News about
The University of Iowa College of Engineering
Week of May 29, 2016

E/WEEK College Staff:
Editor:  Wendy Brentner, director of alumni relations and communications
Contributing Writer:  Andrea Zeek, UI News Services; Jackie Stolze, IIHR
College Web Site:  www.engineering.uiowa.edu


1. Muste Recognized for New Culvert Design
2. Iowa Watershed Approach Kickoff Meetings
3. Construction Updates
4. Grants and Contracts
5. Alumni: Where Are They Now
6. About E/Week

1. Muste Recognized for New Culvert Design

Marian Muste, research engineer at IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering, received a national award from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Research Advisory Council.

Muste’s research, “Development of Self-Cleaning Box Culvert Design: Phase II,” designed a system that flushes out sediment deposits in culverts using the power of the stream flow itself. His solution does not require maintenance and can be implemented at the time of construction or be retrofitted after the culvert is built.

The Iowa DOT has implemented Muste’s design as a culvert demonstration project on Highway 1 in Iowa City. Since the self-cleaning design was implemented, Muste’s team has observed impressive improvement. After the deployment of the new design, the sedimentation has almost disappeared. Muste says the culvert is now nearly “squeaky clean.”

2. Iowa Watershed Approach Kickoff Meetings

The Iowa Watershed Approach Program will be launched with several kickoff meetings around the state this week. The program supported by funds from a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development National Disaster Resilience Competition will help communities prepare for, recover from, and adapt to floods. 

Nine watershed areas are included in the program: 

North Raccoon River, May 31, 3 p.m., Storm Lake Public Library
East Nishnabotna River, June 1, 4 p.m. at the United Faith Community Center in Sidney
West Nishnabotna River, June 2, 9 a.m., Glenwood Resource Center
Upper Iowa River, June 8, 4 p.m., Decorah City Council Chamber
Upper Wapsipinicon River, June 14, 1:30 p.m., Buchanan County Courthouse
Clear Creek Watershed, June 15, 5 p.m., Coralville Public Library
Middle Cedar River, June 16, 3 p.m., Farmers Savings Bank & Trust Community Room, Vinton

The goals of the Iowa Watershed Approach are to reduce flood risk, improve water quality, increase resilience, engage stakeholders through collaboration and outreach/education, improve quality of life and health, especially for vulnerable populations; and develop a program that is scalable and replicable through the Midwest and the United States. 

3. Construction Updates

The construction season is here and with it are several road closures/reductions to be aware of in Iowa City and surrounding the Seamans Center. 

Beginning on June 3 and ending on September 16, the sidewalk northwest of the Washington and Clinton Street intersection will be closed, including the south and west intersection crosswalks.  The accessible entrance into the Seamans Center will be on the west side of the building.

Beginning on June 3 and ending on July 11, both east entrances into the Seamans Center will be closed.  The closure is necessary to install electrical ductbank from vault on SE corner of the Seamans Center to vault on the Pentacrest. 

For a map of construction, go to

Starting Tuesday, the Gateway Project will elevate North Dubuque Street 10 feet, raising it one foot above the 100-year flood level. The project also includes construction of a new Park Road bridge that will stand higher than the 200-year flood level.

Throughout the construction, MidAmerican Energy will also take overhead utility lines and install them underground, and existing piping, sewage draining, and water lines will be moved.

As a result, the University of Iowa has advised students, faculty and staff traveling between downtown Iowa City and Interstate 80 to expect 15-30 minute delays during peak hours, or between 6:00- 9:00 a.m. and 4:00-7:00 p.m.

Drivers are advised to pay attention to traffic reports and plan alternate routes when connecting to I-80, such as Dodge Street and Highway 1 or First Avenue and Highway 6.

4. Grants and Contracts

Karim Abdel-Malek, professor of biomedical engineering and director of the UI Center for Computer-Aided Design, has received a $562,798 grant from the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII), a UI LABS collaboration, to create a digital tool for real time reliability analysis and factory optimization.  UI Labs is a Chicago-based research and commercialization collaborative, bringing Universities, Industry and Government together.  UI LABS is a first-of-its-kind innovation accelerator, addressing problems too big for any one organization to solve on its own. The challenges it is addressing in manufacturing and smart cities are at intersection of digital convergence: computing, big data, and the Internet of Things (IOT).

Witold Krajewski, Rose & Joseph Summers Professor of Water Resources Engineering and director of the Iowa Flood Center at IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering, has received a $29,325 grant from the US Aeronautics & Space Administration to support the SMAPVEX16-Iowa field campaign.


5. Alumni: Where Are They Now?

Engineering alumnus Mohamed Elkhair (BSE 2011 chemical engineering), has been named a 2016 BEYA STEM Conference Modern-Day Technology Leader.  Elkhair is system engineer at Exelon Nuclear, Marseilles, IL. While at the University of Iowa, Elkhair was a leader and tutor in the Multi-Ethnic Students Association (MESA), participated in a Program for Enhanced Design Experience (PEDE) assignment at Genencor Corporation, Cedar Rapids, IA, and was an undergraduate research assistant.

In partnership with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) organizations, the annual BEYA STEM Conference presents special interest events to help raise awareness about the many opportunities in STEM fields and encourage support of organizations that exist in communities.


6. About E/WEEK

E/WEEK is a weekly electronic newsletter to inform faculty, staff, and students about important news and events of The University of Iowa College of Engineering.

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