Iowa Engineer 2022

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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


Greeting from Dean Nembhard


Caterina Lamuta’s cephalopod-inspired materials


NOAA Partnership


Jun Wang’s NASA grant


H.S. Udaykumar’s hypersonics research


Kristan Worthington receives NSF CAREER award

10 Milan Sonka elected to National Academy of Inventors 11 AIMBE fellows 12 Joseph Reinhardt named Roy J. Carver Chair in Biomedical Engineering 13 Grant to bridge the gap between modeling and simulation and machine learning

Iowa Engineer is published for College of Engineering alumni and friends

14 Iowa Watershed Approach after five years

Dean Harriet Nembhard

16 Ibrahim Demir innovates in hydroinformatics

Editor Jason Kosovski Contributing photographers Hailey Boileau, Aneta Goska, Pareen Mhatre, Simone Stecker, UI Photography: Tim Schoon and Justin Torner Design Benson & Hepker Design © 2022, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa

18 Supporting the Army Combat Fitness Test with human avatars 20 Q & A with President Wilson 22 PhD student Moala Bannavti’s research impacts low-income communities 26 Undergraduate Jacob Sindt’s photonics research 27 ChemE Jeopardy champions 28 Launching the LEaPP Academy 30 Pareen Mhatre’s journey to Iowa City 32 Students build miniSims

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 522421316, 319-335-0705 (voice), 319-335-0697 (TDD),

34 From engineering to craft brewing 36 Engineering Ironman 38 Alumnus Robert Wubbena’s global water treatment impact 40 Bogue family recognized with Family Spirit Award 42 Robert Kress reflects on his time as College Advisory Board Chair 43 New Distinguished Engineering Alumni Academy Inductees 44 Remembering Scott Hagen 45 Remembering Warren Pagel 46 Alumni notes 49 In Memoriam



What we do here in this college, in both research and teaching, changes people’s lives, making them healthier, safer, more connected global citizens. HARRIE T B. NEMBHARD, DE AN, C O L L E G E O F E N G I N E E R I N G , R OY J. C A R V E R PROFESSOR OF ENGINEERING

Dear Alumni and Friends, We are called. Our faculty and researchers who are leading in innovative and entrepreneurial solutions to some of the most challenging problems are answering. The staff members committed to supporting our students and ensuring the function of our college, departments, and centers are answering. The alumni, donors, and stakeholders who have seen the ways in which this college has transformed lives here in Iowa, across the country, and around the world are answering. The students who are rising to prepare and achieve in the face of headwinds are answering. I continue to be proud to be a part of all that we have and will accomplish collectively. In this issue, we are excited to share with you stories that reflect our college’s core research strengths: engineering for human health, engineering for the environment, and engineering for emerging technologies. Our ground-breaking research and innovative teaching in each of these areas set us apart from our peers. At Iowa, engineers — faculty, staff, and students — have the opportunity to collaborate across the university’s five health sciences colleges as well as with UI colleges of business, education, law, and liberal arts and sciences. Protecting the environment and ensuring access to resources such as safe drinking water remain key components of our research endeavors. Our labs are filled with the latest technologies in areas such as robotics, human modeling, artificial intelligence, and automated driving. As we look to the future, our work in these three research areas will position us for excellence in the years and decades to come.


Throughout this issue, you will read stories of impact — the ways in which our teaching impacts students, the ways in which our research impacts society, and the ways in which our alumni look back on the impact of their college experience. Ultimately, as much as engineering is a product of hard science, it is just as apt to think of engineering in terms of people. What we do here in this college, in both research and teaching, changes people’s lives, making them healthier, safer, more connected global citizens. We have long said that we are a small college of distinction. To that, I would add that we are a small college of distinction with a world-wide impact. My sincere thanks go to all who join with us on this journey.

Harriet B. Nembhard Dean, College of Engineering Roy J. Carver Professor of Engineering



who has seen a cephalopod such as an octopus or squid move knows that they are amazing creatures. Caterina Lamuta, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Iowa, has taken a keen interest in these creatures and has found new ways to mimic cephalopod tentacles in the lab. Lamuta was recently awarded a prestigious Young Investigator Award from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop new self-morphing, stretchable soft skins (S⁴) for use in underwater vehicles and robots. “Cephalopods can perform very fine and complex motion because their tentacles are formed by thin layers of soft tissues and muscles which have no solid structures such as bones,” said Lamuta, who is also a faculty affiliate of IIHR—Hydroscience and Engineering. “We want to mimic this unique performance by embedding our twisted and coiled artificial muscles (TCAMs) inside thin rubber-like layers to develop soft skins that can be assembled to reproduce tentacle-like soft actuators for marine vehicles and robots.” The lightweight and strong TCAMs can lift up to 12,600 times their own weight with a very small input voltage. Using the TCAMs as the base, Lamuta’s S⁴ will be powerful, lightweight, and less than a millimeter in thickness. Once applied to vehicles and robots, S⁴ would provide attributes such as fine manipulation, swimming dexterity, bioinspired propulsion, and the ability to adapt to conditions to control underwater drag. Lamuta’s work is not only focused on soft actuators for underwater movement and manipulation. She also plans to combine S⁴ with other soft skins she recently developed for the United States Navy, which are capable of changing texture, so that she can completely mimic cephalopods’ performance for both manipulation and camouflage purposes. The DARPA award will fund Lamuta’s work for three years and is one of the most prestigious awards professors can receive early in their careers. Lamuta’s research has also been supported by agencies such as Office of Naval Research, the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and NASA for a total of $2,000,000 in funding. “This project has tremendous potential for applications across a wide spectrum, including the military, healthcare, and private industry,” said Lamuta. “I am grateful that DARPA has chosen to support me in this project, and I am excited to see how our S⁴ continue to develop.”


UI mechanical engineering professor receives DARPA Young Investigator Award to develop soft robots inspired by cephalopods’ tentacles

Lamuta also received funding from the United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) to determine if low-cost geopolymers, ceramic materials similar to cement, can be used to develop computer components for data storage or that impact speed improvements. Lamuta’s three-year project, “Ion channels in geopolymers: artificial synapses with unique electro-mechanical properties,” is part of AFOSR’s Materials with Extreme Properties program.




University of Iowa key partner in

$360M national wa THE

University of Iowa will be a key partner in a new $360 million center to improve the United States’ ability to predict water-related hazards and better manage its water. Iowa will receive $21 million during the next five years as a partner in the Cooperative Institute for Research to Operations in Hydrology (CIROH), funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The national center will be led by the Alabama Water Institute at the University of Alabama. Officials announced the new national center on April 6. Iowa’s role in CIROH will be extensive. Researchers with the Iowa Flood Center (IFC) will contribute their expertise in supporting four broad themes at the center: water resources prediction capabilities; community water resources modeling; hydroinformatics (using data and computing technology to better manage water resources); and the application of social, economic, and behavioral science to water resources prediction. More specifically, Iowa researchers, primarily through IIHR—Hydroscience and Engineering (IIHR) and the IFC, will lend years of expertise and research in hydrology and floods to support CIROH in:


“We are pleased to partner with colleagues at the Alabama Water Institute at the University of Alabama on this important initiative,” says Larry Weber, professor of civil and environmental engineering and the Edwin B. Green Chair in Hydraulics at IIHR, who will lead CIROH activities at Iowa. “It represents an important opportunity for NOAA to bring together academic expertise from across the country to address some of our nation’s most pressing water-related issues.” The CIROH research and educational initiatives led by IIHR will build on the groundbreaking work of the IFC and the Iowa Watershed Approach (IWA). The IWA helped organize watershed management authorities in eight key watersheds across Iowa. These groups worked with IIHR researchers to select and construct built structures in their watersheds to reduce downstream flooding and improve water quality. “IIHR’s extensive background in all aspects of water resources, including monitoring, modeling, visualization, and prediction, will make Iowa a key player in virtually all aspects of CIROH,” says Witold Krajewski, professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the IFC.

Developing and operating real-time streamflow forecast models.

Developing and managing large sets of flood inundation maps.

“This is a unique opportunity for us to share the innovative models and tools developed by the Iowa Flood Center with the rest of the nation,” Krajewski adds. “It’s another way for Iowa to demonstrate leadership in the hydrologic community.”

Sharing expertise in flood monitoring, based on the IFC’s award-winning network of more than 260 stream-monitoring sensors placed in Iowa.

CIROH consists of 28 academic institutions, nonprofit organizations, and government and industry partners across the United States and Canada.

Designing and operating a network of rainfall and soil moisture observations, as well as contributing expertise in radar-remote sensing of rainfall.

Leveraging the Iowa Flood Information System, a Google Maps—based web platform that communicates real-time information about river levels, flood alerts and forecasts, and water conditions for the entire state of Iowa.

“I am excited to have the University of Iowa as a key CIROH partner,” says Steven Burian, CIROH’s executive director and the Alabama Water Institute’s director of science. “IIHR’s extensive experience leading hydrologic initiatives and the IFC’s unique tools and outreach activities will go a long way toward helping to ensure CIROH’s success.”


water consortium “IIHR’s extensive background in all aspects of water resources, including monitoring, modeling, visualization, and prediction, will make Iowa a key player in virtually all aspects of CIROH.” WITOLD KR AJE WSKI, PROFESSOR OF CIVIL AND E N V I R O N M E N TA L ENGINEERING AND IFC DIRECTOR


“It represents an important opportunity for NOAA to bring together academic expertise from across the country to address some of our nation’s most pressing waterrelated issues.” L ARRY WEBER , PROFESSOR OF CIVIL AND E N V I R O N M E N TA L ENGINEERING AND THE EDWIN B. GREEN CHAIR IN H Y D R A U L I C S AT I I H R


NASA awards Jun Wang $1.3 million and leadership role to study effects of wildfires The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) awarded Jun Wang, the James E. Ashton Professor of Engineering and interim department executive officer of the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at the University of Iowa, $1.3 million to study atmospheric and climate impacts from wildfires that have ravaged parts of the planet. Wang, who is also assistant director of the University of Iowa Technology Institute, will lead a three-year, $540,000 study with co-investigator Fangqun Yu, a senior research associate and professor at University at Albany. Measurements from the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment III, or SAGE III, a sensor aboard the International Space Station, will enable investigation of the aerosol composition and temperature in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS). Wildfires, such as those in Australia and the Western United States, have injected plumes of black carbon particles or aerosols into the UTLS approximately 6 to 18 miles above the Earth’s surface.


“We are trying to look at how much aerosols there are in the UTLS, and if there is significant warming effect that could arise from fires,” Wang said, who directs the Atmospheric and Environmental Research Lab at ITI. NASA selected Wang to serve as the leader for the SAGE III science team consisting of a dozen principal investigators from institutions around the country. Among its tasks, the science team aims to broaden the scientific impact and outreach of SAGE III. Wang is also leading a four-year, $800,000 grant sponsored by NASA’s Modeling, Analysis, and Prediction (MAP) program. In collaboration with Arlindo da Silva, a research meteorologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, scientists are developing a novel approach to map fire combustion efficiency from space for the first time. Knowing the fire combustion efficiency can help better measure fire impacts on air quality, lead to better estimates of greenhouse gas such as carbon dioxide and black carbon emitted from fires, and inform firefighting strategies.



H.S. Udaykumar receives $2.2M in grant funding for hypersonics research University of Iowa Professor of Mechanical Engineering H.S. Udaykumar has received research funding totaling more than $2.2 million to develop innovative new materials for hypersonic aircraft. Udaykumar, who is also associate dean for graduate programs, research, and faculty, as well as a research engineer at IIHR—Hydroscience and Engineering, is exploring hypersonics as part of two research projects: $1.5 million in support from the University Consortium for Applied Hypersonics (research he leads as principal investigator) and $764,000 from the National Science Foundation. Many people may remember the supersonic commercial airliner Concorde, which flew from New York to London in just under three hours at a top speed of 1,350 miles per hour (Mach 2). Hypersonic refers to flight speeds of about 5 to 10 times the speed of sound, or Mach 5 to Mach 10. Hypersonic flight is a hot research area worldwide that will require new materials, Udaykumar explains, because the conditions the aircraft face are so extreme: high altitude, very cold ambient temperatures, and intense heat on the exterior skin. The engines also run at high temperatures, and the materials used to build them must be lightweight, durable, and resilient to extreme heat and pressure. “Very few metals can withstand those kinds of conditions over many operational cycles,” said Udaykumar. New materials designed for hypersonic applications will likely involve novel combination of metals, ceramics, and polymers. Udaykumar’s research, conducted with collaborator Stephen Baek at the University of Virginia, will use artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced computer sim-


ulations to explore new materials that can withstand these extreme and conflicting conditions. “One of the things we have been looking at is how to engineer materials at the microstructural level,” Udaykumar said. These grain structures and microstructures are at the scale of hundreds of microns; they determine the material’s strength and durability, as well as its behavior under stress and thermal cycles. Using AI and numerical simulations, Udaykumar hopes to design materials that can function under the extreme conditions of hypersonic flight. “This is what we call materials by design,” Udaykumar said. The technique of using AI and computational simulations allows the researchers to rapidly develop highperformance design loops. They can then quickly discard the designs that do not work and focus on more promising options, which can be prototyped quickly. Udaykumar says that he and his colleagues at Iowa and many other research groups across the nation are pushing the envelope of flight. “It’s a huge challenge,” he added. The first application of hypersonics is likely to be for the military, but Udaykumar predicts that it will spin off to commercial and civilian technologies. “The challenges are the same,” he said. The University Consortium for Applied Hypersonics, administered by Texas A&M, is a U.S. Department of Defense–funded consortium for modernizing hypersonic flight capabilities. Udaykumar’s project partners include the University of Virginia, Purdue University, and the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technologies.


“As 3D printing increases in its use and applications, we want to find new ways to make light-based 3D printing a more sustainable process.” K R I S TA N W O R T H I N G T O N , A S S I S TA N T P R O F E S S O R , U N I V E R S I T Y O F I O WA R OY J. C A R V E R D E PA R T M E N T O F BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING



Kristan Worthington receives prestigious NSF CAREER award to advance light-based 3D printing


innovations in 3D printing have seen the use of light-based 3D printing in biology and medicine. Kristan Worthington, an assistant professor in the Roy J. Carver Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Iowa, has recently been awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER award to continue her work in this emerging area. Worthington is also a faculty affiliate with the Iowa Technology Institute. Light-based 3D printing requires a molecule called an initiator, which uses light to convert liquids into solids. Currently, many of these initiators are sourced from non-sustainable materials that can have a negative impact on the environment and the human body. Worthington is exploring how alternative initiator molecules can be developed, possibly from natural sources such as plants. “As 3D printing increases in its use and applications, we want to find new ways to make light-based 3D printing a more sustainable process,” said Worthington. “Increasingly, light-based 3D printing is being used in research for medical devices and implants, so we want to minimize the potential health impacts of this important innovation.” Additionally, Worthington is conducting research that will bridge the gaps between 3D printing at small and large scales. Typically, 3D printing can be used to develop materials with fine features or bigger materials that do not have as many precise features. It is rare that systems would be able to produce both kinds of materials on a single platform. Worthington’s five-year award will also support the integration of this research into the biomedical engineering curriculum, the research engagement of high school students from eastern Iowa communities, and travel support to disseminate results. High school student recruitment efforts will be focused on the Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, and Davenport communities as well as the Eastern Iowa Science and Engineering Fair. “I am excited about the research and educational components of this award,” said Worthington. “Not only will the research have the potential to improve quality of life through advances in 3D printing for medicine, but we will also have the opportunity to showcase this work for young people whose interest in STEM may propel them into enrolling in the UI College of Engineering.”




Milan Sonka named to National Academy of Inventors imaging, and played a lead role in the design of a new 35,000-square-foot state-of-the-art UI medical imaging research facility that features small and large animal as well as human research imaging and image analysis capabilities, inventively designed in a large part by Sonka and his team to maximize translational research flexibility. His research focuses on general approaches to quantitative medical image analysis and on development of new quantitative diagnostic, image-guided surgical planning, outcome prediction, and treatment methods in cardiology, pulmonology, orthopedics, and ophthalmology. “Seeing our academic discoveries make a societal difference has always been a great desire of mine,” said Sonka. “Our team’s academic inventions are brought to everyday use through the patenting process and by Iowa-associated start-up companies, on top of the coveted publication H-indices and numbers of citations.”

Milan Sonka, the Lowell G. Battershell Chair in Biomedical Imaging and professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Iowa, has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the organization announced on December 7, 2021. He is the third UI faculty member ever named an NAI Fellow. The NAI Fellows Program highlights academic inventors who have demonstrated a spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society. Election to NAI Fellow is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors. To date, NAI Fellows hold more than 48,000 issued U.S. patents, which have generated over 13,000 licensed technologies and companies and created more than one million jobs. In addition, over $3 trillion in revenue has been generated based on NAI Fellow discoveries. Sonka has been a faculty member at the UI since 1990, is recognized as a pioneer in medical


Sonka is currently director of the Iowa Initiative for Artificial Intelligence and the co-director of the Iowa Institute for Biomedical Imaging. Since joining the College of Engineering in 1990, he has held a number of administrative roles, including chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and associate dean for graduate programs, research, and faculty. Sonka holds 15 patents and has produced 19 other inventions throughout his career and co-founded two companies. Sonka is a fellow of several prominent organizations, including IEEE, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and the Medical Image Computing and Computer-Aided Intervention Society. He also received the Iowa Board of Regents Award for Faculty Excellence in 2011. Sonka has received support from the UI Research Foundation, which obtained 14 patents for him and licensed his technology to three companies. “As a pioneer in the field of medical imaging, election as a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors is a hard-earned and well-deserved distinction for Professor Sonka,” said Harriet Nembhard, dean of the College of Engineering. “His innovative scholarship has transformed the field and improved quality of life as well as positioned this college and the University of Iowa as a leader in AI research and biomedical imaging.”


ECE Prof. Christensen and Dean Nembhard among three new UI AIMBE fellows Donald Anderson, professor of orthopedics and rehabilitation in the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine; Gary Christensen, professor of electrical and computer engineering; and Harriet Nembhard, dean of the College of Engineering and University of Iowa and Roy J. Carver Professor, have been named members of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows. Anderson was recognized for “computational analysis and modeling of how mechanical factors in the musculoskeletal system influence clinical outcomes.” Christensen was recognized for his “contributions to medical image registration and analysis.” Nembhard was recognized “for outstanding practice and care quality for patients, healthcare systems engineering education, and a healthier academic community of inclusive excellence.” According to AIMBE, the College of Fellows is comprised of the top 2% of medical and biological engineers in the country. As an educator and mentor, Anderson has used his engineering expertise to advance surgical skills training using simulation technology. His collaboration with orthopedic surgeons has produced an education and research program to better and more safely train orthopedic resident physicians’ surgical skills. Christensen’s research interests include image processing, medical imaging, deformable shape models, 3D visualization, computer architecture, and parallel computing. He has developed methods and computer programs that create labeled 3D pictures of the brain and lung called electronic atlases that take a standard atlas and reshape it to look like a specific person. These methods can be used to compute the shape of the average normal brain and then measure how different the shape of an individual’s brain is from the average. This allows the computer to detect the location of abnormal or diseased regions of the brain and measure how much these regions differ from the average normal shape. These methods are also used to map brain function collected from many different individuals to a standard electronic atlas. This allows information collected from many individuals to appear as though they were all collected from a single individual. This is important because it is often impractical to run hundreds or thousands of experiments on the same individual due


to radiation exposure time or because brain function changes due to the individual learning or adapting to the experiment. He is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. For the last 20 years, Christensen has been developing methods to modify or adapt radiation treatment to improve targeting of cancer tumors while minimizing radiation dose to surrounding healthy tissue. Currently, Christensen is participating in a clinical trial with John Bayouth, a UI adjunct associate professor of radiation oncology, and Joseph Reinhardt, the UI Roy J. Carver Chair in Biomedical Engineering, that improves lung cancer radiation treatment by minimizing the radiation dose to highfunctioning lung regions. In this project, computer programs developed by Christensen are used to determine regions of high and low lung function. The radiation therapy plan is then designed to reduce radiation dose to the high-functioning regions of the lung while delivering the prescribed radiation dose to the tumor. This project illustrates an application in which Christensen’s research provides additional information about the lung that cannot be detected by looking at medical images such as MRI or CT. This is the first clinical trial of its kind and has great potential to improve lung cancer radiation therapy. Nembhard has served as dean since 2020 and is an accomplished researcher in manufacturing and healthcare systems engineering. Her work has led to several advances, including a patented manufacturing process for molding small-scale medical devices and a system that uses sensors to conduct early screening for Parkinson’s disease. She is a fellow of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers and a fellow of the American Society for Quality. Over the past five years, she has been engaged in research that focuses on addressing disparities at the intersection of health, wealth, and education for emerging adults—namely, college students of traditional age—with research that focuses on student well-being. She has led and participated in efforts in this regard across the academy and professional societies, including National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE, NSF Launching Academics on the Tenure Track, NSF Transforming Engineering Culture to Advance Inclusion and Diversity, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Society of Women Engineers.

Donald Anderson

Gary Christensen

Harriet Nembhard


Joseph Reinhardt named Roy J. Carver Chair in Biomedical Engineering In September 2021, family, friends, colleagues, and representatives of the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust joined Joseph Reinhardt to recognize him as the Roy J. Carver Chair in Biomedical Engineering. This named chair was part of a transformational $12 million gift to the college from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust that also included the naming of the Roy J. Carver Department of Biomedical Engineering. “This chaired position will help my research group expand our efforts to use medical imaging to better understand the normal and diseased lung. Lung conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive lung disease, cancer, emphysema, and COVID affect millions of Americans every year, and we hope to develop methods to detect these disorders early so physicians can successfully intervene,” said Reinhardt. “This recognition is very special to me as it further strengthens our department’s longstanding connection and collaboration with the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust.” “The Carver Trust is pleased to recognize Dr. Reinhardt and his exemplary career with the Roy J. Carver Chair in Biomedical Engineering,” said Troy Ross, executive administrator of the Carver Charitable Trust. “His past and future work reflects our enduring interest in medical and scientific innovation for the betterment of the human condition and is an integral component of the Trust-supported initiative in biomedical engineering for respiratory and pulmonary health and disease. We look forward to additional discoveries and advancements from Dr. Reinhardt, his team, and colleagues within the department.”



New $1M grant to bridge educational gaps between modeling and simulation and machine learning “By integrating modeling and simulation work with machine learning, we can apply the physical principles that are central to modeling and simulation with smart, intelligent machines that do not have access to real-world interactions.” CHING-LONG LIN E D WA R D M . M I E L N I K A N D S A M U E L R. HARDING PROFESSOR, CHAIR OF T H E D E PA R T M E N T O F M E C H A N I C A L ENGINEERING, AND IIHR RESE ARCH ENGINEER

For decades, much of engineering research has focused on developing models and simulations based on physics and real-world properties that would produce data to confirm or reject a hypothesis. More recently, many engineering scholars have begun utilizing machine learning, which relies on vast quantities of data and algorithms to eventually produce a hypothesis. Now, the United States Department of Education has awarded a $1 million grant to ChingLong Lin, Edward M. Mielnik and Samuel R. Harding Professor and chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Iowa, to develop artificial intelligence modeling and simulation (AIMS) programs that will bridge the gap between these two research approaches. “As we train the next generation of engineers, we want to ensure that they have the full suite of research tools available to them,” said Lin. “By integrating modeling and simulation work with machine learning, we can apply the physical principles that are central to modeling and simulation with smart, intelligent machines that do not have access to real-world interactions.” This integration will result in a physics-informed neural network that will use physical principles in the machine learning process. The hybrid research approach will be incorporated into existing MS and PhD coursework in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, enhancing professional preparation in areas such as product design, computer-aided engineering, and propulsion engineering. In addition to enriching existing courses, the grant will support certificate programs for students transitioning directly from undergraduate to graduate programs. Other activities associated with this grant might include workshops and hackathons, examples of active learning that have been successful in a variety of engineering disciplines. “We are excited to create these programs to both modernize our existing courses as well as offer new opportunities for certificate completion,” said Lin. “We expect that this new approach will help recruit new students who want to combine physical and datacentric approaches.” Lin’s team on the grant includes: Sharif Rahman and Jia Lu, UI professors of mechanical engineering; Shaoping Xiao, a UI associate professor of mechanical engineering; Rachel Vitali, a UI assistant professor of mechanical engineering; and Jane Russell, director of research and analytics in the UI Office of Teaching, Learning, and Technology.



Albert Wetland and Wildlife Area

Water enters the wetland from rain events and runoff

Macroinvertebrates recycle nutrients and provide food Amphibians indicate good water quality PHOTO: KIP LADAGE







Water is slowed and filtered by aquatic plants

A watershed is an area of land that drains to a common waterbody — like a river, stream or lake.

Middle Cedar Watershed


This wetland is located within the Middle Cedar River Watershed. The Middle Cedar Watershed is a 1.5M-acre watershed that spans parts of 10 counties in Eastern Iowa. This entire wetland complex is 20 acres with an 8.5-acre pool area and treats about 120 acres of drainage. Wetlands act as a giant sponge, cleaning water by absorbing pollutants and reducing flood risks by storing excess water, and provide a valuable wildlife habitat.


Outlet for clean water to leave the wetland

Learn more! Middle Cedar Watershed

Wetlands are some of the most biologically productive natural ecosystems in the world, comparable to tropical rain forests and coral reefs in their productivity and the diversity of species they support. Wetlands like this one contribute to the national and local economies by producing resources, enabling recreational activities, and providing other benefits, such as pollution control and flood protection.

Wetlands are Iowa’s most diverse ecosystems

Managed by Benton County Conservation

Benton County Conservation Board


Iowa Watershed Approach marks five years of success BY: RICHARD LEWIS


2016, with a nation reeling from years of natural disasters, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) made available $1 billion to help bolster the country’s extremeweather defenses.

The IFC, working with partners statewide, won $97 million—the fourth-highest total awarded—for a project called the Iowa Watershed Approach (IWA). Five years later, regional groups centered around watersheds in Iowa have been organized. These watershed management coalitions, with support from IWA’s leadership, have overseen the building of 800 floodreduction structures across the state, from Fremont County in far southwest Iowa to Winneshiek County in the state’s northeast corner. All told, the structures, ranging from simple ponds on farmland to elaborate, erosion-stabilizing projects on riverbanks, have reduced flooding from historic highs by as much as 20 percent in some areas. And they have cleaned the water, too. “We’ve increased the understanding of people throughout Iowa about water,” says Larry Weber, co-founder of the Iowa Flood Center and the visionary behind the HUD funding application. “I think Iowans now better understand how floods happen, how they impact watersheds, and the effects on their communities. They better understand issues around water quality, too.”



Thanks to the Iowa Legislature’s leadership and foresight in creating the Iowa Flood Center in 2009, Iowans have access to the latest technology and resources to help them prepare for floods and become more resilient to their effects. The center is actively engaged in flood-related projects that help Iowans understand their flood risks and make better floodrelated decisions.

A team at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources identified eight promising watershed regions when the $97 million in Iowa Watershed Approach funding came in. These regions include the West and East Nishnabotna and the North Raccoon in the western part of the state, and the Upper Iowa, Upper Wapsipinicon, Middle Cedar, Clear Creek, and English in the eastern part of the state.

Rick Mount, a third-generation family farmer in Riverton, had a pond down the hill from his home that had become inundated with silt and infested with weeds due to flooding after heavy rains. He was eager to participate in the Iowa Watershed Approach’s costshare to build structures. Now a bigger, deeper pond has been built on his land. It controls runoff, nets clearer water, attracts wildlife—and is a quiet spot for him to enjoy with his grandchildren. “I guess there’s a little pride involved that I took care of this land,” says Mount, who has farmed for 44 years. “I’ve got a feature that’s nice to look at. And I think we’ve helped some communities downstream, too.”

Key to the Iowa Watershed Approach’s success have been Iowans themselves. Weber and others at the IFC knew regional and local support was essential. So, they hit the road, over and over, speaking with groups large and small to explain what the IWA is and how it could reduce flooding and improve water quality. Iowans listened—and acted. Through the IWA and previously funded work, Iowa now has 27 watershed management authorities, addressing flooding and water quality for roughly 45 percent of the Hawkeye State. Two of these watershed management authorities cover the East and West Nishnabotna rivers in southwest Iowa. The East and West Nishnabotna watershed is long and narrow, enveloping 1.1 million acres in 11 counties and multiple communities, from Carroll in the north to Hamburg hugging the Missouri River nearly 150 miles away. The area has been plagued by flooding, notably, extreme rainfall events in 2011 and 2019. Those floods, along with the funding obtained by the IFC, motivated officials throughout the region to come together and tackle the problem as one. “A lot of things are reactive. We react to the flood,” says Cara Morgan, project coordinator for the East and West Nishnabotna Watershed Management Coalition. “We go to the site of where that damage is rather than stopping the water where it needs to be stopped, where it falls. By putting together the watershed plan that we have with the East and West Nishnabotna, we’re able to address issues upstream where we can slow that flow to the southern communities and keep that peak flood down. “We now have a watershed plan moving forward that we can use, and it is not going to sit on a shelf somewhere,” Morgan adds. “That plan will continue to be valuable. We wouldn’t have had that without the Iowa Watershed Approach.” The IWA plan also required buy-in from individuals, namely landowners, upon whose properties the flood-reduction structures would be built. Thanks to the HUD funding, the IWA offered to cover as much as 90 percent of the costs. Mount’s motivation has been echoed by landowners statewide who have participated in the IWA. “We continue to have landowner interest and desire to accept these conservation practices on their land,” Weber says. “They see their neighbors’ building practices. They see the excitement around the program. And, while these practices certainly have a flood-damage benefit and a water-quality benefit, there are secondary benefits for each of these landowners. They can come out and enjoy the natural beauty of farm ponds and wetlands and reconnected floodplains. They really do appreciate that.” The watershed management authorities’ creation, and their successes, have been noticed: Iowa’s neighboring states all have inquired about the IWA. Delegations from Louisiana, North Carolina, and Texas visited the Iowa Flood Center to learn about how to organize flood-reduction practices on the watershed level in their states.

“The Iowa Watershed Approach has two main objectives: Reducing flooding during heavy rainfall, and improving water quality yearround. A floodfirst program plus improvement in water quality equals a more resilient Iowa.” L ARRY WEBER , CO -FOUNDER OF THE I O WA F L O O D C E N T E R AND LE ADER OF THE I O WA WAT E R S H E D APPROACH

“They came with eyes wide open,” Weber says. “They’ve learned all that they can about the Iowa Watershed Approach. And we’re now seeing that those states are implementing programs of their own that emulate the Iowa Watershed Approach.”






Demir, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Iowa, is an expert in developing environmental information systems that use interactive visualizations to communicate hydrologic processes in an easily understood web interface. In his position as an associate research engineer at IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering and the Iowa Flood Center, Demir built the award-winning Iowa Flood Information System (IFIS) online platform that displays real-time information on stream levels, flood alerts and forecasts, rainfall conditions, and flood maps for the entire state of Iowa.

Since its launch in spring 2011, IFIS has received more than four million pageviews from users accessing the platform to better understand and reduce flood risks. Users include county emergency managers, local community leaders and decision-makers, home and business owners, landowners, and state and federal agency partners. Demir earned the 2022 Discovery and Innovation Award for Distinguished Achievement in Publicly Engaged Research from the UI Office of the Vice President for Research in recognition of the significant impact his work has had on addressing the needs of the public and improving the quality of life for Iowans. Building on the success of IFIS, Demir has developed similar platforms, including the Iowa Water Quality Information System (IWQIS), which provides public access to real-time water quality data to communicate stream health and track conditions over time. His work has attracted attention from other states, including Missouri, which is building its own hydrologic information system modeled after Iowa’s approach, and South Dakota, for which he developed the Big Sioux River Flood Information System. Demir’s expertise in hydroinformatics played a significant role in the University of Iowa being named a key partner of the new $360 million NOAA Cooperative Institute for Research to Operations in Hydrology (CIROH), administered by the University of Alabama. As a UI co-principal investigator, Demir’s work will be leveraged to support CIROH’s mission of building a more water- and weather-ready nation. Demir’s research team continues to develop cutting-edge technologies to design new flood response and preparedness tools. Recent innovations include virtual reality systems that provide users with real-life flood scenarios and artificial intelligence products to improve communication and enhance the accessibility of flood information.




Ibrahim Demir’s expertise in hydroinformatics played a significant role in the University of Iowa being named a key partner of the new $360 million NOAA Cooperative Institute for Research to Operations in Hydrology.

Screenshot from the Iowa Flood Information System showing a flood inundation map for Cedar Rapids, Iowa.




“We have this incredible, unique situation here that does not exist anywhere else in the U.S.” K ARIM MALEK

TOP LEFT: Kaylee Lichtenstein (22BSE) demonstrates the leg tuck drill while wearing a motion capture suit for members of the Iowa House of Representatives. TOP RIGHT: University of Iowa undergraduate Trejahn Manning, of Des Moines, Iowa, prepares for a deadlift, which is one of the six drills of the Army Combat Fitness Test. BOTTOM: Rajan Bhatt, an associate research engineer, discusses the work the Iowa Technology Institute performed in support of the rollout of the U.S. Army’s first new fitness testing regimen in more than 40 years.



Iowa Technology Institute research

contributes to readiness of U.S. Army soldiers


University of Iowa Technology Institute (ITI) and its Virtual Soldier Research (VSR) program are helping the U.S. Army evaluate its first new physical fitness test in 40 years in hopes of improving soldier readiness. The Army turned to ITI and its internationally recognized Santos, a physics-based virtual human avatar, to evaluate the science behind the new Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) and how well drills correlate with tasks soldiers face in the field. “They wanted an entity to make sure that the science behind how they chose the events is correct, and they selected the University of Iowa,” Karim Malek, ITI director and professor of biomedical engineering, told the Cedar Rapids Gazette. “Why? Because of the Santos program,” Malek continued. “Because of the link to athletics and the College of Medicine. We have this incredible, unique situation here that does not exist anywhere else in the U.S.”

ITI’s research on the ACFT has been highlighted in numerous publications in the state of Iowa and across the country, including Bloomberg Businessweek, The Gazette, The Washington Post, Stars and Stripes, KCRGTV, KCCI-TV, Corridor Business Journal, Iowa Magazine, and several others. In addition, state and federal lawmakers and dignitaries from the Iowa National Guard have visited ITI labs to learn more about the research. Santos and female counterpart Sophia were invented by a team at the University of Iowa, led by Malek. The biomechanically accurate, high-fidelity digital human models allow the testing of human capabilities and behavior under various scenarios. The traditional test, the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), included timed pushups, sit-ups, and a 2-mile run with different baselines based on gender. The ACFT is gender and age neutral and is comprised of six exercises — deadlift, leg tuck, sprint-drag-carry, two-mile run, standing power throw, and hand-release push-ups. Soldiers can opt to do a plank instead of the leg tuck. These six exercises predict whether a soldier has the strength requirements needed to perform duties in a combat environment, such as lifting an injured soldier to safety, moving heavy supplies, or scaling barriers. Phase one of ITI’s independent review included an assessment of the Baseline Soldier Physical Readiness Requirements Study (BSPRRS), which is the Army’s central research behind the design of the ACFT. The ITI review concluded that the BSPRRS was conducted by a qualified team and the methodologies utilized were rigorous and appropriate. In phase two, ITI researchers collected data from Iowa Army ROTC cadets performing simulated common soldier tasks and the ACFT exercises. Data from these tests was input into Santos to determine if successful completion of ACFT events matched the strength required to perform combat duties. ITI’s review is currently in phase three, where researchers are evaluating the cumulative effects of repetition of activities, considering muscle strength, fatigue, and energy expenditure.



Q&A WITH PRESIDENT WILS Barbara J. Wilson is the 22nd president of the University of Iowa. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and master’s and PhD degrees in communication arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She came to Iowa having served as the executive vice president/vice president for academic affairs of the University of Illinois System. Prior to that, she served in several administrative positions, including interim chancellor, at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where she was a member of the communication faculty for 21 years.

Dean Nembhard asked President Wilson for her perspective on the impact of the College of Engineering at the University of Iowa.



SON How do you see engineering research at the University of Iowa impacting human health and medical breakthroughs? With a renowned academic medical center and a highly ranked biomedical engineering program on our campus, we are able to conduct crossdisciplinary research that can make a huge impact on medical breakthroughs and human health. The College of Engineering’s strength in imaging, modeling, and simulation has been particularly important to new understandings in cardiovascular and pulmonary health, biomechanics, and more. As well, the college’s strengths in computer engineering and in the areas of genomics and bioinformatics have been instrumental in helping our medical professionals solve genomic problems. Chemical and biochemical engineering researchers have helped us learn how to mass-produce antibiotics and create recombinant human insulin products. The synergy between medicine and engineering here at Iowa is truly extraordinary.

How is the engineering student experience enhanced by the broad range of curricular and co-curricular offerings across campus? In my first nine months here, I have learned a great deal about Iowa’s distinctive assets, which center on comprehensive excellence and creativity, as well as community. Very few large research universities are as balanced in strengths across disciplines as we are, and many others are so big that students find it difficult to pursue their varied interests with ease. Here at Iowa, we have both features … a large array of options for students to pursue multiple interests and a strong sense of community to help foster connections. We are especially strong in writing and the arts, and I have been really impressed by the way the College of Engineering recognizes how that type of creativity makes for better engineering students and gives them so many opportunities to engage in artsoriented thinking and activity. We also have special strengths across the campus in communication, global awareness, leadership, and entrepreneurship, and I know that the college encourages its students to learn skills in those areas as well.


Beyond leaving Iowa as skilled engineers, what other are some of the other ways in which our graduates are positioned for success beyond the university? When engineering students take advantage of the opportunities I’ve already noted (and more), our graduates truly experience the classic “well-rounded” education that we have always aspired to provide. We know that engineering students will pursue many different paths during their careers. They may ultimately work in business and industry, technology, medicine and health care, education, research, even the arts … really almost any arena. With the comprehensive education students get here at Iowa and in the college specifically, our engineering students can take their skills to a vast array of professions and higher education pursuits. Iowa engineering students are also positioned for success by having developed strong collaborative abilities, robust critical thinking skills, and experience working with people from other backgrounds and cultures.

What innovations being produced by the College of Engineering excite you the most? The ongoing success of the Iowa Flood Center is an exciting highlight of the College of Engineering’s work for me. Just as one example, the IFC’s $97 million funding from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development led to the Iowa Watershed Approach, which in only five years has resulted in 800 flood-reduction structures being created all across the state. The result has reduced flooding by as much as 20 percent in some areas and created cleaner water. Also, many Iowans have become educated about how floods happen and their effects on watersheds and communities. Work such as this will only become more critical as we deal with the effects of climate change. The college, of course, has many other areas of exciting research. In addition to what I’ve already talked about, you are doing significant work in the future of driverless vehicles, robotics, safer roads, sustainability, and green energy, all in order to make our world a better place. When I’ve visited labs and programs across the campus in my first months as president, I’ve been so impressed by the innovation and forward thinking coming from the College of Engineering.


Moala Bannavti’s innovative research MANY


vulnerable students are exposed to airborne polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in lowincome schools every day. With no legal requirement to remediate PCBs, these undersupported schools often struggle to pay the expense of identifying and removing these carcinogenic chemicals. Enter Moala Bannavti, a PhD student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, whose research is focused on identifying the source of these PCBs. Her work allows for specific, focused mitigation that is ultimately more costeffective and doesn’t require the demolition of entire buildings. Bannavti has a passion for teaching and research that improves quality of life in communities throughout Iowa and across the country and hopes to join the ranks of engineering faculty once she completes her PhD in December 2022.





“The University of Iowa is a leader in producing research around the cleanup of Superfund chemicals, in particular PCBs,” said Bannavti. “Our work uses statistical methods to find sources of PCBs from air profiles and is unique in the field.” In schools, PCB contamination can vary greatly from room to room, often requiring large-scale demolitions when the PCB sources cannot be pinpointed. Bannavti’s research makes it easier to target specific areas, reducing the cost of mitigation, essential for schools and districts without large budgets to address this contamination. Her material remediation work was able to identity all 209 PCBs through air testing.

Below: Bannavti with UI Vice President for Student Life Sarah Hansen (left) and USG President Regan Smock (right)

Bannavti’s research caught the attention of Desiree Plata, the Gilbert W. Winslow Career Development Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), when they met at the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors Conference in June 2021. Plata nominated Bannavti to take part in the Future Leaders in CEE series in the MIT Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. In September 2021, Bannavti presented her talk “Emission Characterization and Criteria for Remediation of Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Lower-Income Public Schools.” “Importantly, Ms. Bannavti and her colleagues’ work highlights that these exposures are impacting underserved minority children who are at a developmental stage that makes them more sensitive to the effects of toxic chemical exposure,” said

Plata. “She should be applauded not only for her contributions to science and engineering discovery, but also for the meaningful impact that work can have to improve the lives and longevity of children.” Bannavti prepared for her talk by practicing with her faculty advisors. “Moala is a remarkable engineering student leader as well as a highly successful researcher,” said Keri Hornbuckle, the Donald E. Bently Professor of Engineering in the UI Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Bannavti’s co-advisor. “She has published her research in the most competitive and selective journal in our field Environmental Science & Technology, has presented her work to experts across the country, and is determined to contribute the best science needed to solve a problem of national concern.” Co-advisor Craig Just, UI associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, adds that “Moala has a powerful combination of vision, talent, and grit that she uses to address the environmental justice issues faced by minority-predominant schools that deal with PCB contamination.” In addition to her robust research program, Bannavti serves as president of the UI Graduate and Professional Student Government, where she represents the interests of nearly 10,000 students. “I am honored to help represent the needs of my fellow graduate students to the UI leadership and the broader UI community,” said Bannavti. “I am their voice in communicating with the UI administration and am passionate about how we can support and mentor graduate and professional students throughout their time at the university.” Bannavti is a first-generation Cameroonian immigrant raised in New Jersey, where she saw how improvements in low-income school districts can transform students’ lives. Her work infuses social justice and ethics within the science of engineering and recognizes the ways in which technology has disproportionally affected communities across socioeconomic lines. “I am grateful for all of the opportunities that I have had throughout my career,” said Bannavti. “I am committed to pursuing research that improves quality of life in low-income communities so that other students, especially at an early age, can also have the opportunity to pursue their dreams and succeed at the highest level.”



“I am committed to pursuing research that improves quality of life in low-income communities so that other students, especially at an early age, can also have the opportunity to pursue their dreams and succeed at the highest level.” M O A L A B A N N AV T I , C I V I L A N D E N V I R O N M E N TA L E N G I N E E R I N G PHD STUDENT



Electrical engineering undergraduate pursuing research that stands out

Jacob Sindt is developing a highresolution terrestrial greenhouse gas and volatile organic compounds sensor. The hope is to better track emissions of harmful gases in the atmosphere.

A fascination with electronic devices and photonics — or the science of light — has led Jacob Sindt down a promising path of research and discovery as an undergraduate student in the College of Engineering at the University of Iowa. “From growing up in Iowa, I had always dreamed of becoming a Hawkeye and joining a Big 10 school,” the UI junior from Dubuque said. “My older brothers also played a big role in this decision as two of them also became Hawkeyes.” Sindt is majoring in electrical engineering and works as an undergraduate research assistant at the Iowa Technology Institute, where he gets hands-on experience under the mentorship of Fatima Toor, the Lowell Battershell Chair of Laser Engineering. Sindt is developing a high-resolution terrestrial greenhouse gas and volatile organic compounds sensor using mid-infrared light emitting diodes, or LEDs, to detect gas concentrations. The hope is to better track emissions of harmful gases in the atmosphere. He captured his research in a poster that received a perfect score in the 2021 Fall Undergraduate Research Festival. Judges noted that “the presenter could be a graduate student” and that he had great visuals, clear goals and outcomes, and could clearly communicate his research.


“I attribute this accomplishment to my research mentor, Fatima Toor,” Sindt said. “Without her insightful eye over my work and her dedication to the research field, I would not have the dedication and appreciation towards conducting research that I have today.” Sindt’s successes were recognized in his inclusion in UI’s most recent banner campaign highlighting student standouts. Sindt’s banner is on display in the downtown Iowa City pedestrian mall. “I was thrilled to have not only my research, but the research of my peers, be displayed for all students to see,” Sindt said. “This moment also made me think about the people who helped me get to where I am today, and I am truly thankful for their dedication.” Toor, who holds joint appointments as an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and an associate professor of physics and astronomy, praised Sindt’s work ethic, quality of documentation, scientific creativity, and problem-solving ability. “He has been an outstanding researcher in our lab and plans to attend graduate school for a PhD degree,” Toor said. “I certainly expect great things from him as a future researcher and engineer.”


UI AIChE student chapter wins National AIChE ChemE Jeopardy Championship Answer: Two years in a row. Question: How many times has the University of Iowa AIChE student chapter won ChemE Jeopardy? In a decisive victory, the University of Iowa student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, or AIChE, took home the National AIChE ChemE Jeopardy championship at the 2021 AIChE student conference. This year, the team competed in person in Boston, Massachusetts. In 2020, the team took home the championship after competing virtually over Zoom. Questions for the game come from chemical engineering undergraduate coursework, and teams from across the country compete in regional events leading up to the fall national conference. “Our team complemented each other very well and only got better as time and training went on,” said spring 2021 chemical engineering graduate Collin Sindt. “Between the four of us, we not only covered most of the usual chemical engineering categories, but also a variety of the novel categories like geography, pop culture, general trivia, and other categories.” In 2020, Sindt was joined on the team by Dimitri Gatzios, Mason Lyons, and Jonah Marks. Marks graduated in spring 2020, and Gatzios and Lyons graduated in spring 2021. In 2021, Sindt was joined by team members Dimitri Gatzios, Mason Lyons, and Darrell Smith, a chemical engineering junior.

The 2020 competition came down to Iowa, the University of Southern California, and the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC). In 2021, the UI team went up against UMBC and Iowa State University in the finals. In total, 65 teams from across the country competed, including teams from Notre Dame, Louisiana State University, and the University of Delaware. “That our students performed so strongly against many top schools speaks to their commitment to their studies and the caliber of the education we provide,” said David Murhammer, UI professor of chemical and biochemical engineering and the team’s advisor. “It was inspiring to watch them compete, and I am proud of their accomplishments in 2020 and 2021.” With all team members graduating or set to graduate, the UI student chapter will be looking for the next generation of ChemE Jeopardy champions. Successful teams are built through practice and dedication, as the current team members know all too well. “One of my favorite parts of being involved on the jeopardy team were the weekly practices,” said Mason Lyons. “These were always light-hearted and fun while being productive and competitive.” For now, the team is still basking in the glow of their 2021 victory in which they took home 14,200 points, nearly 12,000 points more than their closest competitor.

ABOUT AICHE AIChE is the world’s leading organization for chemical engineering professionals, with more than 60,000 members from more than 110 countries. AIChE has the breadth of resources and expertise you need whether you are in core process industries or emerging areas, such as translational medicine.




College launches


improving quality of life through advances in 3D printing to flood mitigation and space exploration, Iowa engineers are bringing groundbreaking innovations to life. Now more than ever, important societal changes such as the fast pace of technological advancements and increasing demands for multi-disciplinary collaboration require new ways of preparing Iowa engineers to become the next generation of innovators and problem solvers. In response, the College of Engineering at the University of Iowa has created a Leadership, Ethics, and Professional Pathways (LEaPP) Academy, which will expand the experience of engineering students. Open to all students in the college, the LEaPP Academy will supplement engineering coursework with meaningful, experiential opportunities where students can draw on the wisdom of successful alumni, analyze engineering case studies, conduct innovative research with faculty members, and take part in micro-internships that will position them for success in industry. LEaPP aims to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and perspectives that will enhance their long-term success, make them valuable leaders in the companies that employ them, and develop them as ethically and globally aware citizens of the world. LEaPP builds on the successes of other engineering programs, including the Hanson Center for Communication, the Virginia A. Myers NEXUS of Engineering and the Arts, the Grand Challenges Scholars Program, and the college’s ethics initiative. Each of these programs offers students opportunities to engage in co-curricular activities that integrate what students learn in classrooms and laboratories with valuable skills and perspectives related to communications, artistic sensibilities, global issues in engineering, and the ethical implications of innovation.


LEaPP was launched with support from a cornerstone gift from UI alumnus James Whiteley (BSME 62, MS 64), who also provided support for the college’s Grand Challenges scholars and ethics initiative. As students progress through the Academy, they will earn credentials, or badges, that track their competency in these areas. One hallmark of the program will be the close mentoring and coaching students will receive from faculty fellows and practicing engineers on their journey to becoming responsible, globally aware, and ethical engineering leaders. The college is currently seeking additional alumni and friends of the college who could serve as mentors or provide micro-internship opportunities as part of LEaPP. LEaPP will begin its credentialing activities in fall 2022 and has already started programming in spring 2022 at events such as the college’s leadership banquet and Leadership Institute. “Engineering is one of the most essential majors to the future of humanity, and our college is committed to helping students become responsible engineering leaders. LEaPP is designed to reinforce their journey in this regard,” said Harriet Nembhard, dean of the College of Engineering. “Moreover, we know that when students have access to programs like LEaPP, they are ultimately more engaged and excel academically. This can be especially impactful for women and underrepresented groups in engineering. We hope to scale up LEaPP in the years to come, creating a flywheel with early wins in student success and learning experiences that will build on each other and create momentum with high schools and with industry partners.”


Students accept awards at the Student Leadership Banquet

“Engineering is one of the most essential majors to the future of humanity, and our college is committed to helping students become responsible engineering leaders.” HARRIE T NEMBHARD, DE AN OF THE COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING

ROFESSIONAL PATHWAYS ACADEMY If you would like to become involved in LEaPP or want to explore other ways to support the program, please reach out to Alyssa Burks, assistant director of leadership development in the College of Engineering, at or 319-467-0680.



Pareen Mhatre reflects on cam “Getting involved on campus is my favorite part of being a college student. These experiences have allowed me to form relationships and connect with individuals from various backgrounds and fields.” PA R E E N M H AT R E , B I O M E D I C A L E N G I N E E R I N G S E N I O R



mpus involvement experience BY: SUYUN CHANNON


being an international student on paper, Pareen Mhatre, a senior majoring in biomedical engineering and minoring in business administration, lists Iowa City as her hometown. “My parents moved from India to the United States for their education when I was four months old. They eventually ended up in Iowa City when I was a year old to finish their degrees. Later, they went on to work for the UI. I was essentially raised on campus,” says Mhatre. Choosing to pursue her undergraduate studies at the UI was a natural calling for her. “I have always loved campus and the people, and I knew that the opportunities offered through the university would be endless.” After being a Hawkeye for over two decades, Mhatre is able to have a newfound appreciation for the university community by participating in various organizations. She works as an undergraduate assistant at the BioMOST Lab, where she explores properties related to blood viscosity. She is also a peer advisor at the College of Engineering and a marketing and communications assistant at the Iowa Technology Institute. In addition, as the vice president of the Indian Student Alliance, Mhatre, along with other members, hosts four big events every academic year — GRBB, Diwali, Gathe Raho, and Nachte Raho. “Getting involved on campus is my favorite part of being a college student. These experiences have allowed me to form relationships and connect with individuals from various backgrounds and fields,” reflects Mhatre. “I would highly recommend other international students to get involved on campus. It is a great way to make friends and find out what your interests are, and overall, grow as an individual.” Mhatre plans to graduate in December 2022. “I have hopes of entering the medical device industry. Through my involvement in research and my courses, I have developed an interest in helping design devices related to the heart,” shares Mhatre.

Mhatre was recently named part of Teen Vogue’s “21 under 21” after she “testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee about what it’s like to spend your entire life in a country that you may be forced to leave behind.” Mhatre “is what’s known as a ‘Documented Dreamer’ — one of more than 200,000 young adults living in immigration limbo after they were brought to the U.S as children by parents on long-term visas. She has lived in Iowa since she was 4 months old, but when she turned 21, she aged out of her status as a dependent visa-holder and had to register as a foreign student.”







experience BEN

Berhow and Wil Comer—two seniors majoring in mechanical engineering at the University of Iowa—both landed part-time jobs with the miniSim team at the National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) this past year, giving them valuable on-the-job experience. They assemble new miniSims and upgrade existing ones, following the customer’s specifications and under the supervision of miniSim Director Andrew Veit. They order the necessary parts and have become adept both at designing new in-house solutions, such as a new steering loader, and at adapting existing products to fit their needs.

BY: KRISTINE ROGGENTIEN Berhow (left) and Comer collaborate on the upgrade of a miniSim cab for Georgia Institute of Technology LARGER PHOTO: Berhow works on upgrading a mini driving simulator, or “miniSim,” at the National Advanced Driving Simulator

The steering wheels, for example, that the team was previously using are no longer manufactured, and the new model didn’t have the inputs they needed. So they collaborated with Veit and the miniSim software developers to come up with a solution. “That project was a perfect example of how fortunate we are to work on a smaller team,” said Comer. “We can freely share our ideas and progress and work alongside professionals to problem-solve, which has definitely strengthened my communication skills in a professional setting.” He pointed out that some of their classmates are on teams of 50 or more interns at larger companies and don’t get the same attention and development that Comer and Berhow get at NADS. While working on a miniSim, they follow documentation instructions in existing manuals while also looking for ways to improve the manuals as they go. “I’ve really learned to be adaptable and roll with the punches,” said Berhow. “You go into a project thinking you’ll be able to follow the manual, but you often need to problem-solve and figure out new solutions as you go.” What’s next for the pair? After graduation, Comer will be looking for a research and development job with a focus on design and materials, while Berhow will attend graduate school at the University of Iowa in mechanical engineering.

“We can freely share our ideas and progress and work alongside professionals to problem-solve, which has definitely strengthened my communication skills in a professional setting.” WIL COMER, MECHANICAL ENGINEERING SENIOR

“Working under Andy [Veit] has been phenomenal,” added Berhow. “He really takes the time to teach, so it’s been an amazing learning opportunity.”




through industrial engineering




industrial engineers solve problems by making systems more efficient and productive. When Megan Greenwood graduated with her industrial engineering degree from the University of Iowa in 2011, she was working to solve one issue in engineering: the lack of women engineers across industry. Before long, she would be addressing another problem: the lack of women-led breweries among the approximately 9100 breweries in the United States. Solving for both problems, Greenwood took what she learned in the College of Engineering and her industry experience to go on to found Greenwood Brewing, which is one of fewer than 270 women-led breweries in the country. “When I moved to Boston after graduation, I did not expect to end up in the brewing industry,” said Greenwood, who took a sales engineering position at Eaton after completing a co-op at Whirlpool, an internship at John Deere, and a senior project for Procter & Gamble as a student. “Eaton had interests in power management, which spoke to what I had learned both about manufacturing and quality control.” As Eaton established new initiatives in alternative energy, Greenwood moved to Arizona, leading her own group and creating new business plans for Eaton in this emerging sector. Greenwood’s move to Arizona and interest in a sector not fully established at her company reflected key strengths of her personality — an entrepreneurial mindset and an independent streak that has helped her start innovative projects from nothing. “I was always impressed with Megan’s creativity, and her interest in tackling new challenges set the stage for her future as an entrepreneur,” said Jane Dorman, director of admissions and student life in the College of Engineering. “She had the unique ability to make things happen, like when she organized


a successful engineering formal, which had not been hosted by the college in many years, if ever.” In 2017, a fortuitous gift from a roommate — a homebrew kit — would change Greenwood’s professional trajectory. What began as a hobby with eight beers brewed in her garage would turn into a passion for Greenwood, who saw much of what she learned as an industrial engineer translating into the process of brewing beer both at home and on a larger scale. “Brewing beer is a manufacturing process, not unlike any other industry,” said Greenwood. “These are complex systems that involve ingredients, temperature management, bottling and canning, and distribution. Making the brewing process more efficient and profitable is exactly what an industrial engineer can do.” After learning that only two percent of breweries were women-led and that women beer drinkers were not being marketed to, Greenwood saw an opportunity and launched the Greenwood Brewing brand in 2017. In those early days, Greenwood partnered with local breweries that had capacity to brew her beer on their premises until she could establish her own operation. In 2018, she launched her first beer, Herstory, on International Women’s Day. Two and a half years later, she would open the brewery’s first physical location in a new building in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. Greenwood attributes much of her success to her College of Engineering education and experiences as a student. “I was a student ambassador and a member of the college chapter of the Society of Women Engineers, which inspired me to encourage more women to get into STEM disciplines,” said Greenwood. “My coursework and my faculty mentors helped me grow as an engineer and gain confidence in knowing I can make systems work better. Now, I am excited to share both my engineering story and how Greenwood Brewing can empower women and promote change.”





Tollakson has seen a lot of miles. On foot. In the water. And on bicycles. A 2003 University of Iowa graduate with a degree in industrial engineering, Tollakson has spent time in engineering classrooms and labs as well as at the U.S. Olympic Training Center and now at Dimond Bikes, a company he founded in 2011 and where he is now CEO. An engineer and professional athlete, Tollakson was inspired to become an entrepreneur after winning his first Ironman in Lake Placid, New York. “In 2011, I was riding a 2001 Zipp bike that was made in 1996,” said Tollakson. “I knew that these bikes were fast but could be modified and improved, especially since the design was nearly 15 years old.” Tollakson reached out to Zipp to see if they would remanufacture the bikes. Although Zipp did not express an interest in starting this process again, Tollakson was able to convince two Zipp engineers to join him in relaunching the bikes. Rebranded as Dimond Bikes, Tollakson raced his prototype at a 2012 Ironman in New York City. By 2013, Dimond Bikes — based in Des Moines, Iowa — was born and now ships bikes globally. It was Tollakson’s time in the College of Engineering — learning to improve systems as an industrial engineer, earning his technology entrepreneur certificate, and participating in the Triathlon Club — that positioned him for success beyond the university. Tollakson felt at home in the UI’s small College of Engineering and appreciated that he had the opportunity to include the technology entrepreneur certificate in his studies. “The world needs more engineers who understand business,” said Tollakson. “I even took classes in the Tippie College of Business, where we traveled on a trip to New York City to support 9/11 responders.” Through his business and entrepreneur coursework, Tollakson learned that engineers can easily pivot in their careers and reinvent themselves and businesses. He would go on to spend a winter studying abroad in London and won the college’s Hubert E. Storer Engineering Student Entrepreneurial Start-up Award, which provides initial financial support of College of Engineering students’ technological business plans. “The University of Iowa is a large university where students have access to technology and resources,” said Tollakson. “The small, intimate setting of the College of Engineering allowed me to flourish and to interact with classmates who were also working in innovative spaces, inspiring me to pursue new paths.”



“The world needs more engineers who understand business.” TJ T O L L A K S O N , 2 0 0 3 I E




on water tr “I am incredibly confident that the UI graduates we hired over the years came to us with the training needed to be successful engineers. Maybe just as important is that these graduates are also globally aware and ethical, which is essential in the kind of international work that we do.” R O B E R T ( B O B) W U B B E N A


up in small-town Bristow, Iowa, Robert (Bob) Wubbena might never have imagined his work as an engineer would take him to the west coast and eventually around the world. Completing his civil and environmental engineering degrees from the University of Iowa College of Engineering in 1966 and 1968, respectively, Wubbena parlayed his studies of water treatment and work on campus into a career that would improve quality of life and access to clean water throughout the Pacific Northwest and across the globe. While a student on campus, Wubbena worked as part-time water and wastewater treatment plant operator on the UI campus. This job, somewhat unusual for a student to have, opened his eyes to the process of water treatment and its essential role in keeping communities safe, healthy, and vibrant. “Even in the 1960s, the University of Iowa campus and Iowa City had a lot of specialized water treatment systems,” said Wubbena. “Getting this first-hand look at the process, combined with my work in the classroom, taught me a lot and positioned me to take what I learned into my professional career.” In addition to his part-time job, Wubbena also taught several classes at the UI while he was still a student, including courses on water and wastewater system operations and engineering.




reatment innovations After graduation, Wubbena moved west, where he served as director of planning and technical services for the Washington State Drinking Water Program until 1977. There, he managed a $50 million State Water Grant Program designed to improve public drinking water systems and guided development of a 50-year strategy for the future needs of water in the state. He never strayed far from his Iowa roots, always remembering the impressive Iowa model for managing community systems and the state’s watershed management programs. In 1978, he would go on to found Economic and Engineering Services, a regional consulting firm with five offices specializing in water, wastewater, and water resources as well as project financing and management. Over the course of nearly 30 years, he developed strategies for addressing water issues in world population centers and explored the interface between politics, population growth, and the environment. His firm would also hire many UI College of Engineering graduates whose training and thought processes reflected what he learned at the UI. “I am incredibly confident that the UI graduates we hired over the years came to us with the training needed to be successful engineers,” said Wubbena. “Maybe just as important is that these graduates are also globally aware and ethical, which is essential in the kind of international work that we do.”

Staying active in retirement, Wubbena has traveled to over 70 countries for both pleasure and charitable water projects for Rotary International, Transform International, and AWWA/Water for People, as well as for Habitat for Humanity. Wubbena also created an endowment in the college to support faculty research. “I want to give to programs that mean something to me,” said Wubbena. “I am proud of the environmental engineering work underway in the college and want to ensure that it carries on for many years to come.” The endowment is currently providing support for Craig Just, a UI associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, who is developing practical disinfection of rural water systems in Nicaragua and El Salvador. “The history of water treatment excellence and innovation at the UI dates back to 1929, and our alumni are eager to help us strengthen and modernize this tradition” said Just. “The Wubbena gift is critical to growing our graduate program emphasis on water issues faced by communities with resource constraints. The gift helps us recruit, retain, and train students who are committed to changing the world for the better.”

TOP LEFT: Modern Solar Powered Treatment for Mexico village of 1500 BOTTOM LEFT: Taste and odor tanks for treatment of lake water BELOW: Team of volunteers (left: Tyler Wubbena; middle: Bob Wubbena) and village leader during break in project construction

Wubbena was also active in the professional water organizations during his career, having served as International President of the American Water Works Association and as International President of the Association of Boards of Certification for Water and Wastewater Operators. His leadership continues through several charitable groups that deliver professionally designed water projects to many communities in developing nations.



An Iowa Love Story for the Bogue Family BY: BEN FROTSCHER


might say the Bogues, of Ida Grove, Iowa, have a time-honored tradition of meeting their significant others at the University of Iowa.

It all started when Richard Bogue (50BSCE) came to Iowa on the G.I. Bill and met his future wife, Alice Johnson Bogue (50GN). Their three children—Linda Bogue Boerner (73BA, 78MA), Suzie Bogue Libbey (77BBA), and Mark Bogue (82BSCE)—soon followed in their footsteps by graduating from Iowa. Linda met her husband, Gordon Boerner (72BA), when he gave her a ride home to Ida Grove, while Mark met his wife, Jaclyn Haarstick Bogue (83BBA), at a fraternity-sorority mixer. So, when Melissa Boerner Adrian (03PharmD), Linda’s daughter, was entering her final year of classes at the University of Iowa, she was starting to feel a little pressure. “That’s what our family does—meets ‘the one’,” says Melissa, whose brother, Brett Boerner (06BA), is also an Iowa grad. For Melissa, her continuation of the family tradition began at a men’s basketball game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena just a few months before graduation. “I had season tickets with my friends, but they didn’t show up for one of the first games. I made small talk with the guy next to me,” says Melissa, of her now husband, Joseph Adrian (02BBA). “We saw each other at a few more games, and soon enough, we started to date. And by the following August we were married.” Over the past eight decades, three generations and 16 members of the Bogue family have not only found love at the University of Iowa, but they’ve also gained transformational educations that have helped them make a difference in their communities. On Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, the Bogue family was recognized as recipients of the university’s Family Spirit Award during homecoming festivities. The award honors a Hawkeye family who supports the UI and contributes toward bettering the state of Iowa.


Richard Bogue (50BSCE) Alice Johnson Bogue (50GN)

“So many of us have received a great foundation at Iowa,” says Jaclyn, who nominated the Bogues for the yearly award. “And that’s why the University of Iowa means so much to everyone in the family. We’ve all had great experiences at Iowa. We’re very honored and excited to receive the Family Spirit Award.” While Jaclyn grew up in Minnesota and was the first in her family to go to college—with her brother, Todd Haarstick (86BBA), soon following her to Iowa—her husband, Mark, has been going to Hawkeye games since he was a young boy. His degree from the UI College of Engineering is helping him now as president of Hi-Way Products, a custom steel fabrication company for bridge and highway construction based in Ida Grove. “Iowa has the perfect size engineering school, and you get to know your classmates and your professors well,” says Mark, who has since served on multiple UI College of Engineering boards. “Traveling around the country and going to other universities, we’ve realized that there are very few places like the University of Iowa.” In 2003, Richard and Alice created a scholarship within the UI College of Engineering, and Mark and Jaclyn have since supported that scholarship, along with multiple building campaigns within the college. Mark says he and his wife support scholarships because they remember the difference financial assistance made during their time at Iowa. “Jaclyn and I ended up graduating with very little debt, and we’ve wanted to pay that forward through scholarships and other charitable giving,” says Mark. Mark and Jaclyn’s three children—Jared Bogue (10BSE), Alexander Bogue (12BSE), and Taylor Bogue (15BS)—are all Iowa grads. Jared, like so many other members of the Bogue family, met his wife, Heather Weibring Bogue (10BA), in Iowa City. “Dance Marathon was one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done, and I met Heather at an event


Melissa Boerner Adrian (03PharmD) Linda Bogue Boerner (73BA, 78MA)

Joseph Adrian (02BBA)

Gordon Boerner (72BA)

Brett Boerner (06BA) Mark Bogue (82BSCE) Jared Bogue (10BSE)

Jaclyn Haarstick Bogue (83BBA)

Heather Weibring Bogue (10BA)

Todd Haarstick (86BBA) (Jaclyn’s brother)

Alexander Bogue (12BSE)

Suzie Bogue Libbey (77BBA) Asitha Jayawardena (14MD, 14MPH) (son-in-law)

Taylor Bogue (15BS)

The Bogues have had a three-generation love affair with the University of Iowa. Being named the recipients of the UI’s Family Spirit Award recognizes their generosity and is taking their Hawkeye pride to a new level. for incoming and outgoing morale captains,” says Jared, who served on the Dance Marathon executive committee. “We started to spend time together, dated our senior year, and got married a couple years after graduation.”

Jared, who is now father to a 3-year-old, says he’s not only excited to pass his Iowa pride onto a fourth generation, but also to celebrate the Family Spirit Award with family and friends during homecoming weekend.

Dance Marathon, which raises funds for children fighting cancer through a yearly 24-hour dance called the Big Event, has impacted the entire family. Nine family members have participated.

“Being Hawkeyes is a truly a special bond that we all have,” says Jared. “It’s a passion that isn’t coached or taught—you just feel it. And as recipients of the Family Spirit Award, we know that we’re carrying the banner this year for others who are passionate for Iowa.”

“All of our children were extremely involved with Dance Marathon,” says Jaclyn. “They spent countless hours at the hospital and with their sponsored children. They also inspired us to get involved. Our children gained more strength and courage from these experiences and made each of them a better person.”


The Mark and Jacki Bogue family, recipients of the 2021 UI Family Spirit Award, celebrate their Hawkeye spirit before the football game.

Asitha Jayawardena (14MD, 14MPH), Suzie’s son-inlaw, shared in the Dance Marathon experience with the Bogues. Now he’s blazing his own path in children’s medicine as a pediatric otolaryngologist at Children’s Minnesota in the Twin Cities. Growing up in Iowa Falls and Mason City, Asitha became a big Hawkeye fan. When it came time to pursue medical school, he didn’t have to look far to find a top-ranked medical school. “I didn’t know it at the time, but Iowa really shaped me,” says Asitha, whose wife, Gretchen Libbey Jayawardena, worked at UI Hospitals & Clinics while he attended medical school. “I did a lot of research with [pediatric orthopedic surgeon] Jose Morcuende (01R) with the Ponseti clubfoot program, and while I didn’t go into orthopedics, I developed skills throughout my training to provide care for the little kids that walk through the door who otherwise could not hear or speak.”



Bob Kress – COE Advisory Board chair... and much more If you have ever heard the phrase “an engineer and

something more,” you might wonder where it came from. Well, meet Robert Kress, the longtime University of Iowa College of Engineering Advisory Board chair, who was inspired to create the axiom in a board meeting many years ago. Kress, the managing director, global quality and risk officer, and global delivery lead at Accenture, transitioned this year from his role as board chair after serving 23 years on the board, 16 years as chair. “I am honored to have served in this role throughout the leadership of several deans,” said Kress. “I am proud of what the board has helped accomplish and am eager to remain engaged with the college’s research, strategic initiatives, and dynamic students.” Kress might seem an unusual choice for board chair, given that he is not an engineer. Graduating with an MBA in 1981 from the UI Tippie College of Business, Kress always had an affinity for the UI campus and its students. A frequent visitor to the UI campus in recruiting students, Kress became a “campus champion” for Accenture, then called Anderson Consulting, as he spent time in Iowa City meeting with campus leadership, marketing, recruiting, presenting, and supporting student scholarships. It was during that time that he crossed paths with then-UI Engineering Dean Richard Miller, who asked Kress if he would serve on the college’s Advisory Board. “In the early 2000s and at least through 2016, we were one of the largest employers of engineering students,” said Kress. “So, my connection to engineering was somewhat of a natural fit. I also have a degree in physics, which has many overlaps with and uses in engineering.” When asked what he sees as his most significant contributions in his time on the board, Kress points to developing plans for increasing undergraduate enrollment to keep the college competitive; positioning the college through a shared identity; and finding resources for renovations, improvements, and additions to the Seamans Center. In those initial years, the college’s enrollment was about 1000 students and grew to a peak of 2400 students. “An engineer and something more” represented a mindset that distinguished the UI College of Engineering from its peers. The latest addition to the Seamans Center, the Annex, houses new lab spaces, the Student Development Center, and modernized classrooms. Going forward, Kress wants to focus on how graduate student enrollment can grow, how the college’s research strengths can be further emphasized, how undergraduate enrollment can expand to align with the college’s aspirations, and how the college can be a welcoming space for a diverse population of faculty, staff, and students. “I plan on remaining active on the Advisory Board,” said Kress. “I am just as committed to the success and growth of this college as when I joined the board 23 years ago.”

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Two new members inducted into Distinguished Engineering Alumni Academy Timothy J. Lafond received his master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Iowa in 1982. After graduation, he briefly worked at PPG as an environmental engineer and then spent more than 30 years of his career at SC Johnson and Johnson Controls, where he was instrumental in the development of environmental programs that led to both companies receiving the World Environmental Center’s Gold Medal for Excellence. In 2013, Lafond was awarded the W. Wesley Eckenfelder, Jr. Industrial Waste Treatment Medal from the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists for a stormwater and wastewater treatment system at the Johnson Control Lead Acid Battery Recycling Center in South Carolina. Lafond is a devoted member of our engineering community and mentors young adults in Milwaukee and in his hometown of Clinton, Iowa, by showing them what is possible with an engineering degree. He also serves as a consulting member for the Responsible Battery Coalition to advance the responsible production, transport, sale, use, reuse, recycling, and resource recovery of batteries. Lafond is a registered professional engineer in the state of Wisconsin. Caroline VanIngen-Dunn received her BSE in biomedical engineering from the University of Iowa in 1983. She is director of the Center for Broadening Participation in STEM at Arizona State University, where she is leading the center’s effort to foster inclusive STEM environments for students who use the community college system and to provide access along their pathway to achieve certificates, associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and advanced degrees. VanIngen-Dunn is the principal investigator (PI) of National Science Foundation (NSF) grants in partnership with rural community colleges and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) focusing on serving underrepresented students in STEM. She is the PI of a $10M NSF INCLUDES Alliance to Accelerate Latinx Representation in STEM Education (ALRISE). The ALRISE Alliance is designed to build a national network of local and regional HSI educators and partners across two- and four-year sectors of higher education, industry, and the community who will collaborate and use culturally responsive experiential learning to increase Latinx STEM student success.

The College of Engineering’s Distinguished Engineering Alumni Academy was created to honor University of Iowa engineering alumni for their personal contribution toward engineering achievement, leadership, and service to the profession and to society.


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In Memoriam: Scott Charles Hagen, 1961–2021 BY: JACKIE STOLZE

After earning a BSE with honors in civil and environmental engineering at Iowa, Hagen followed Holly’s advice and enrolled at Notre Dame as a PhD student, where he worked with Professor Joannes Westerink on hurricane storm surge and tidal modeling. After earning a PhD, Hagen joined the faculty at the University of Central Florida (UCF), where he served as a professor of civil, environmental, and construction engineering. Hagen built a flourishing program in tidal studies and computational modeling at UCF, where he also led the university’s major research focus on the Coastal Dynamics of Sea Level Rise. Hagen served as director of UCF’s Coastal Hydroscience Analysis, Modeling, and Predictive Simulations Laboratory (CHAMPS), focusing on coastal hydroscience challenges, including development of an advanced astronomic tidal model to study rising sea levels.

University of Iowa and IIHR alumnus and friend Scott C. Hagen died on July 24, 2021, at the age of 60. Hagen was a tireless advocate for IIHR and its programs; he served as a member of the IIHR Advisory Board from 2014–18. He will be profoundly missed. An Iowa native, Hagen was born on May 7, 1961, to parents Richard and Lillian (Roemig) Hagen. He grew up on the family farm near Homestead, Iowa. After high school, Hagen spent a year at Iowa State University; he then returned home to farm for 10 years before enrolling at the University of Iowa to study engineering. Hagen credited his parents and his sister, Patricia Coleman (a civil engineer and a member of the UI Engineering Distinguished Alumni Academy), for encouraging him to continue his studies. As an undergraduate at Iowa, Hagen worked with mentors such as IIHR research engineers Forrest Holly, Jerry Schnoor, and Witold Krajewski. Holly advised Hagen to look beyond Iowa for graduate study to explore new ideas, new opportunities, and new influences.


In 2015, Hagen accepted a faculty position at Louisiana State University (LSU), where he was named the John P. Laborde Endowed Chair for Sea Grant Research and Technology Transfer and the director of the LSU Center for Coastal Resiliency. He also held an appointment at the LSU Center for Computation and Technology and was a Fellow of the LSU Coastal Studies Institute. With his team at LSU, Hagen developed numerous forecast tide and storm surge models. These models span the deep ocean to coastal land margins in the northern Gulf of Mexico; they also include the coastal floodplains of Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle. Hagen’s recent research explored transport and biogeophysical modeling, with an emphasis on the coastal dynamics of global climate change and sea level rise. Hagen also served as a technical advisor to Louisiana’s 2017 Coastal Master Plan. Hagen was a global leader among scientists studying rising sea levels and their impacts. He received many honors during his career, including a Diplomate of Coastal Engineering (D.CE) and a Diplomate of Water Resources Engineering (D.WRE). He was named a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers and served on the board of ASCE’s Coasts, Oceans, Ports, and Rivers Institute. He was also a member of the engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi. At Iowa, Hagen was inducted into the UI College of Engineering Distinguished Engineering Alumni Academy in 2016 and delivered the “Charge to the Graduates” at Commencement.


Remembering CBE alumnus Warren Pagel The College of Engineering is sad to note the passing of alumnus, donor, and friend of the college Warren Pagel. Warren graduated from the University of Iowa with a BSChE in chemical engineering in 1953. As a student, he was active in Tau Beta Pi, an engineering honor society, and Phi Lambda Upsilon, a chemistry honor society, as well as in the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). He would go on to have a long and successful 40-year career with 3M, where he designed structural adhesives for airplane windows. “Warren was a lifelong Hawkeye and a committed member of our engineering community,” said Harriet Nembhard, dean of the College of Engineering. “Although we never met in person, I know how much of an impact his giving has had for our faculty and for the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering. We will miss his energy and enthusiasm, but his spirit will remain strong throughout our college.” Warren came back for almost every College of Engineering Homecoming, where he took part in festivities and enjoyed interacting with other alumni and current college faculty members. In addition to supporting a recent regional AIChE meeting held at the UI, his philanthropy was directed at support for earlycareer faculty members, and he made a particular connection with Gregory LeFevre, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering. “Warren Pagel was a wonderful alumnus and supporter of the College of Engineering whose longitudinal support, both financially and morally, cannot be underestimated,” said LeFevre. “He personally supported my research on water quality and would send me newspaper clippings from environmental stories of interest. I was fortunate to meet Warren once during a Homecoming event a few years ago, where he told me about his career, his time at the UI and how it shaped him, and his love of the outdoors, which we have in common. I will always be grateful for his generosity.” Warren was instrumental in the lives of his seven grandchildren, including Isaac Helmer, who would also graduate from the UI with a degree in chemical engineering. Warren would often comment on how proud he was that one of his grandchildren not only came to the UI but also studied in the College of Engineering.


A fixture at fall collegiate events, Warren would often interact with Alec Scranton, the University of Iowa Foundation Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, who served as dean from 2012–2020. “Warren Pagel was a dedicated father, an accomplished engineer, and a loyal alumnus of our college,” said Scranton. “He had a positive impact on our faculty, staff, and students though his kindness and generosity.”



Daniel van der Weide (87BS) has been named a fellow of IEEE. He is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of WisconsinMadsion.


Lucas Bauer (21BSE) is a fire sprinkler designer at Continental Fire Sprinkler in Davenport, IA.

Robert Groody (11BSE) is now program manager in Abbott’s Nutrition Division in Columbus, OH.

Deidre Beavers (21BSE) is a software engineer at Oregon Health and Sciences University in Portland, OR.

Mahmoud Metwali (12BSE, 19PHD) is now UX research scientist, Augmented Reality at Meta in Seattle, WA.

Zachary Blumberg (21BSE) is a supply chain associate at PepsiCo in Cedar Rapids, IA.

Rachel Nardone (19BSE) is now a civil analyst at Kimley-Horn and Associates in McKinney, TX. Johanna Uthoff (15BSE, 19PHD) is a data engineering developer at Auto Trader UK, Manchester Area, UK.



Benjamin Langton (96BSE) is now senior offer manager for maintenance and support offers for Interstates in Sioux Center, IA.

Dillon Africa (21BSE) will pursue a Master of Science in electrical engineering at the University of Iowa.

Nick Taiber (99BSE) is now president of St. Martin Holdings Company in Cedar Falls, IA.

2000s Ryan Hesseltine (02BSE) is now a principal systems engineer in navigation and sensor systems at BAE Systems, Inc. in Cedar Rapids, IA.


Jospeh Boettcher (21BSE) will pursue an MS at the University of Iowa. Jesse Bolander (21BSE) is a mechanical engineer at PRVN Consultants in North Liberty, IA. Sydney Bortscheller (21BSE) will pursue a Master of Science in civil engineering at the University of Iowa. Evan Bradley (21BSE) will pursue an MS at the University of Iowa.

Abigail Clark (21BSE) will pursue a Master of Science in biomedical engineering at Columbia University. Elizabeth Clark (21BSE) is a technical solutions engineer at Epic in Verona, WI. Kenzie Curran (21BSE) is an associate engineer at Nimbly in Los Angeles, CA. Greyson Davis (21BSE) will pursue a PhD at the University of Iowa. Halle Davis (21BSE) is a sales engineering intern at Trane Technologies in Davenport, IA, and will pursue a Master of Science in industrial and systems engineering at the University of Iowa. Anthony DeSalvo (21BSE) will pursue a PhD in environmental engineering at UC Berkeley.

Noah Douglas (21BSE) is a software engineer at Collins Aerospace in Cedar Rapids, IA.

Levi Amstutz (21BSE) is a clinical field rep at Boston Scientific.

McKenna Backhaus (21BSE) is a technology associate at Wells Fargo in West Des Moines, IA.

Joseph Chapski (21BSE) will pursue an MS at the University of Iowa.

Kyla DeShaney (21BSE) is a transportation engineer and planner at Mead & Hunt in Denver, CO.

Avery Allen (21BSE) will work at PPL Electric Utilities in Allentown, PA.

Samantha Anderson (21BSE) is an operations industrial engineer at the United States Postal Office in Harrisburg, PA.

Logan Carter (21BSE) is a design engineer at Bazooka Farmstar in Washington, IA.

Noah Brown (21BSE) is an engineer in training I at Stanley Consultants in Muscatine, IA. Renee Cafun (21BSE) will attend the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. Vincent Carlson (21BSE) is an associate industrial engineer at Hormel Foods in Austin, MN.

Auston Duffy (21BSE) is an assistant civil engineer at Burns and McDonnell in Denver, CO. James Egan (21BSE) will pursue a Master of Science in biomedical engineering at the University of Kansas. Claire Eppel (21BSE) is a software engineer ITDP at the John Deere Headquarters in Moline, IL.

Nicholas Farino (21BSE) is a sustainment systems engineer at Raytheon Missiles & Defense in Marlborough, MA. Kailey Fellner (21BSE) is a manufacturing engineer at Cobham in Davenport, IA, and will pursue a Master of Science and a PhD in biomedical engineering from the University of Iowa. Keegan Ferree (21BSE) will pursue a Master of Science in industrial and systems engineering at the University of Iowa. Allison Flores (21BSE) will pursue a Master of Science in electrical engineering at the University of Iowa. Eric Frings (21BSE) is an industrial engineer at CSC in Bridgeton, MO. Hao Fu (21BSE) will pursue a Master of Science in mechanical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. Daniel Garza (21BSE) is a construction material field engineer at Terracon in Dallas, TX. Dimitri Gatzios (21BSE) will pursue a PhD in chemical engineering from Oregon State University. Hank Gerst (21BSE) is a chemical engineer at Axalta in Fort Madison, IA. Jordyn Haessler (21BSE) will pursue a Master of Science in computer science and engineering at the University of Iowa. Caroline Hajek (21BSE) is a sourcing and procurement specialist at Zebra Technologies in Lincolnshire, IL. Parker Hanks (21BSE) is a nuclear submarine officer in the United States Navy.



Bailey Hansen (21BSE) is a biomedical engineer at Athena GTX in Johnston, IA. Charles Hayes (21BSE) is a mechanical designer at IMEG in Rock Island, IL. Noah Healy (21BSE) is pursuing a Master of Science in biomedical engineering at the University of Iowa. Jonah Heberlein (21BSE) is an integration engineer at Epic Systems in Madison, WI. Alex Hoffmann (21BSE) will pursue a PhD in computer science and engineering at the University of Michigan.

Frank IoIe (21BSE) is a research intern at the Cystic Fibrosis Research Center in Iowa City, IA.

Elizabeth Lorts (21BSE) will pursue a Master of Science in civil engineering at the University of Iowa.

Connor Johnson (21BSE) will pursue a Master of Science in environmental science at the University of Iowa.

Joshua Marcus (21BSE) will pursue a Master of Science in mechanical engineering at the University of Iowa.

Sam Johnson (21BSE) is a quality analyst at Sprecher Brewery in Milwaukee, WI.

Mitchell Lillie (21BSE) is a project manager at Newell Machinery Co. in Hiawatha, IA.

Taylor Junck (21BSE) will pursue a Master of Science in biomedical engineering at Rice University. Ryan Kaminski (21BSE) is a development engineer associate at Panduit in Tinley Park, IL. Alexander Kettering (21BSE) is a civil engineering specialist at STV in Chicago, IL. Austin Kibler (21BSE) is a hydraulic engineer at M&W Manufacturing in Cedar Rapids, IA.

Jason Hua (21BSE) will pursue a PhD in civil engineering from the University of Iowa.

Samuel Krapfl (21BSE) is a mechanical engineer at Design Engineers in Cedar Rapids, IA. Ethan Kueter (21BSE) is a process engineer at International Flavors and Fragrances in Cedar Rapids, IA. Brendon Lee (21BSE) is an associate consultant at Trinity Consultants in Burlington, IA. Louis Lenz V (21BSE) is an application engineer at ESP International in Cedar Rapids, IA.

Alexandra Humston (21BSE) will pursue an MS degree at Texas Tech University.

Luke Lesnik (21BSE) will pursue a Master of Science in environmental engineering at the University of Iowa.


Mason Lyons (21BSE) will pursue a PhD in chemical engineering at Oregon State University. Anthony Mazzenga (21BSE) is a consultant engineer at FM Global in Park Ridge, IL.

Nicholas Moioffer (21BSE) is an engineer at Kewit in Denver, CO. Michelle Moore (21BSE) is a manufacturing engineer for Procter & Gamble in Iowa City, IA. Grace Morabito (21BSE) is an operations engineer at Medline in Northfield, IL. Annabelle Mosier (21BSE) is a quality curator at Epic Systems in Verona, WI. Keishanique MotonTyler (21BSE) will pursue a Master of Science in civil engineering at the University of Iowa.

Nolan Osland (21BSE) is a civil engineer at ShiveHattery in Iowa City, IA. Elliot Pakala (21BSE) is a mechanical product engineer at Raymond Corp. in Muscatine, IA. Elijah Parr (21BSE) is a technical solutions engineer at Epic in Madison, WI.

Julia Protexter (21BSE) is a GPS systems engineer at Collins Aerospace in Cedar Rapids, IA.

Cade McNeill (21BSE) will pursue a Master of Science in civil engineering at the University of Iowa.

Gabriela Moya (21BSE) is an optimized operations engineer at 3M in Fairmont, MN.

Claudio Mema (21BSE) is a software engineering in the Lead Engineering Program at Wabtec / GE Transportation.

Brandon Murphy (20BSE, 21MS) is now a human factors engineer at ICU Medical in Plymouth, MN.

Abdeel Mendez (21BSE) is a R&D mechanical engineer at Ecolab in Eagan, MN.

Michelle Nitschke (21BSE) will pursue a Master of Science in civil engineering at the University of Iowa.

Patrick Michael (21BSE) is an industrial engineer at Collins Aerospace in Cedar Rapids, IA.

Logan Nugent (21BSE) is a technical solutions engineer at Epic in Verona, WI.

Abdalrhman Mohamed (21BSE) will pursue a Master of Science in computer science and engineering at the University of Iowa.

Amanda Oskey (21BSE) is an optimized operations engineer at 3M in Cynthiana, KY.

Katherine Pasternock (21BSE) is a business associate consultant at Slalom in Chicago, IL.

Christopher McMichael (21BSE) is a design engineer at Mestek Machinery in Cedar Rapids, IA.

Molly Meade (21BSE) is an associate research and development engineer at Medical Murray in North Barrington, IL.

Aaron Oetken (21BSE) will pursue a Master of Science in biomedical engineering at Baylor College of Medicine.

Logan O’Brien (21BSE) will pursue a Master of Science in mechanical engineering at Lewis University.

Raymond Richards (93BS, 94MA, 97PHD, 10MBA) is now software director at Dynetics Groups in Hunstville, AL. Emily Rinehart (21BSE, 21BA) is an ERP and cash engineer at Bazooka Farmstar in Washington, IA. Jake Robinson (21BSE) is a staff engineer at Trotter and Associates in St. Charles, IL. Behrooz Roozitalab (20BSE, 22PHD) is now a National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Postdoctoral Fellow I. Alyssa Schaeffer (21BSE) will pursue a Master of Science in environmental engineering at the University of Iowa.



8 135


Ryan Schmidt (21BSE) is a technical solutions engineer at Epic Systems in Verona, WI.

Andrew Thatcher (21BSE) is a biomedical engineer at Athena GTX in Johnston, IA.

Elias Shaeffer (21BSE) is a validation engineer at PSC Biotech in Pomona, CA.

Achala Thippeswamy (21BSE) is an R&D engineer at Boston Scientific in Maple Grove, MN.

Brian Shanahan (21BSE) is an assistant civil engineer at Burns and McDonnell in Kansas City, MO, and will pursue a Master of Science in civil engineering at the University of Iowa.



Nathan Schoen (21BSE) is a technical solutions engineer at Epic in Madison, WI.



Rebecca Schueller (21BSE) will pursue a Master of Science in biomedical engineering at the International Institute of Orthotics and Prosthetics.

3 50 389 55 26 48





Mitchell Schaffer (20BSE, 21MS) is now a human factors engineer at Kablooe Design in Greater Minneapolis–St. Paul Area.

Kyle Tiltges (21BSE) is a supply chain associate at PepsiCo in Cedar Rapids, IA. Bryce Timmons (21BSE) is a rotational position engineer at Phillips-Medisize in New Richmond, WI. Grace Trane (21BSE) is a project coordinator for Medpace in Cincinnati, OH.

Sophie Schultz (21BSE) is an industrial engineer at Collins Aerospace in Cedar Rapids, IA. Collin Sindt (21BSE) will pursue a PhD in chemical engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder. Robert Smith (21BSE) will pursue a Master of Science in biomedical engineering at Northwestern University. Daniel Swanepoel (21BSE) will pursue a Master of Science in mechanical engineering at the University of Iowa. Duncan Szpara (21BSE) is a project engineer 1 at the Timmons Group in Richmond, VA.

Cameron Trentz (21BSE, 22MS) will be a debug design engineer at AMD. Nathaniel Unruh (21BSE) is a software developer engineer at Amazon in Denver, CO. April Vande Brake (21BSE) is a structural engineering associate at Axiom Consultants in Iowa City, IA. Anthony Vitale (21BSE) will pursue a PhD in biomedical engineering and an MD at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine.




Ryan Wagner (21BSE) is a mechanical engineer at MODUS Engineering in Des Moines, IA. Mallory Weisbrodt (21BSE) is a civil engineer at Robinson Engineering in South Holland, IL. Morgan Wendl (21BSE) is an engineer at Beachfront Design in Excelsior, MN. Evan Williams (21BSE) will pursue a Master of Science in biomedical engineering at the University of Iowa. Natalie Wirtz (21BSE) is a line design engineer at ITC in Cedar Rapids, IA. Kendall Wobig (21BSE) is a civil engineer at Synder & Associates in Cedar Rapids, IA. Brittany Workman (21BSE) is a manufacturing technology engineer at Dupont in Fort Madison, IA. Kristen Zaeske (21BSE) is an associate R&D engineer at Medical Murray in North Barrington, IL. Daniel Zirtzman (21BSE) is a design engineer at Hall and Hall Engineers, Inc. in Hiawatha, IA.





Wilbur Storey (37BSEE)

George Ashton (61MSCE, 63PHD)

John Ellerhoff (75BSCE)

Richard Boyle (66BSEE)

George Hanson (78BSME)


Bruce Brye (62BSCE, 63MS)

Larry Hern (71BSME, 77MBA)

Lavonne (Sup) Carr (66BSME)

Don Kriens (70BS, 72MS)

James Crouse (62BSME)

Robert Becker (43BSME)

Larry Meyer (72BSCE)

Darold Elbert (66BSME)

Federick Biere (49BSEE)

David Owen (72BSEE)

George Entwhistle (69BSEE, 70MS)

Lawrence Peterson (70MS)

Richard Brink (44BSCHE)

Alan Fish (64BSEE)


Donald Gurnett (62BSEE, 63MS, 65PHD) John Hamilton (61BSEE)

Keith Faherty (72PHD)

Donald Sibert (74BSCHE, 78MS) Paul Tzuu-Po Wang (76MS, 80PHD) Craig Wiegel (74BSIE)

James Hansen (64BSEE)

Richard Anderson (58BSME)

Robert Haylock (63BSCE)

Matthew Callahan (55BSCHE) Maclyn Clancy (55BSCE)

Michael Hayward (66BSME, 70MS)

Harry Frick (57BSCHE)

David Hendricks (65PHD)

Myles Harai (57BSCE)

James Kennedy (60BSEE)

Verdus Hining (52BSME)

Pawan Kumar (68MS)

Burton Kikman (56BSCHE)

Larry Levsen (68BSEE)

Richard Knowles (56BSCE)

Larry Meier (63BSME)

Henry Krueger (57BSCHE)

Donald Meyer (67PHD)

Darrell Loan (57BSME)

Rex Patton (68BSEE)

David Malm (59BSME)

Thomas Rankin (60BSME)

Grant Meyers (57BSEE, 58MS, 65PHD)

Dale Saathoff (65BSME)

Warren Pagel (53BSCHE)

Ward Shope (60BSEE)

Alan Hallene (99PHD)

Ralph Pollpeter (59BSEE) Keith Rathjen (56BSEE, 57MS)

Jean-Claude Tatinclaux (66MS, 69PHD)

Radhika (Maddhi) Kasichainula (97MS)

Richard Rohret (59BSEE)

Donald Van Cleave (60BSME)

Scott Hagen (93BSE)

Richard Roth (58BSEE)

William Wheat (65BSEE)

Mitch Koestner (92BSE)

Robert Schertz (58BSME, 73MS)

Robert Woodhouse (62BA, 63BSME, 71MA, 79PHD)

Yun Sheng Yu (56MS) Wayne Zellmer (52BSEE)

George Schlenker (68MS)

Kenneth Yoon (69MS, 70PHD)

1980s Philip Benzkofer (80MS) John Dalle-Molle (81BSME) Darrel Peterson (82MS) Alan Smith (88BSE) Debra Wimpey (86BSE, 88MS)


2010s Nicolas Bertram (16BSE) Craig Vidal (12BSE)



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

Save the Date! HOMECOMING WEEK October 23–29, 2022