



which also pose a significant threat to human health, include asthma, bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, emphysema, lung cancer, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, interstitial lung disease, and pneumonia. “A gift of this magnitude will not only increase the national and global visibility and impact of the UI Roy J. Carver Department of Biomedical Engineering, but it will also allow us to recruit stellar faculty members, enroll enterprising graduate students, and produce research that will transform lives,” said Alec Scranton, dean of the UI College of Engineering. “As we look to attract support from federal agencies, philanthropic organizations, and other sources, the cutting-edge research facilitated by this gift will position the department, the college, and the University of Iowa as the premier destination for pulmonary and respiratory biomedical engineering.” Joseph Reinhardt, chair of the Roy J. Carver Department of Biomedical Engineering, added, “This gift will help our students and faculty to develop new therapies for lung disorders such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and lung cancer. Our research benefits from our close collaboration with colleagues in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, allowing us to draw from the knowledge and experience of medical professionals to produce innovations with direct medical applications.” “This extraordinary commitment builds on 30 years of unsurpassed support from the Carver Charitable Trust to the University of Iowa,” said Lynette Marshall, president and CEO of the UI Center for Advancement. “We are grateful to the Carver Charitable Trust, which continues to build on its legacy of advancing scientific discovery and transforming lives.”


Iowa Engineer 2019

“A gift of this magnitude will allow us to recruit stellar faculty members, enroll enterprising graduate students, and produce research that will transform lives.” Alec Scranton, Dean

Support for the fluids lab The engineering fluid mechanics laboratories, commonly called the Fluids Lab, are a suite of three new state-of-the art spaces supporting student activities ranging from introductory fluid mechanics education to a variety of advanced independent and open-ended projects in engineering courses, student organizations, and research. The lab’s growth has been supported by a two-year, $1 million lab-development project generously supported by the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust. The lab contains a wind tunnel, a towing tank for navalhydrodynamics-related experiments, and flumes, in which students can implement powerful instrumentation for fluidmechanics and aerodynamic measurements. The Carver-funded project also provided for the acquisition of high-performance computing hardware, which enables students to perform high-fidelity simulations to predict and optimize vehicle and device performance characteristics in coursework and extracurricular activities. Electronic test equipment, data acquisition systems, and a large collection of model-building tools and supplies provide resources for students in all disciplines of engineering to engage in inquiry and design, fostering a multidisciplinary community of scholars comprising undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff.

previous page: Professor Kristan Worthington in the Carver Laboratory for Regenerative Engineering and Translational Science. top: Current and emeritus BME faculty at the dedication. far left: BME students Yasine Filali and Arwin Shrestha utilize the lab’s atomic force microscope. left: Worthington’s research aims to provide a treatment option for those suffering from late-stage neurodegeneration.

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“It was heartbreaking to see their possessions piled up at the curb like that. Antique furniture, pretty dishes, books, photos — all of it represents someone’s life.” Breanna Shea, p u b l i c r e l at i o n s c o o r d i n at o r for the

I o wa F l o o d C e n t e r

above left: The IFC’s Breanna Shea takes one of many loads of debris to the curb. above right: Graduate student Michael Krasowski carries out a slab of soggy drywall. right: Piles of flood-damaged wreckage lined Hamburg’s streets. Before the flood, these items were cherished antiques, dishes, photos, and more. far right: Flood clean-up volunteers wore goggles, gloves, and face masks for protection from mold and other hazards.


Iowa Iowa Engineer Engineer 2019 2019

Iowa Strong:

After the Flood I

n April 2019, eight Iowa Flood Center staff members and students left home in the early pre-dawn hours to drive to Hamburg in the far southwest corner of the state to help with flood cleanup. The volunteers weren’t sure what to expect but were ready to work hard at whatever needed doing. When they rolled into Hamburg, they connected with Bruce, their volunteer coordinator with the organization Go-Serv. Bruce is a Hamburg resident working five days a week to supervise the volunteers and help his neighbors recover from the devastating early spring flood. In the early morning hours of March 18, the flash flood event brought some of the worst flooding this part of the state has ever seen. The water came up quickly and disappeared just as suddenly. Residents had to evacuate their homes in the middle of the night, some of them in boats. Neighbors rescued neighbors, some of them standing knee-deep in water in the town’s central park, waiting for help to arrive. Bruce took the IFC team to a small complex of lowincome senior citizen apartments and set them to work pulling out wet, moldy drywall and clearing ruined cupboards, bathroom fixtures, and more. Everything went out to the curb to add to the endless piles of furniture, appliances, dishes, and more. “It was heartbreaking to see their possessions piled up at the curb like that,” said Breanna Shea, public relations coordinator for the IFC. “Antique furniture, pretty dishes, books, photos — all of it represents someone’s life. Imagine starting over at that stage of life! It made us realize in a whole new way how important the work of the Iowa Flood Center is.” The IFC group was part of a small army of volunteers who have turned up in Hamburg and other flood-devastated Iowa communities. Judy Holliman of the Hamburg Kiwanis Club told the Des Moines Register that people in her community are working hard together to recover from the flood. “We’re a strong community,” she said. “I see that everywhere. Nebraska strong, Iowa strong, and Hamburg’s going to be strong, too.” At the end of the day, the IFC team was exhausted, dirty, and proud to be “Iowa strong,” working together with the citizens of Hamburg to build a more floodresilient Iowa. university of iowa college of engineering


Caterina Lamuta:

Material Sm 8

Iowa Engineer 2019

Imagine for a moment that materials engineered in a lab could mimic human muscles and help lift 18 times more than the average person. Or imagine seeing engineered materials moving like an octopus. Or imagine that a building could be constructed out of materials that look like concrete but can transmit data on the structure’s integrity or damage. For Caterina Lamuta, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Iowa, the work underway in her Smart Multifunctional Material Systems Lab will make these materials a reality. “Our materials will have a transformative impact on society, in terms of energy efficiency, reliability, durability, and safety,” said Lamuta. “Just some of the applications of our work include the development of lighter and less expensive prosthetics, a reduction in the fuel needed to operate marine vehicles, and faster assessment of structural damage caused by events such as earthquakes.” Lamuta’s research group focuses on bio-inspired materials, smart materials, multifunctional nanocomposites, and the multiscale characterization of engineering materials. Material systems are defined as smart when they can capture data from the external environment and accordingly adapt their performance; materials are multifunctional when they combine structural properties with one or more functional properties. One of the innovations in Lamuta’s lab is the use of twisted and coiled fibers made from carbon fibers and silicon rubber as a substitute for natural muscles. These artificial muscles are lightweight and strong and can be activated by electrical impulses, rather than human movement. One could imagine that these artificial muscles could be used in new prosthetic devices that can complete precise movements or lift more weight than would otherwise be possible.

marts university of iowa college of engineering

The development of artificial muscles is just one area of Lamuta’s work. She is also developing synthetic materials that can mimic the movements of cephalopods, a class of animals that includes the octopus. Here again, an electrical input can cause these materials to move and grow which can be used to reduce the drag of underwater vehicles; serve as camouflage by changing color and texture; and help break apart biofilms that accumulate on the hulls of ships. Lamuta’s work in this space is supported by a three-year grant from the United States Office of Naval Research. “The development of these kinds of artificial muscles is a relatively new field with tremendous potential for human and nonhuman applications,” said Lamuta. “Whether we are creating new prosthetics that are more functional and responsive than current devices or we are facilitating new naval technologies, our work will have a direct impact on how we live, interact, and travel.”


Celebrating 20 years of driver safety research


or more than two decades, the National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) at the University of Iowa has striven to improve safety by researching the connection between drivers, motor vehicles, and road users. A part of the UI College of Engineering and a division in the Center for Computer-Aided Design, NADS broke ground in 1998 after the UI won a highly competitive National Science Foundation grant. Throughout 2018, NADS hosted more than 100 tours for groups including local Boy Scout troops and elementary school students as well as national and international industry and government representatives. In fall 2018, as part of its 20th anniversary, NADS held an open house, welcoming nearly 300 visitors to its facility at the UI Research Park. Among the visitors were 60 children from Hills Elementary School, local leaders, the director of the Iowa Department of Transportation, university faculty and staff, and local community members. The open house included tours of the NADS-1 simulator dome, hands-on driving demonstrations of NADS’ portable miniSims and tractor simulator, and the chance to check out NADS’ growing fleet of automated vehicles, including a Tesla Model S75D. College of Engineering student groups — the SAE Team, Iowa Baja, and the ASME Solar Car Team — were also in attendance and set up shop in the NADS garage, sharing information about the vehicles they are building and racing. “While we have a long history in driving safety research, longevity alone doesn’t make you a leader,” said Dan McGehee, NADS director and associate professor of industrial and systems engineering. “Even before NADS opened its doors, our faculty, staff, and students endeavored to be the best. Our dedication to the work we do is truly what makes NADS a world leader.” Since its inception, NADS has generated millions of dollars in research funding. As a self-sustained research center, NADS partners with federal and state agencies, the auto industry, and various organizations to make roadways safer for everyone. In its first two decades, NADS simulators have been used in clinical and pharmaceutical trials, drugged driving research, highway design, safety training, military training and simulation, product testing, and much more.


above: An open house guest tries out his driving skills on a NADS miniSim. right: Chris Schwarz, NADS director of engineering and modeling research, shows a group of Hills Elementary School students the John Deere cab in the NADS-1 simulator. middle: UI College of Engineering student and NADS miniSim team member Greg Beaver greets an open house visitor. far right: Cherie Roe, NADS Research Logistics, On-Road Vehicles, talks with Open House visitors about NADS’s automated vehicles.

Iowa Engineer 2019

“While we have a long history in driving safety research, longevity alone doesn’t make you a leader. Even before NADS opened its doors, our faculty, staff, and students endeavored to be the best. Our dedication to the work we do is truly what makes NADS a world leader.” D a n M c G e h e e , NADS


a n d a s s o c i at e p r o f e s s o r o f i n d u s t r i a l a n d s y s t e m s e n g i n e e r i n g

university of iowa college of engineering


Tyler Bell:


Iowa Engineer 2019

Augmenting our

reality A

ny fan of Star Wars has seen Princess Leia plead for help through a 3D hologram. Tyler Bell, a new assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, wants to make communications just like the ones in the movie an everyday reality. “Almost everyone has used Facetime or Skype, or some other kind of video chat on their phones or tablets,” said Bell. “But what if those calls were delivered in 3D? It could seem as though the person on the phone is right there in the room with you.” Bell’s research involves compression of 3D data that would allow the formatting to be small enough to stream over current and future wireless networks. By making the data compression both quick and efficient, these calls could be made using existing consumer devices instead of expensive high-powered computers and scanners. What sounds like fun science fiction has direct applications for medicine, forensic science, agriculture, entertainment, and the arts. Bell’s imaging techniques could also be used for augmented reality — where the 3D images are inserted into the viewer’s existing environment — or virtual reality — where users are completely inserted into a different visual space.

Engineering was looking to grow its new major of computer science and engineering, and the College of Engineering was interested in bolstering research that combined virtual reality, augmented reality, and the arts. Both of these areas of growth were especially appealing to Bell, who could find a home for his multi-disciplinary scholarship that would bring him closer to his family in Iowa. “I can relate to our students in part because not that long ago, I was right where some of them are,” said Bell. “I was an Iowa kid trying to figure out the engineering world. Now, I feel like I am in a position to give back to these students both as an engineer and as an Iowan.”

“It could seem as though the person on the phone is right there in the room with you.” Ty l e r B e l l A s s i s ta n t p r o f e s s o r

of electrical and computer engineering

“We could see the application of this technology in operating rooms or farm fields as well as in art galleries and on film or in television,” said Bell. “The technology has so many uses in areas outside of engineering that I am looking at collaborations with faculty members in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine as well as in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.” The possibility of such partnerships is part of what brought Bell back to his native state of Iowa. Hailing from Marshalltown, Iowa, Bell received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from Iowa State University and a Ph.D. from Purdue University. The Department of Electrical and Computer

university of iowa college of engineering



ew people can say that their grandfather’s portrait hangs in a university library.

Restored vision in the Engineering Library

Or their great-grandfather’s portrait. Or their great-greatgrandfather’s portrait. But third-generation Hawkeye Kay Higbee Coyne can say just that — her grandfather was Frederic Goodson Higbee, who served as head of what was then the Department of Engineering Drawing in the College of Engineering, and his portrait looms large in the Lichtenberger Engineering Library at the University of Iowa. Higbee was known for contributing significantly to the philosophy and technique of teaching engineering students by using engineering drawing as a basis and medium for developing young minds. His work included power station construction, building construction, railroad construction, and municipal engineering. Higbee is also recognized on the College of Engineering’s Legacy Wall as one of President Walter A. Jessup’s “Four Horsemen” who provided “critical advice and counsel to help the University of Iowa regain its position among Big Ten institutions earlier in the 20th century.’’

“I think the portrait had lost its vibrancy after more than 60 years,” said Coyne. “We are grateful that the university and the College of Engineering recognized the value of conserving and recognizing one of their early and gifted professors of engineering.” Coyne and her siblings partnered with the university libraries and college to help restore the portrait. Dating back to 1952, the portrait has been a fixture in the Lichtenberger Engineering Library and even moved when the Engineering Library was relocated during major building renovations from 1997-2001. Painted by Harold Brett, an American illustrator and painter known for his New England scenes and for his portraits, the portrait spent 11 months at the Conservation Center in Chicago for extensive restoration. Brett’s illustrations have been featured in Harper’s Weekly, Collier’s Weekly, and the Saturday Evening Post. Kay Coyne, Jennifer Coyne, and Jennifer’s daughter Megan visited campus in May 2019 to see the restored portrait. “My grandfather was devoted to the university, its engineering program, and Iowa City,” said Coyne. “It is truly wonderful to see him recognized in this way.

Coyne followed her grandfather and father, Frederic G. Higbee, Jr., who graduated in 1935 from the UI College of Commerce. Her mother, Dorothy Wicke Higbee, also attended Iowa. Coyne graduated from the University of Iowa in 1962 with an M.A. degree in journalism. With her husband, James F. Coyne, Kay Coyne routinely visited the portrait while their daughter, Jennifer Ann Coyne, the fourth Higbee generation, earned a B.S. degree in political science and economics before graduating in 1987.


Iowa Engineer 2019

a University of Iowa professor a prestigious NSF CAREER Award.

LeFevre earns prestigious NSF CAREER Award


hen it rains in Iowa and elsewhere, stormwater runoff causes contaminants to enter lakes and rivers, affecting aquatic life and drinking-water supplies. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has recognized the need for more research and education on green stormwater treatment by awarding

Gregory LeFevre, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering and a researcher at the UI’s IIHR— Hydroscience & Engineering research center, will use the award to discover new, inexpensive approaches for pollutant removal in green stormwater infrastructure that can be easy to maintain. “I am both very honored to receive this award from NSF and excited about the possibilities that this work holds for improving sustainable storm water infrastructure for the future,” said LeFevre. “Emerging contaminants in stormwater are a major waterquality concern throughout the country, and significant research is needed to transform stormwater from a ‘waste’ to a valuable

“Significant research is needed to transform stormwater from a ‘waste’ to a valuable water resource.” G regory LeFevre A s s i s ta n t p r o f e s s o r


c i v i l a n d e n v i r o n m e n ta l engineering

university of iowa college of engineering

water resource—and green stormwater infrastructure can be part of the solution with improved understanding.” LeFevre’s proposed research focuses on transforming emerging contaminants using bacteria, plants, fungi, and innovative filtration materials in green stormwater practices, such as rain gardens. In addition to conducting novel research, LeFevre will use the award to integrate his research with an educational program designed to engage the public on water quality and inspire and train the next generation of scientists and engineers. Some of his planned activities include developing teaching modules focused on water science and engineering for eighthgrade students, hosting hands-on STEM education workshops for teachers, and educating the public on stormwater-quality topics at STEM outreach events. “I am very thankful for the wonderful students in my research group, my colleagues in the environmental engineering program, and the support of IIHR in my research,” LeFevre said. LeFevre’s $500,000 project is titled “Toward Resilient Stormwater Quality Practices: Biotransformation for Sustained Removal of Emerging Contaminants” and will be funded through 2024. The CAREER award is the most prestigious NSF honor for earlycareer faculty who demonstrate the potential to serve as role models in research and education. These highly competitive grants, presented to engineers and scientists across the country, help establish a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research in their department and university.


Combining cut

as an un


Iowa Engineer 2019

tting-edge biomechanics and neuroscience

ndergraduate researcher


many students get to design a prosthetic device in high school. But when Russell Martin printed a prosthetic hand prototype, he knew then that he wanted to study biomedical engineering. Martin, now a junior in the Roy J. Carver Department of Biomedical Engineering, is working at the intersection of biomechanics and neuroscience conducting research in faculty labs in an effort to improve approaches to rehabilitation. “My aspiration is to eventually conduct research in prostheses and rehabilitation engineering — many modern prostheses are uncomfortable, unpredictable, and complicated,” said Martin. “The research I’m working on with my mentors at Iowa will play a similar role in improving the lives of patients with movement-inhibiting diseases or traumatic injuries.” One of Martin’s ultimate goals is to produce prosthetics that can enable intuitive, voluntary control through innovations in neuromechanics. His work will combine studies of the nuances of human movements with electrical, computational, and mechanical technologies that support prosthetic devices. He currently works in Associate Professor Laura Frey Law’s Neuromuscular Biomechanics Laboratory and has previously worked with Professors Robert Cornell and Alexander Bassuk, MD, also in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, on research studying epilepsy. He also spent the 2018 summer conducting biomechanics research at the Delaware Rehabilitation Institute through the National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Undergraduates program. “Russell has tremendous enthusiasm and energy, which he applies to every problem-solving task,” said Frey Law, who also holds a B.S.E. in biomedical engineering (’90) from the UI. “I am looking forward to finishing our first project together this summer, and he has already begun thinking about his next project with us using virtual reality to investigate how varying risk levels alters gait and muscle performance measures.” While busy as a student and researcher, Martin is also quite active in student groups and organizations in the College of Engineering and across campus. He serves as co-president of the Robotics Club, is a team leader with UI’s Hawkeye Service Teams, and serves on the University of Iowa Lecture Committee. As part of the Robotics Club, Martin spent two years building a Mars rover from the ground up, and his volunteer work has provided an opportunity for him to introduce engineering to the next generation of young innovators and medical entrepreneurs. Martin was also named a 2019 Goldwater Scholar, an award referred to as “the most prestigious undergraduate scholarship in the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering in America.”

university of iowa college of engineering


“I was lucky to have Russell work in my lab over a summer while he was still a West Branch High School student,” said Michael Schnieders, an associate professor in the UI Roy J. Carver Department of Biomedical Engineering. “His work on computational biochemistry algorithms was impressive due to how advanced the ideas were for a high school student. My work with Russell was especially rewarding, since we both went to the same high school.” Martin, who is from West Branch, Iowa, hopes to take what he has learned as an undergraduate into graduate research studies and eventually become a professor. “I am extremely grateful to the professors who have invested their time and energy into my development as a researcher and student,” said Martin. “They have encouraged me to become involved in handson research and have exposed me to the kind of work that will play a defining role in the future of medicine, especially rehabilitation engineering.”

“My aspiration is to eventually conduct research in prostheses and rehabilitation engineering — many modern prostheses are uncomfortable, unpredictable, and complicated. The research I’m working on with my mentors at Iowa will play a similar role in improving the lives of patients with movementinhibiting diseases or traumatic injuries.” Russell Martin U n d e r g r a d u at e , R o y J . C a r v e r D e p a r t m e n t of Biomedical Engineering


Iowa Engineer 2019

previous page: Martin demonstrates use of the Neuromuscular Biomechanics Lab’s dynamometer with Dan Wang, a graduate student of the lab. far left: Martin and freshman Anvay Pradhan inspect a structural component of the Robotics Club’s Mars rover. left: Martin and freshman Kate Morris discuss assembly options for the Mars rover’s robotic arm. below: Martin and senior Mark Vander Veen review end-ofsemester financial records for Robotics Club. bottom: Martin inspects electromyography data, which exhibits electrical activity in the subject’s muscle tissue.

university of iowa college of engineering


“Programs such as Noche de Ciencias can help K-12 students understand that a college education gives you the opportunity to have a job you love to do everyday.” Dr. Carol Moreno,


We st Li b e rt y

dentist and co - founder of

D r e a m C at c h e r s

Noche de Ciencias brings STEM to K-12 students


s president of the University of Iowa chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Guadalupe Munoz Rocha worked to introduce STEM concepts to underrepresented K-12 students from West Liberty, Cedar Rapids, and the Iowa City area. Munoz Rocha and her College of Engineering classmates helped plan and host Noche de Ciencias, or “Science Night,” in November 2018 in which approximately 60 students and their families came to the Kirkwood Regional Center at the University of Iowa. Students were introduced to a number of STEM concepts, including building a bridge, the structure of DNA, and coding, while their families learned about financial aid, college readiness, and applying to college. “Events like Noche de Ciencias helped me realize that not all parents have the tools to become involved in their children’s education — either during K-12 or when they apply to college,” said Munoz Rocha, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in spring 2019. “Sometimes people feel intimidated by the educational system, and at other times, there are language barriers. But these families want help, and events like Noche de Ciencias can provide the students with exposure to new STEM fields and can provide parents with resources they might not otherwise have.” Noche de Ciencias is a national event that has been hosted by UI Engineering students for more than eight years. In addition to the resources provided to students and families, the College of Engineering students — who are all volunteers — have an opportunity to connect with their local community.


Iowa Engineer 2019

far left top, left, and below: Students from West Liberty participate in Noches de Ciencias. far left, bottom: Steve Hanson works with students from West Liberty.

The K-12 students from West Liberty Elementary who attended are part of a program called Dream Catchers, which is focused on giving children a greater range of experiences and career goals that include higher education through mentoring programs, individual scholarships, and educational empowerment. Attending Noche de Ciencias with the Dream Catchers was Steve Hanson, the group’s mentor coordinator. “Noche de Ciencias was very engaging. The West Liberty students enjoyed making binary bracelets, peering into microscopes, learning about coding, and winning door prizes,” said Hanson. “The parents from West Liberty appreciated the presentation on preparing for college.” Dream Catchers was founded in 2004 by Dr. Carol Moreno, a West Liberty dentist, and her husband Ed Moreno, a two-time University of Iowa alumnus who holds an M.S. degree in civil and environmental engineering. “School is a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow,” said Carol Moreno. “Programs such as Noche de Ciencias can help K-12 students understand that a college education gives you the opportunity to have a job you love to do everyday instead of having a job so you can do something else you love.” West Liberty Elementary was so impressed with the work of UI engineering students on Noche de Ciencias that the school held its own Science Night in spring 2019 and modeled it after the UI program.

university of iowa college of engineering


The design of engineering

Ph oto cr edit: Apple


Iowa Engineer 2019

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” St e v e J o b s


s a human factors engineer on Apple’s Design Team, the impact of Kristi Schmidt Bauerly and her team’s work is felt, quite literally, by everyone who touches an Apple product. Designers and engineers who craft products such as iPhones and iPads must understand both the tactile and intuitive experiences of using technology as well as the functional design of consumer products, skills that Bauerly (B.S.E., 2002) developed in her time as an industrial engineering major in the College of Engineering at the University of Iowa. Growing up in Spirit Lake, Iowa, Bauerly was sure that she wanted to be an engineer early in high school. The summer after her freshman year, she moved into Burge Residence Hall to attend a three-week summer space science and engineering camp at the University of Iowa. Upon deciding to become a Hawkeye, Bauerly arrived at the University committed to industrial engineering and to run on the cross country and track and field teams. Why industrial engineering? “In the college viewbook, an application of industrial engineering mentioned was airline scheduling. I was instantly drawn to being able to influence where and when airplanes fly,” said Bauerly. “Even as a kid, I really enjoyed scheduling. And flying in airplanes. In junior high, I scheduled our entire career fair after surveying people’s interests.” “I also remember the exact moment I was introduced to human factors freshman year by one of my professors,” said Bauerly. “Right then and there I began working on a driving simulator in his laboratory to study the impact of distractions on driving performance. I knew very quickly that I was ‘all-in’ on human factors, as I could have a very real, measurable, and positive impact on people’s lives.” Throughout her time at Iowa, Bauerly spent time working with her fellow students in the classroom and was active in student organizations. She was a teaching assistant in courses such as Engineering university of iowa college of engineering

Economy and Human Factors and Ergonomics. She was president of two student organizations — the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society and the Alpha Pi Mu Industrial Engineering Honor Society — and served on the Provost’s Student Advisory Committee. “I am deeply grateful for my undergraduate engineering education at the University of Iowa. I was able to develop meaningful relationships with my classmates and professors because of the college’s small size,” said Bauerly. “Knowing my professors and working in their labs helped cultivate my interest in engineering research and helped me grow into the interdisciplinary researcher I am today.” Bauerly notes that she met some of her best friends at Iowa, including one fellow industrial engineer, Mike Bauerly. She married him at the top of Mt. Whitney in 2008. Mike Bauerly now works as a designer at Google AI. Bauerly completed her B.S.E. degree in industrial engineering at Iowa and went on to the University of Michigan where she earned an M.S.I.E. and Ph.D. in industrial and operations engineering. During her graduate studies, she broadened her interests into engineering aesthetics and product design optimization that considers user experience. Bringing a data-driven approach to designing for humans was a natural extension of Bauerly’s research, so she joined Apple in 2006 and has never turned back. “My advice to students is to approach engineering, if not education in general, with an open mind,” said Bauerly. “Forging your own path is intuitive and easy to do in the College of Engineering, by just keeping your eyes and ears open to the possibilities that exist. Doing so has helped define my career. Industrial and systems engineering is a very broad engineering discipline. It is concerned with optimizing systems, and I optimize human systems. In industrial and systems engineering, the options are endless. I challenge everyone in the field to push the boundaries beyond current applications.”


High-flying engineering


Iowa Engineer 2019


light testing new aerospace technologies is an expensive endeavor, even for the largest organizations. In many cases, flights tests are only performed at the latest stages of development, which can lead to costly corrections and lowered system performance. The University of Iowa Operator Performance Lab, or OPL, housed within the College of Engineering’s Center for Computer-Aided Design, offers airborne testbed services which allow organizations to test flight operations in both real-world and simulated environments.

“We have a fleet of six manned and five unmanned aircraft, which can perform a range of tests on both existing and novel technologies,” said Tom “MACH” Schnell, OPL director, professor of industrial and systems engineering, and the Captain Jim “MAX” Gross Chair in Engineering. “You can fly in one of our planes, and we can simulate a virtual environment almost anywhere in the world — and we can do that while you are in the air or on the ground.”

left: Matt “Beaker” Cover starts up the software of the aft crew station in the L-29 that serves as a 5th Gen Blue Force Live asset. left below: Ryan Littler and James Merchant work on the Collins Secure Live Air-to-Air Mission (SLAAM) Ground Interface.

OPL is home to jets, helicopters, and piston engine aircraft as well as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and a number of flight simulators. Aerospace giant Collins Aerospace, founded in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is just one of several large companies that rely on OPL services to test avionics or sensor systems out of the Iowa City Airport. The tests performed at OPL are not just about the machines that fly but also the people that fly them. Much of OPL’s work is focused on human factors research, which centers on the interaction between human beings and technology and the ways in which technologies impact the human experience. “UAS are unmanned in name only. Just because a flying vehicle may not have a pilot in it, it still needs to be piloted, controlled, and managed from the ground,” said Schnell. “We help industry understand how that piloting experience can be quantified while we also study the physiological responses of pilots in operational contexts.” Among the many scenarios that OPL can simulate are degraded visual environments and GPS-denied environments. OPL research has also led to better understanding of the functions of helmet-mounted displays, synthetic vision systems, and pilot spatial orientation systems. In fact, OPL has designed and commercialized a synthetic vision system that is now flying in thousands of aircraft. “OPL is a tremendous resource for the aerospace community,” said Schnell. “By providing this testbed service, we can help organizations focus on R&D and ensure that their advanced systems have no design flaws by vetting them in real-world operational environments throughout the development process.”

In March 2019, Tom Schnell was honored at an investiture ceremony recognizing his position as the Captain Jim “MAX” Gross Chair in Engineering. The chair was established by the late Jim O’Brien Gross and his widow Donnita Gross. Jim Gross worked as a flight instructor and accountant for Lear Jet and was an accomplished pilot and flight instructor with American Airlines for many years. Gross helped test the Boeing 777 aircraft, and he was an instructor pilot on the Boeing 787.

“We can simulate a virtual environment almost anywhere in the world.” T o m “ MACH ” S c h n e l l , OPL

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director and


of industrial and systems engineering



Iowa Engineer 2019

FIRST Tech Challenge

More than robots Ten

years ago, the University of Iowa College of Engineering, along with Collins Aerospace (formally Rockwell Collins), signed on to be the Affiliate Partner for the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) program. FTC is a robotics program in which teams of middle or high school students design, build, and program a robot and then compete with the robot at tournaments. It’s been clear to me that FTC is more than robots. Simply put, the robot is a vehicle for learning. FIRST is about constantly learning, growing, and improving as students learn to be problem solvers as they learn to fail, retry, and succeed. FIRST is also about adult volunteers, coaches, and mentors who encourage the students to challenge themselves to think outside the box, to become leaders, to see a brighter future, and to give back to the community. In 2009, partnering with FIRST was viewed as a new way to expose and engage high school students across Iowa to our college through the mechanics of building and programming a robot. Although this is still true, FTC has become so much more than that. In the first few years, the college became a national leader within the greater FTC community. For three years, the college received funding from the State of Iowa to increase the number of teams across Iowa at a very fast pace, and it garnered attention from the FIRST national organization. The college was selected to host all five of the North Super Regional events, which brought in teams and volunteers from 14 states. For two years, representatives from the College of Engineering have traveled abroad to help support the FTC programs in Romania and the United Kingdom. Maybe most significantly, other institutions have worked with the college to replicate our partnership with FIRST.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science & Technology) is an international non-profit organization in Manchester, New Hampshire, to encourage kids to celebrate the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. It was founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen.

Rebecca Whitaker is the FIRST Tech Challenge Coordinator in the UI College of Engineering. To learn more about the University of Iowa’s partnership with FIRST Tech Challenge, or to be involved, contact her at or visit

left: Team THOR from Johnston, Iowa eagerly watches their robot perform during the autonomous period of a match. right: Several teams celebrate the end of a match during the Iowa Championship of the Ring It Up season.

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Alexandria “Alex” Ballard, a veteran of FTC, was introduced to the program while a junior at Clear Creek Amana High School. It was 2009, and FTC was just being introduced to Iowa. “FIRST gave me my first real exposure to robotics and was a big part of why I studied electrical engineering at Iowa, aiming towards robotics research. I knew I wanted to focus on embedded systems,” Ballard said. Ballard is currently employed as a systems engineer with Collins Aerospace. Her team has unique ties with military as well as commercial operations. She enjoys the opportunity to increase her knowledge and skills and work with a team that provides support, mentorship and fun outside of work. And she still relies on those important FTC skills she learned “back then.” When she “graduated” from FTC as a competitor, Ballard continued as a volunteer and plans to pay it forward as a lifetime volunteer. She has been a judge at qualifying events as well as state and super regional competitions. Currently, she judges and performs robot inspections for FTC and FIRST Robotic Competitions in Iowa and Illinois. Best of all, a camaraderie was formed among FTC volunteers. After 10 years on the “circuit” they have become mentors who offer support to one another. “I love hearing about challenges high school students see and the amazing ways they solve them,” said Ballard.


Iowa Engineer 2019

left: A student from BET works on the robot. BET was a Boy Scout based team from urban Cedar Rapids, Iowa. above: Volunteers. of all ages and abilities, are a critical element to the success of FIRST Tech Challenge. below: Students from Benton Community High School, Atkins and West High School, Davenport celebrate a win during one of their matches.

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Sink or swim


Iowa Engineer 2019


he University of Iowa’s chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers proudly hosted the Midwest Regional Concrete Canoe races in April 2019. Seven engineering schools from around the central United States arrived to compete in this annual event in which students design, build, and race canoes made entirely of concrete. This is no easy feat. Some canoes crack and break, never making it into the water. Although Iowa’s canoe suffered substantial cracking, strategic use of duct tape provided the boost it needed to compete for the first time in over five years. The canoe, Back in Black, performed well until the last race, when the duct tape gave way, and it slipped below the surface. Two of the four team members remained with the boat to guide it across (under) the finish line. Iowa’s team is already developing new ideas for 2020.

left: Riley Cranston and Valerie Rike fearlessly navigate the women’s competition. top: Team members begin to apply liberal amounts of duct tape to make the canoe seaworthy. above: Charles Nash and Cade McNeill make a strong showing in the men’s competition.

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The UI team finished

5th out of 98 teams in the endurance race at 2019 nationals

Racing to R acing an off-road vehicle may not be what comes to mind when one mentions the College of Engineering at the University of Iowa. For students who are members of Iowa Baja, racing is just the end result of months of work designing and fabricating an off-road vehicle. Iowa Baja is a student group in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and is affiliated with the college chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers, a national engineering society.

“We use state-of-the-art modeling software to design our Baja car,” said Rob Pohren, a senior studying mechanical engineering who served as the group’s president during the 2018-2019 school year. “I grew up racing ATVs, and my dad races a winged sprint car, so racing is in my blood. It is awesome to be able to apply the engineering principles I have learned to an activity that has been such an important part of my life.” Starting by repairing some of the older Baja cars, the nearly 30 members of the Baja Team assess what worked well in the previous model and what might be done better using new approaches and innovations, many of which are brought by group members from lessons learned in classrooms and faculty labs.


Iowa Engineer 2019

the finish After evaluating the older cars, the team develops new designs using a software program called Creo, builds a new chassis, and gets some of their car’s parts machined by their team’s industry sponsors, which have included John Deere, Reliable Machine, Recreational Motorsport, and Tammi’s Custom Coating. Once the new car is built, the team races it at regional competitions before preparing for the national competition. This year’s national competition took place in May 2019 in Gorman, Calif., and included more than 100 teams from all over the world. “What makes Iowa Baja so special is that it is an almost entirely student-run operation,” said Justin Garvin, the group’s advisor and an associate professor of instruction in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. “I have seen this team grow so much — both in terms of their size and the quality of the cars they race. I would say that this year’s car is one of the best.” Pohren, who hopes to take his Baja skills into industry after graduation, sees this experience as about much more than racing. “While we are designing and building the car, we develop our critical thinking skills, our mechanical systems design expertise, and, maybe most importantly, our ability to manage a project and work as a team,” said Pohren. “There is no doubt that working as part of Iowa Baja has made me a better and more marketable engineer.” university of iowa college of engineering

top: Rob Pohren maneuvering around Illinois in the endurance race. left: Paulina Kroczak placing the tech inspection sticker on the firewall, signifying that the car was of sound engineering. above: Rob Pohren making moves into first place at Michigan Tech Blizzard Baja.


Renee Mittelberg

Operationalizing a people-focused major


ealth-related fields are part of majors across the College of Engineering, something Renee Mittelberg realized when she changed her major from biomedical engineering to industrial and systems engineering. Mittelberg, a junior from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who is also pursuing a minor in psychology, is taking what she has learned in classes and as a researcher in faculty labs and applying her studies to the peoplefocused work that characterizes industrial and systems engineering. “I knew that I wanted to study something that touched on aspects of human health,” said Mittelberg.


“Although many people may not realize it, engineering, specifically industrial and systems engineering, plays an important role in hospitals in areas such as patient flow, the positioning of instruments and cables in operating rooms, and the optimization of the many processes that take place across hospital complexes.” Mittelberg sees a career path that will take her into manufacturing or management, positions that will keep her active and allow her to interact with people, something she really enjoys. She interned at Collins Aerospace, where she worked on a collaborative project transitioning a radio from a lab to the factory floor. Mittelberg hopes her ability to develop practical applications of engineering principles will make her a better engineer and more marketable for industry positions. “Having Renee as part of the Mission Systems Factory Transition team for Collins Aerospace was a great experience,” said Chad Ries, senior engineering manager at Collins Aerospace. “Renee’s experience and background proved to be an asset to the team as she was able to write Python scripts for factory test software. Renee’s hard work ethic allowed her to face every challenge and succeed in whatever task she was given.”

During her time on campus, Mittelberg has worked as a teaching assistant in Information Systems Design, served as communications director for the student chapter of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, and helped re-establish the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society student group. She also works in the research lab of Geb Thomas, who is a professor of industrial and systems engineering and chair of the department. “Renee is one of my favorite students: hardworking, a conscientious TA, positive, a super quick learner, and amazing at keeping everything organized and moving forward as if it is effortless for her,” said Thomas. “She really is remarkable.” In summer 2019, Mittelberg worked at Graco, a global fluid handling manufacturing company, based out of Minneapolis, Minn. “Industrial and systems engineering really does involve interacting with people, whether it is through the interactions with customers and companies or collaborations with my classmates or mentors,” said Mittelberg. “I am excited about the possibilities that the major has opened up for me and that I still have more time on campus to work in labs and learn from faculty members.”

Iowa Engineer 2019

Improving chemical industry safety


hen Sharon Tinker graduated with her B.S.Ch.E. in chemical engineering in 1980, she did not know that she would go on to spend nearly 35 years at ExxonMobil or that her process safety expertise would eventually bring her back to the College of Engineering.

Growing up on a farm north of Manchester, Iowa, it was Tinker’s high school chemistry teacher who encouraged her to think about majoring in chemical engineering. “I always enjoyed chemistry and math, so engineering, especially chemical engineering, seemed like a natural path,” said Tinker. “Once I came to the University of Iowa, I learned the fundamentals and approaches to problem solving that would position me for success in my career at ExxonMobil.” Tinker, currently a member of the college’s Advisory Board, decided early on that she wanted to give back to the department and college that provided her with the tools and skills that would make her an accomplished process safety expert. Her support of the college’s Process Safety Lab has helped position the university as a leader in engineering process safety which focuses on chemical processes and the potential danger that exists when those processes run at higher temperatures, increased volumes, or greater pressure. Students who work in the safety lab develop skills that set them apart from their peers who may be competing for similar industry jobs. To help support and recognize the department’s well-established track record of high-performing and innovative research, Tinker established the Sharon K. Tinker Process Safety Professor of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, a position held by

C. Allan Guymon, a professor of chemical and biochemical engineering and chair of the department. “We are incredibly lucky to have Sharon’s guidance and support in our department. She has been an incredible advocate for our students by advancing their education in process safety,” said Guymon. “Sharon provides our students direct examples of process safety in the workplace and serves as a resource for our department as we connect with companies interested in starting process safety initiatives. She definitely walks the walk in making a tremendous difference for our program and students.” Tinker also wanted to look for ways to get undergraduates motivated to become engaged in process safety issues. She provided support for a student competition through the Tinker Process Safety Prize for students taking the Chemical Process Safety course at the University of Iowa. Students write a paper analyzing an incident investigated by the Chemical Safety Board and then take part in a poster competition. Tinker’s support provides prizes for the top three presentations.

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“Sharon’s support has included giving safety-related presentations to our professional seminar; providing financial support for enhancing the safety laboratory; purchasing supplemental safety books for students taking the safety course; and sponsoring the Tinker Process Safety Prize,” said David Murhammer, a professor of chemical and biochemical engineering who developed the course and its accompanying lab. “Our students have benefited greatly from Sharon’s generosity.”

Sharon Tinker interviews Lisa Eischens during the Process Safety Prize poster session.

Ultimately, Tinker wants to help students become outstanding process safety engineers whose work will help ensure that workplace accidents occur less often. In addition to her philanthropic support, each fall, Tinker teaches a one-hour petroleum refining course targeted to senior undergraduates. “I am hopeful that my support can help enhance the reputation of the department, better equip students with an understanding of process safety, and allow our faculty, staff, and students to become champions of process safety,” said Tinker.


NEXUS hosts inaugural open house “The NEXUS collaboration demonstrates that the arts can be used to help communicate the complexities of engineering, and engineering techniques can inform new artistic endeavors.� Alec Scranton, Dean


Iowa Engineer 2019


celebration of its 4th anniversary, the Virginia A. Myers NEXUS of Engineering and the Arts held its first open house in April 2019.

The NEXUS of Engineering is named after Virginia A. Meyers, a professor emeritus of printmaking at the University of Iowa. Meyers was a faculty member in the UI School of Art & Art History for 50 years, retiring in 2012. Meyers passed way in 2015. NEXUS has received generous financial support from: Richard H. and Mary Jo Stanley; Thomas R. Hanson and Nancy A. Schneider Hanson; George M. and Phyllis J. Lance; the Mary H. Rice Foundation; and Margaret R. Polson. “The NEXUS collaboration demonstrates that the arts can be used to help communicate the complexities of engineering, and engineering techniques can inform new artistic endeavors,” said Alec Scranton, dean of the College of Engineering. Projects featured during the open house included: • a display of handmade bicycles designed and built by engineering students in the art department’s Handmade Bicycle class • three kinetic interactive wall installations, or KIWI, created by three teams of senior ECE students • a showing of the performance of Crash Dance, which showcased the UI National Advanced Driving Simulator’s research into driverless cars combined with choreography by Christopher-Rasheem MacMillan, a UI assistant professor of dance and gender, women’s & sexuality studies • Tiddalik: a mural about global water issues, designed and painted in the Office of Sustainability by a team of engineering students • EEG: a demonstration of composing music by monitoring brainwaves • poster displays of images from biomedical research designed in collaboration with a biomedical engineering senior and artist • electronic music composed and performed on the deconstructed NEXUS piano

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previous page left: KIWI Star Trek team member draws without a pencil or pen. previous page middle: Katie O’Hearn activates Hugs Not Bugs, a Sr. Electrical Engineering KIWI project. previous page right: Handmade Bike designer and builder Hyacinthe Badiane. above: Jason Snell composing music using an EEG headband and a data-to-MIDI conversion software right: John Kostman and Mitchell Carlson discuss Mitchell’s handmade bike. far right top: Riley Higgins activates KIWI Hugs Not Bugs interactive display. far right bottom: Electronic Engineering Shop 3D Modeler at work.


Iowa Engineer 2019

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Iowa Femineers host annual summit below: Femineer summit teacher and student attendees from Alburnett Jr.-Sr. High, Beckman Catholic High School, Highland Middle School, and Linn-Mar High School. bottom: Katelyn Murhammer, a junior studying chemical engineering, looks on as Femineer students demonstrate their project. right: Femineer students worked on creative robotics and wearable technology projects.


Iowa Engineer 2019


ccording to the American Society for Engineering Education, the national average for engineering bachelor’s degrees awarded to women is 21.3%. Although the percentage of female students in the University of Iowa College of Engineering is higher at 27%, we recognize that there is still work to be done. In my work with Iowa engineering and computer science high school teachers, many have shared their

struggle to get students who identify as women to register for these courses. That is why we are excited to be a part of the national Femineer program, to host our annual Femineer Summit, and to continue to work with local communities through our Adopt-a-School program. Our summit was held in May 2019, and students from four Iowa schools attended and showcased creative robotics and wearable technology projects. The day was filled with field trips at the college’s Center for Computer-Aided Design, guest speakers, and panel discussions with professional and undergraduate women in engineering. The 2019–2020 Iowa Femineer Adopt-a-School was also announced at the close of the summit. The first Iowa school to pilot Femineer creative robotics in the 2017–2018 school year was Alburnett. Through generous sponsors, including ACT and Schneider Electric, we were able to start a Femineer Adopt-a-School Program and add three more Femineer schools during this past academic year. The Alburnett teachers went on to complete master teacher training for creative robotics. With their training now complete, the teachers will facilitate a second year of Femineer creative robotics teacher training in July 2019. Another Femineer teacher from Linn-Mar will go to California this summer to train as a master teacher in Femineer wearable technology. In summer 2020, we will host both Femineer creative robotics and wearable technology teacher trainings. We will also pilot a virtual mentoring program beginning this fall to partner women in engineering with Femineer schools. Chelle Lehman is the director of K-12 school engagement in the UI College of Engineering.

About the Femineer program Femineers was developed at Cal Poly Pomona College of Engineering in 2013. The mission of Femineers is to inspire and empower 6-12th grade students to pursue STEM in education and future careers. The program emulates CPP’s philosophy of “Learn by Doing.” The Femineer program has grown from one initial pilot school program in 20132015 to more than 83 schools in four different states. In that time, the UI College of Engineering and the San Diego State University College of Engineering have been added as affiliate universities. To learn more about the University of Iowa Femineers program and how you can become engaged, visit our website:

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Ben Perlson:

Flexing his engineering muscles


Iowa Engineer 2019

“That I was able to work so closely with faculty members as well and interact and collaborate with my classmates made my Iowa engineering experience special.” Ben Perlson, B . S . E . 2018 , M . S . 2019


wo-time College of Engineering alumnus Ben Perlson recently started his dream job at DHL as a project manager focused on advanced technologies and trend research. Whether his work involves robotics, autonomous vehicles, or artificial intelligence, Perlson believes that it was his time studying industrial and systems engineering that allowed him to be competitive for a position at this Fortune 500 Company. “That I was able to work so closely with faculty members as well as interact and collaborate with my classmates made my Iowa engineering experience special,” said Perlson. Perlson, who graduated with an M.S. in May 2019 and a B.S.E. in 2018, both in industrial and systems engineering, considered attending other universities but chose Iowa because of the college’s “small school at a big university” feel. After finishing his undergraduate degree, Perlson felt as though he was prepared to apply for a job in industry, but had an opportunity to continue working with his mentor and advisor, Stephen Baek, an assistant professor of industrial and systems engineering, to continue his education and complete his master’s degree with one additional year of schooling. “Ben is the most enthusiastic, positive, responsible, pleasing, and interesting student that I have ever met since my appointment here at Iowa,” said Baek. “I still recall his passion when he first came to me seeking some research experience when he was only a sophomore. He has always been responsible and accountable, and I never had to doubt if he was going to finish his job. He never complained, but instead, always worked with a positive mind and eager attitude.” Building on the communications and leadership skills he developed as an undergraduate, Perlson took his passion for working with students into the classroom, where he served as a teaching assistant for two courses — Design for Manufacturing and Stochastic Modeling — even earning the Most Outstanding Teaching Assistant award.

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Perlson’s Iowa experience was exemplified by the “engineer and something more” philosophy. Even before he arrived on campus as an undergraduate, he emailed Angela Charsha-Harney, assistant director of fitness and wellness at the UI Campus Recreation and Wellness Center, to see if he could work as a personal trainer. Not only did he end up working there throughout his time at Iowa, he also took on a number of special education clients through the College of Education’s Reach program, which serves individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities. “Ben is an exceptional student, employee, coach and an all-around stellar human,” said CharshaHarney. “He has a strong desire to genuinely help others and did an excellent job connecting to his clients. He was loved by his clients and also admired and respected by his colleagues. His contagious laugh and kind demeanor is missed on our team since he graduated.” In addition to working as a personal trainer, Perlson held leadership positions in the University of Iowa Olympic Weightlifting Club, serving as vice president and treasurer for two years. For Perlson, the culture in the College of Engineering was one characterized by curiosity, intrinsic motivation, personal attention, and flexibility, which allowed him to not only become a successful engineer but also be a more well-rounded campus citizen. “Working at DHL in the capacity I am has become a reality because of the technical engineering skills, research, and various extracurriculars that would not have been as available to me at larger colleges of engineering,” said Perlson. “At Iowa, I can say with confidence that the faculty I was fortunate enough to work with genuinely care about you and your success at Iowa. I’m extremely excited to get to put the skills I’ve learned at Iowa to good use.”


Jun Wang and team win $1.6 million award to create smarter, sustainable farming


esearchers at the University of Iowa have been awarded funding to design and use smart technology to maximize crop yields and use water more efficiently in rural agriculture. The project is led by Jun Wang, chemical and biochemical engineering professor and assistant director for the Center for Computer-Aided Design in the College of Engineering. As part of the Iowa Informatics Initiative, Wang worked with Information Technology Services at the UI and Protostudios Iowa City to develop the proposal. The four-year, $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture calls for UI engineers to design and build smart sensors that measure soil moisture and temperature, along with air temperature and humidity levels. The data would be transmitted to an Internet-based storage system, known as cloud computing, and be available to farmers through an app. The goal is to use the information from the sensors and models for weather, crop growth, and economy to decide the most efficient, sustainable use of water to maximize crop yields in areas where mostly groundwater is used — a practice known as irrigation scheduling. The project will take place in rural, western Nebraska, where farmers have relied on drawing water from the Ogallala Aquifer as an irrigation source. Wang’s team will partner with researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Irrigated farm filed land in Scottsbluff, Neb.


Iowa Engineer 2019

The four-year, $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture calls for UI engineers to design and build smart sensors that measure soil moisture and temperature, along with air temperature and humidity levels.

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Mike Elgin:

From the farm to the field to fundamentals


rowing up on a farm in Bankston, Iowa, Mike Elgin spent his life surrounded by John Deere equipment. From tractors to loaders to seeders, the equipment that helped run his family’s business also helped spark Elgin’s interest in engineering. “To this day, every piece of John Deere equipment excites me,” said Elgin. “As a kid, I was in awe of these giant machines, machines that I wanted to take apart to understand how they worked.” Elgin, now an engineering supervisor at John Deere, found that his experience on the farm would lead him into pursuing engineering at the University of Iowa, where he graduated in 2006 with a degree in mechanical engineering. It was at the College of Engineering’s Career Fair where Elgin was introduced to recruiters from John Deere who helped him see a professional path that would allow him to follow his dreams of working on heavy equipment at a company he and his family had come to respect so much. “My engineering studies helped me see the value in knowing how equipment was designed and how these machines might even be designed better or more efficiently,” said Elgin. But it wasn’t just his time in engineering classrooms and labs that defined Elgin’s university experience. Elgin


played football as an offensive lineman for the University of Iowa and went on to play professional football for the New England Patriots, the New York Jets, and the Indianapolis Colts. For Elgin, the college’s motto of “be an engineer and something more” not only applied to his time playing football at Iowa and in the NFL but also to the way in which his teamwork with classmates, his creative approaches to problem solving, and the tight community that exists in the College of Engineering made his time on campus so unique. He remembers the college’s recruiter who met with him early on, and who he still texts today, 13 years after graduation; his faculty mentors who brought him into their labs and encouraged his innovative ideas; and his peers who he studied with late into the night, even having pizzas delivered into the Seamans Center. “We worked on some cool stuff back in those days,” said Elgin. “We did fatigue testing on mopeds, ran fuel efficiency tests on trucks with tailgates up or down, and even spent some time coding for Oreo cookies.” The teamwork and collaboration that were a part of his time at Iowa still drive Elgin today. It wasn’t just the engineering fundamentals that have allowed him to succeed at John Deere, but also his ability to build relationships and learn from others that have made him into the engineer he is today. “I still come back for the college’s John Deere Day every year, so that I can help recruit the next generation of Iowa engineers who will help change the world,” said Elgin. “I want them to understand how my broad experience at Iowa influenced me and how it can drive them to think creatively and make them more well-rounded engineers.”

Iowa Engineer 2019

colle ge n e ws

College of Engineering retirements


ichard L. Valentine, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Iowa, researcher at the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research and the UI Center for Biocatalysis, retired after 37 years with the UI College of Engineering. Valentine’s special fields of knowledge consist of chemistry and chemical engineering with special interests in water and wastewater treatment process design and modeling; environmental chemistry/reaction kinetics; processes to remove trace contamination from water; fate and transformation of hazardous chemicals; and treatment for soil decontamination. Among his honors and awards, Valentine was a recipient of an Office of Research and Development Scientific and Technological Achievement Award and a National Research Council Senior Research Associateship. He also has served as a member of the University of Iowa Faculty Senate and Faculty Senate Council. In 2008, he was a guest speaker at the annual meeting of the State of Iowa Engineers Association, and he has made many professional presentations in the areas of water treatment and purification and the work he has done on radium removal and its successful adoption by the water industry. Valentine holds a US patent on oxidation of contaminants using hydrogen peroxide in a fixed bed reactor. He has been well published in his areas of special interest. Valentine received B.S. degrees in chemical engineering and chemistry in 1973 and an M.S. degree in chemical engineering in 1974 from the University of Michigan as well as an M.S. degree in 1977 and a Ph.D. degree in 1982 in civil and environmental engineering from the University of California-Berkeley. From 1974 to 1975, he also served as a research engineer at Environmental Dynamics, Inc., Columbia, Mo. A faculty member at the University of Iowa since 1982, he was promoted to associate professor in 1987 and made full professor in 1996. He is a member of the American Water Works Association, the Water Federation, the American Chemical Society, and the Association of Environmental Engineering Professors, as well as an associate of the American Society of Civil Engineers.


asbir S. Arora, F. Wendell Miller Distinguished Professor of Civil, Environmental, and Mechanical Engineering and associate director of the Center for Computer-Aided Design (CCAD), has retired after 47 years in the College of Engineering. “A giant in his field of teaching and research, Professor Arora wrote the book referred to as the bible on optimization,” said Karim Abdel-Malek, CCAD director and professor of biomedical engineering. “He also provided sound and strategic advice, counsel, and mentorship to me and hundreds of staff and students over the years. With his calm and steady demeanor, coupled with an unwavering commitment and dedication to the highest standards of academics, Jas has left an indelible mark on us all, locally and globally.” Arora is an internationally-recognized expert in the fields of optimization, numerical analysis, and real-time implementation, and his nine books are widely used in these fields. His research interests include optimization-based digital human modeling, dynamic response optimization, optimal control of systems, design sensitivity analysis and optimization of nonlinear systems, and parallel optimization algorithms. He has served as an advisor to 47 Ph.D. candidates and 15 M.S. students. He is author of more than 130 peer-reviewed articles. He is a fellow in the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and is a senior member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Arora has served as the assistant director of the Virtual Soldier Research Program since its founding in 2003. He received his B.S. in civil engineering from Punjab University, India, and his M.S. in structures from Kansas State University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in mechanics and hydraulics.

At the University of Iowa, Valentine supervised 10 doctoral students and 38 master’s students, and published 60 papers. His work has been cited more than 1,400 times.

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HDR CEO Eric Keen Inducted into Distinguished Engineering Alumni Academy


ngineering alumnus and HDR chairman and CEO Eric L. Keen (B.S.C.E. 1979) — a recognized leader in the national and international civil and environmental engineering community — was inducted in May 2019 into the University of Iowa Distinguished Engineering Alumni Academy.

Keen leads HDR, an Omaha-based firm with more than 200 worldwide locations that specializes in engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services. Keen also delivered the “Charge to the Graduates” keynote commencement speech during the College of Engineering ceremony. The Distinguished Engineering Alumni Academy was created in 1996 to honor University of Iowa College of Engineering alumni for their personal contribution toward engineering achievement, leadership, and service to the profession and to society. Keen was the 87th graduate to be inducted. As chief executive officer of HDR, Keen is responsible for the leadership and strategic growth of the company and also serves as the chairman for the HDR Board of Directors. Keen became CEO in 2017 after previously serving as president and chief operating officer and engineering company president. A civil engineer by training, he has spent his 36-year career helping to develop and deliver some of the United States’ most notable transportation infrastructure projects, including the Whittier Access project in Prince William Sound, Alaska; the Legacy Parkway project in Salt Lake City, Utah; the Arthur Ravenal Jr. Bridge in Charleston, South Carolina; and the worldrenowned Hoover Dam bypass. Keen joined HDR in 1993 in its Alaska office, where he became involved with major publicprivate and design-build projects and developed a passion for the use of alternative contracting methods. He was instrumental in establishing the firm’s transportation alternative delivery practice, which has since been involved in many high-profile projects such as the Oregon Bridge Delivery Program and the I-69 P3 Project in Indiana. In 2004, Keen was named the transportation business group director. Under his leadership, the transportation practice grew its planning, program management, design-build, and management consulting services to complement an already strong design practice. He also oversaw a number of acquisitions across the United States, Canada, and Australia, which expanded the firm’s capabilities and helped double the company’s size. A graduate of the University of Iowa, Keen is active in many professional and civic groups. In 2012, he led the creation of the HDR Foundation, an employee-funded and -administered charitable-giving organization that benefits the communities where the firm’s employees live and work by supporting activities that align with the company’s values and areas of expertise. Keen also contributes his time to many other organizations in the Omaha community, including Nebraska Medicine’s Board of Directors; the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors, including its Executive Committee and the Nebraska Military Support Committee; Bellevue University’s Board of Directors; the Scott Scholars Advisory Council; and the STRATCOM Consultation Committee. He also serves on the Design Professionals Coalition of the American Council of Engineering Companies, which focuses on ensuring the industry is living up to its professional ethos.


Iowa Engineer 2019

in memoriam

1940s in memoriam Warren F. Burger (BSCE 1942) of Grand Rapids, MI, January 16, 2019

William C. Hubbard (BSEE 1947) of Coos Bay, OR, October 12, 2018

Victor W. Chabal (BSEE 1944) of Indianapolis, IN, April 18, 2019

Dale L. Knudsen (BSChE 1949) of Albuquerque NM, December 28, 2018

Vaughn E. Hansen (PhD 1949) of Syracuse, UT, September 11, 2018

Allen S. Henry Allen S. Henry, a two-time College of Engineering alumnus and member of the college’s Distinguished Engineering Alumni Academy, passed away in March 2019. Henry earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanics and hydraulics in 1968 and 1971, respectively, at the University of Iowa. As a long-time supporter of the college, Henry established the Allen S. Henry Chair in Engineering, currently held by Professor Jerry Schnoor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Henry had a distinguished career in industry serving as chairman, CEO, and president of Broadband Communications Products from 1996 to 1999 and in 23 years at the Harris Corporation, where he retired as president of the Electronic Systems Sector in 1996. An early leader in sophisticated computer simulations, Henry was able to prove feasibility of and make crucial design contributions to state-of-the-art systems and materials development, using comprehensive system analysis and modeling techniques. In addition to his dedication to the University of Iowa, Henry also served on the Florida Institute of Technology’s Board of Trustees from 2000 to 2015, spending four years as chairman. He was also a major contributor and fundraiser for the Women’s Center Capital Campaign in Melbourne, Fla.

1950s in memoriam Willis J. Anciaux (BSEE 1953) of Kimberly, WI, December 16, 2018

Perry A. Lorentzen (BSEE 1954) of Santa Barbara, CA, November 24, 2018

Paul J. Bockenstedt (BSEE 1950) of Weston, CT, April 4, 2019

Robert A. Lorenz (BSME 1951) of Cedar Rapids, IA, January 20, 2019

Wayne E. Bousek (BSME 1958) of Greenville, WI, March 29, 2019

Russell L. Mattox (BSME 1952) of Cedar Falls, IA, November 25, 2018

Alfred K. Brewer (BSME 1955) of Wichita, KS, December 21, 2018

Howard F. Moeller (BSME 1951) of Western Springs, IL, January 3, 2019

Donald C. Force (BSEE 1957) of Scottsdale, AZ, October 21, 2018

Metsie A. Olesiuk (BSME 1953) of Rochester, NY, October 30, 2018

Lando Gingerich, Jr. (BSEE 1959) of Naperville, IL, February 7, 2019

Arnold R. Prosser (BSME 1958, MS 1967) of Richardson, TX, January 11, 2019

Nathaniel Hunter (BSME 1958) of Sacramento, CA, December 21, 2018 Edgar A. Jeffrey (BSCE 1950, MS 1955, PhD 1959) of Dallas, TX, April 2019 Thomas M. Kauffman (BSME 1951) of Fairfax, VA, December 25, 2018

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Kenneth F. Smith (BSCE 1957) of Davenport, IA, January 19, 2019 Harris A. Stover (MS 1957, PhD 1959) of Vienna, VA, January 30, 2019


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in memoriam

in memoriam

in memoriam

in memoriam

Richard E. Bachman (BSME 1968) of Lindstrom, MN, October 25, 2018

David R. Andersen (BM 1978, BSE 1986) of Downers Grove, IL, October 15, 2018

Allen R. Kluesner (BSE 1987) of Florissant, MO, October 4, 2018

Bruce W. Mordhorst (BSE 2007) of Davenport, IA, March 2, 2019

Jack L. Berry (BSME 1961) of Libertyville, IA, October 26, 2018

William H. Rebholz (BS 1973, BSChE 1982) of Marshfield, WI, September 16, 2018.

Thomas R. Breese (BSME 1963) of Iowa City IA, January 27, 2019 John C. Calhoun, P.E. (BSCE 1964, MS 1966) of West Des Moines, IA, April 18, 2019 James A. Chisman (MS 1960, PhD 1963) of Anderson, SC, March 25, 2019 Ronald D. Cooke (BSME 1961) of Waukesha, WI, April 9, 2019 Allen S. Henry (BA 1964, MS 1968, PhD 1971) of Indialantic, FL, March 19, 2019 James W. Schallau (BSEE 1962) of San Jose, CA, April 3, 2019 John M. Schliekelman (BA 1963, BSCE 1965) of Walcott, IA, December 29, 2019 Marty E. Sixt (BSME 1962) of North Liberty IA, December 8, 2018 Brian J. Stone (BSME 1964) of Wever, IA, November 23, 2018 Joseph M. Tuttle (BSEE 1961) of Cedar Rapids, IA, December 13, 2018 Bradley R. Welden (BSCE 1967) of Iowa Falls, IA, November 21, 2018


Richard R. Roudabush (BSME 1970) of Trabuco Canyon, CA, November 18, 2018

Steve Somermeyer (70BSChE) celebrated 48 years with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Security Patrol. He serves a co-coordinator for the garage and pit areas and is co-coordinator of the Pagoda Command. HDR chairman and CEO Eric L. Keen (BSCE 1979) — a recognized leader in the national and international civil and environmental engineering community — was inducted May 12 into the University of Iowa Distinguished Engineering Alumni Academy.

Becky Svatos (82BSCE), vice president and principal environmental engineer with Stanley Consultants, was named the 2018 Senior Engineer of the Year by the Quad City Engineering and Science Council.

1990s in memoriam Clifford E. Parriott (BSE 1991), of Davenport, IA, January 10, 2019

Brian Boelk (98BSE) completed his term as the Iowa Section ASCE President. Troy Brunk (92BSE, 05MBA), VP and general manager of communication, navigation and electronic warfare solutions, Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids, IA, has been appointed to the Industrial and Systems Engineering Advisory Board. Robert Fuhrmann (98BSE), managing director, Accenture, Chicago, IL, has been appointed to the Industrial and Systems Engineering Advisory Board.


Michael Alowitz (01MS), P.E., engineer with GHD, presented “Environmental Consulting: A Career Path,” on January 18 to the Water, Energy, Food Nexus Seminar. Avery Bang (07BSE, 07BA), president and CEO of Bridges to Prosperity, presented the Water, Energy, Food Nexus Seminar on September 18, 2018. Jennifer Bassik (00BSE) is director of product strategy, Signal, Chicago, IL. Ben Cole (03BSE) was recognized at the 2018 Iowa Section ASCE Awards Banquet. He was a member of the team that received the Outstanding Civil Engineering Project Achievement Award. Ryan Donner (07BSE, 16MBA), plant manager, furniture division at HNI Corporation, has been appointed to the Industrial and Systems Engineering Advisory Board. He spoke about the work and opportunities at HNI on March 28 to the ISE Professional Seminar. Thomas Ferris (03BSE), associate professor of industrial and systems engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, has been appointed to the Industrial and Systems Engineering advisory board.

Iowa Engineer 2019

2010s Marcelo-Mena-Carrasco (03MS, 07PhD), practice manager for the Climate Change Group at World Bank, was a guest speaker at the Richard Valentine Symposium on May 3. The title of his talk was “The Cost of Climate Change.” Carmen Owens (06BSE, 08MS), senior engineer, Apex Companies, LLC, presented “A Slough of Challenges: Activated Carbon Placement in the Lower Columbia Slough,” at the Water, Energy, Food Nexus Seminar held January 25. In honor of Richard Valentine’s retirement, alumna Ashley Pasakarnis (MS 2005) presented “A Valentine Approach Environmental Engineering — from Pig Poop (PP) to Project Management (PM). Daniel Rogge (08MS), CEO of Tormach, Inc., has been appointed to the Industrial and Systems Engineering Advisory Board. Anne Ryerson (BSE 2000) is now a Functional Safety Staff Engineer at John Deere. Karsten Temme (02BSE, 04MS) is co-founder of Pivot Bio, a startup that is revolutionizing agriculture by offering farmers a new crop nutrition tool for corn, PROVEN is a microbial product that works by reactivating the longdormant nitrogen-producing capabilities that already exist in soil microbes’ DNA. These genes, when they are working, allow the microbes to convert nitrogen gas from the atmosphere into nutrition the corn needs to survive and thrive throughout the growing season.

in memoriam James R. Caldwell, Jr. (BSE 2017) of Waukee, IA, March 4, 2019

Frank Attere (11 BSE), Start Up Leader at Procter & Gamble Oral Care Plant, Iowa City, IA, was appointed to the Industrial and Systems Engineering Advisory Board. He also presented at the ISE professional seminar on February 21. Alexandria Ballard (18BSE) has been appointed to the Young Alumni Advisory Board. Angela Boulicault (15BSE) was the speaker at the SSM Health 7th Annual Limb Loss Awareness Event held April 23 in Kirkwood, MO. Brady Breitbach (18BSE), is a mechanical engineer at Peter Basso Associates. Sarah Cooper (18BSE) is a CRM field clinical representative in Iowa City, IA for Boston Scientific. Michael Delcau (18PhD) founded Hawkeye Coffee Delivery Company, a service that delivers coffee from Iowa City vendors to anywhere on campus. Meesha Dogan (11MS, 12MS, 17PhD) is co-founder and CEO of Cardio Diagnostics, a company that invents technologies for cardiovascular disease. Her expertise bridges medicine and engineering by applying computational techniques on high-throughput biomedical data.

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Jonathan Ealy (18BSE), rotational program manager, Christopher Pinham (18BSE), rotational engineer, and Mike Bojarski, (18BSE), field engineer, are employed with Phillips-Medisize, Hudson, WI. Brynn Gitt (15BSE) is a backend application engineer with Mode, San Francisco. Megan Greenwood (11BSE) has launched Greenwood Brewing, the first woman-only owned brewing company located in Phoenix, AZ. Janelle (Barrow) Haines (13BSE) is on assignment for John Deere as a Human Factors engineer focusing on operator station design. Jacob Kirpes (13BSE, 13BBA), business strategist and engineer for TPG Companies, Des Moines, IA, served as the Industry Chair for the Engineering Economy Track at the 2019 Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers conference held May 18-21 in Orlando, FL. He also gave two presentations at the conference. On January 31, he presented at the Industrial and Systems Engineering professional seminar.

John Zanussi (15BSE), process engineer with Boston Scientific, Minneapolis, MN, presented, “What Matters Most” at the Industrial and Systems Engineering Professional Seminar on April 18. Alumni serving on the IISE.2020 board are: Aaron Hoover (12BSE), President; Ileen Aberman (16BSE), vice president; and Jessica Blumberg (18BSE). Nate Pierotti, Connor Early (16BSE), and Sawyer Theisen (16BBA) are helping football players complete the pass with the Seeker. The Seeker is the first robotic quarterback that allows football players to practice independently.

Esteban Londono (18BSE) was the first graduate of the new Environmental Engineering program in the College of Engineering. Colton Myers (19BSE) is a development engineer with Zimmer Biomet, Warsaw, IN. Athena Nicklaus (17BSE) is now a product validation and verification engineer with John Deere, Silvis, IL. Josh Schirm (15BSE) has been appointed to the Young Alumni Advisory Board.


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2019 Maria Ali (19BSE), Jordan Pohlman (19BSE), and Rebecca Torres (19BSE) will move to Evanston, IL, to enter graduate programs at Northwestern University. Lea Barrett (19BSE) is a field clinical representative with Boston Scientific, Chicago, IL. Madline Beauchene (19BSE) has been accepted to the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. Grant Billimack (19BSE) will join Abbott as an electrophysiology and cardiac rhythmic management technical sales specialist, based out of Des Moines, IA. Henry Conlan (19BSE), will move to Seattle to attend the University of Washington. David Braun (19BSE), will join HDR, Des Moines, IA as water intern. Nicholas Caputo (19BSE), will attend the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Nova Southeastern University. Yiwen Chen will attend graduate school at Washington University – St. Louis. Jesslyn Coghlan (19BSE) and Haoxuan You (19BSE) will enter graduate programs at Purdue University. James Cory, (19BSE) has joined IDx, Iowa City, as a product engineer. Jacob Cowsky (19BSE) will continue his studies at Ohio State University Markus Drealan (19BSE) and Brandon Garcia (19BSE) will enter graduate programs at the University of Minnesota. Mary Farrelly (19BSE) is a technology architecture analyst with Accenture, Kansas City, MO. 52

Michael Fitzpatrick (19BSE) is a project engineer with Leopardo Companies. Andrea Fjelsul (19BSE) has been accepted to graduate school at Iowa State University Colin Flynn (19BSE) is employed with ARCO/Murray Construction. Chris Freese (19BSE) has joined Mortonsen as a field engineer Corey Galvin (19BSE) is employed with IMEG Group, Greenwood Village, CO. Jesse Haworth (19BSE) is an associate research and development engineer with Medical Murray. Jianwei Hu (19BSE), Pengyang Xiang (19BSE), and Tianjie Zhu (19BSE) will head to Boston, MA to continue their studies at Northeastern University. Qiutong Jin (19BSE) has been accepted at the University of California – Berkeley. Aliah Jones (19BSE) has joined FM Global as a consulting engineer I. Emily Kagan (19BSE) has accepted a position with Abbott. She will be an electrophysiology and cardiac rhythmic management technical sales specialist, based out of Milwaukee, WI. Wyatt Klass (19BSE) is an associate clinical engineer with the University of Maryland Medical System, Baltimore, MD. Tyler Knepper (19BSE) is a mechanical engineer with Collins Aerospace. Alex Kraft (19BSE) was hired by Strand Associates, Inc.

Joshua Larson (19BSE) will continue his studies at the University of California – Los Angeles. Nick Lemkau (19BSE) announced on LinkedIn that he is an incoming structural engineer at WSP, Denver. Jianing Li (19BSE) and Kyle McCarthy (19BSE) will attend graduate school at Notre Dame University. Weixi Li (19BSE) has been accepted into a graduate program at the University of Michigan. Katelyn Mortenson (19BSE) will move to Salt Lake City to attend the University of Utah. Austin Nash (19BSE) will continue his studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Ankur Parupally, (19BSE) and Shao Yang Zhang (19BSE) will enter the DDS program the University of Iowa College of Dentistry. Allison Persing, (19BSE) has been accepted into the graduate program at the University of Iowa College of Public Health. Dakota Platt (19BSE), industrial engineer, is employed with Collins Aerospace. Ojas Pradhan (19BSE) has been accepted into a graduate program at Caltech. Lauren Rasor (19BSE) will start her career as an electromechanical research engineer at 3M. She will be working with alumna Karen Kjar (84BSE). Shawn Rennegarbe, (19BSE) will enter the graduate program at Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine.

Yasmeen Rose (19BSE) will attend graduate school at Columbia University. Whitney Ryan (19 BSE), will move to the Land of Sky Blue Waters to attend the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Austin Silver (19BSE) will attend Des Moines University. Ethan Slater (19BSE), will study at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry. Brett Vander Ploeg (19BSE) will attend Milwaukee School of Engineering. Nihan Wang will study at Tokyo Institute of Technology. Ruijie Wang (19BSE) will cross the pond to study at Imperial College, London. Hannah Wasserkrug (19BSE) will study at the University of Illinois. Skylar Wetzel (19BSE) is a multi technologies design engineer with Schneider Electric, Cedar Rapids, IA. Grace Weiland, (19BSE) will enter the physical therapy program at the University of Missouri. Trent Wilson (19BSE) is a staff engineer with McClure Engineering. Austin Wojtczak (19BSE) is a project manager with Admiral Heating and Air Conditioning. Yiqian Wu (BSE) will be attending graduate school at NYU. Yuhao Xie (19BE) will continue studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Cheng Zha (19BSE) will attend Drexel University

Iowa Engineer 2019

Commencement 2019 Su Zichen (19BSE) will move to Australia to attend Sidney University. Collin Zweifel, will continue his studies at the Marquette University Dental School

The College appreciates all the alumni who volunteered as poster judges at the Research Open House in April and at departmental senior design project presentations in May. University of Iowa Mitchell Allenback Kirsten Anderson Kevin Blicharski Aaron Buelow Luke Burnett Diego Castaneda Alec Countryman, Tippie College of Business George Drivas Daniel Ellis Michael Hadacek Maxwell Hammond Zachary Heisterkamp Michael Ho Justin Hoehne Xinyu Hu Jong Hyuk Che Cassandra Joyce Ben Kruse Jesse Liszewski Daniel Machlab Guadalupe Munoz Rocha Marco Nino Geumchan Noh Mia Poleksic Joseph Senchuk Lindsey Stickler Christopher Sullivan Shane Trautsch Antonio Washington Adam Weis Rion Wendland Matthew Yazvec

Undergraduate commencement was held Sunday, May 12 at Carver Hawkeye Arena. Eleven students graduated with a second major: James Chenoweth, BSE in biomedical engineering; BSE in mechanical engineering Matthew Coiner, BSE in industrial engineering, BA in business administration Michael Hudachek, BSE in biomedical engineering, BS in computer science Joshua Larson, BSE in electrical engineering, BS in physics Austin Lauters, BSE in biomedical engineering, BSE in computer science and engineering Dakota Platt, BSE in mechanical engineering, BA in psychology Jordan Pohlman, BSE in electrical engineering, BA in art Ojas Pradhan, BSE in chemical engineering, BA in computer science


students graduated with a minor: Aerospace studies Art Business administration Chemistry Computer science English French German Human physiology Mathematics Microbiology Military science Physics Psychology Spanish Statistics Theatre Arts


students earned certificates in: Clinical and translational science Large data analysis Naval hydrodynamics Sustainability Technical entrepreneurship Wind energy Writing


graduated with University Honors



graduated with honors in major

graduated with distinction

David Solus, BSE in civil engineering, BSE in environmental engineering Tengku Amatullah Alya Binti T Mohd: BSE in computer science and engineering, BBA in business analytics and information systems Maia Thompson, BSE in biomedical engineering, BA in music Tina Chih Yen Liu graduated with three majors, BSE in electrical engineering, BA in mathematics and BS in actuarial science.

The Graduate College held separate commencement ceremonies for doctoral and masters’ students.


earned their doctoral degrees


received their masters’ degrees

Another successful John Deere Day was held September 5. Alumni Gregg Machetta (88BSE, 90MS, 00MBA), and team members Mike Elgin (06BSE), Amy Asselin (97BSE), Jeffrey Reynolds (97BSE), and Kim Beardsley (90BSE), arrived on campus to meet with student organizations, talk about opportunities at John Deere, and of course, enjoy ice cream.

Michael Phillips was presented the Outstanding Senior Award.

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Office of the Dean 3100 Seamans Center for the Engineering Arts and Sciences Iowa City, Iowa 52242–1527

Iowa Engineer 2019