Facilities and Centers

College Research Centers, Institutes, and Laboratories

Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology.  Thomas Casavant, Director.  A multidisciplinary research center dedicated to applying high performance networking and computing to basic life science and applied biomedical research.

Center for Computer-Aided Design. Karim Abdel-Malek, Director. Virtual Soldier Research (musculoskeletal model; whole body vibration; validation; motion capture; intuitive interface; immersive virtual reality; physiology; standard ergonomic assessments; zone differentiation; posture and motion prediction; hand model; spine modeling; gait: walking and running; predictive dynamics; dynamic strength and fatigue; modeling of clothing; human performance; armor and soldier performance). Operator Performance Laboratory (optimal aircraft instrumentation configuration, rotorcraft, flight simulation supporting aircraft operation task analysis, warning-system effectiveness, roadway markings and illumination analysis, driver performance measurement, cognitive processing burden assessment/sensory and data input cognitive impact, human-vehicle interaction optimization for operational control and safety); Reliability and Sensor Prognostic Systems (mesh-free methods for structural analysis and design-sensitivity analysis, composite materials, probabilistic mechanics and reliability, reliability-based design optimization, topology optimization, multidisciplinary design optimization, sensor technologies, sensor-based process monitoring optimization); National Advanced Driving Simulator (highway safety and transportation efficiency, equipment product development effectiveness enhancement via virtual prototyping, vehicle dynamics and simulation, simulator technology and virtual reality environment and human factors); Musculoskeletal Imaging Modeling and Experimentation Program (computational modeling of anatomic structures, with emphasis on finite modeling); Biomechanics of Soft Tissue (soft tissue mechanics, biomechanics of the heart, cardiovascular system, aneurysm formation, CFD, nonlinear FEA).

IIHR—Hydroscience and Engineering. Larry J. Weber, Director. A leading institute in fluids-related fundamental and applied research. Cutting-edge research activities incorporate computational fluid dynamics with laboratory modeling and field observational studies.  Research includes: fluid dynamics (ship hydrodynamics, turbulent flows, biological fluid flow); environmental hydraulics (structures, river and dam hydraulics, fish passage at dams, sediment management, heat dispersal in water bodies and power production, water-quality monitoring, air-water exchange processes); and water and air resources (atmospheric boundary layer, air pollution, hydrogeology, hydrology, hydrometeorology, remote sensing).

Iowa Institute for Biomedical Imaging. Milan Sonka, Director. Knowledge-based analysis of biomedical images from a variety of imaging modalities (e.g., CT, MR, and ultrasound). Current focus areas include development of computer-aided and automated techniques for quantitative analysis of human, animal, and cellular image data.

Interdisciplinary Research Centers and Institutes

Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing. Mani Subramanian, Director. Biocatalyst fundamental properties, bioremediation, bioprocessing, new biocatalyst discovery, novel biocatalyst applications, biosensing technology, reactive agent development.

Center for International Rural and Environmental Health. Tom Cook, Director. Rural and environmental health, with special emphasis on adverse health effects that threaten agricultural and other rural populations; promotes greater understanding and awareness of the causes, consequences, and prevention of communicable, chronic, environmental, and occupational diseases in all regions of the globe, focusing on nations with substantial agrarian economies.

Iowa Injury Prevention Research Center. Corinne Peek-Asa, Director. Prevention, acute care, rehabilitation, surveillance, and biomechanics, including examining causes of delay in Iowa’s trauma system, identifying risk factors for injuries to farmers and their families, domestic violence in rural populations, and studying the driving abilities of individuals with sleep disorders and epilepsy.

Orthopaedic Biomechanics Laboratory. Thomas D. Brown, Director. Application of advanced innovative computational formulations and novel experimental approaches to clinically-oriented problems across the diverse spectrum of musculoskeletal biomechanical research; total joint replacement (hip, spine, knee, ankle), posttraumatic arthritis, osteonecrosis of the hip, high-energy limb trauma, carpal tunnel syndrome, and articular contact stresses as they relate to joint degeneration.

NSF Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis. Mani Subramanian, Director. A multidisciplinary, multi-university research center. Catalyst design, synthesis, and characterization; biocatalyst preparation and characterization; synthesis of catalyst supports with controlled pore structure; benign media, including carbon dioxide–based solvents and ionic liquids; probing reaction mechanisms with advanced analytical tools; advanced molecular modeling of chemical, physical, and thermodynamic properties involving reactions and media; multiphase reactor design and analysis; economic and environmental impact analysis; computational fluid dynamics.

Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research. Gregory R. Carmichael and Jerald L. Schnoor, Co-directors. Multiple aspects of global environmental change, including the regional effects on natural ecosystems, environments, and resources and on human health, culture, and social systems.

Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination. Gene F. Parkin, Director. Conducts and supports research on the identification and measurement of environmental toxins, particularly water contaminants, and possible associations between exposure to environmental contaminants and adverse health effects. Provides environmental database design and development and systems support for environmental health research.

Environmental Health Sciences Research Center. Peter S. Thorne, Director. Agricultural and rural environmental exposures and health effects, agricultural chemical exposures and health effects.

Iowa Alliance for Wind Innovation and Novel Development. P. Barry Butler, Principal Investigator. The Iowa Alliance for Wind Innovation and Novel Development (IAWIND) is a partnership with state and local governments, community colleges, Regents Universities, independent Iowa colleges, the private sector, and the federal government. It is designed to serve as a catalyst for the growth of wind energy and to support and to facilitate the research and training needs of wind energy companies.

Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Institute. Vicki Grassian, Director. Environment and health (air quality, natural environment, workplace environment, human and animal toxicity, environmental health, drug delivery, disease detection, imaging, bioanalytical assays, environmental remediation and decontamination, green chemistry, fuel cells, energy, sustainability, sensors); nanomaterials (quantum theory, understanding condensed-phase matter at the nanoscale, synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials, defense-related applications).

Optical Science and Technology Center. Michael Flatté, Director. Laser spectroscopy and photochemistry, photonics and optoelectronics, ultrafast laser development, condensed-matter physics, materials growth techniques, device physics/engineering, surface chemistry, chemical sensors, environmental chemistry, polymer science, plasma physics, nonlinear optics.

NSF IUCRC Photopolymerization Center. Alec Scranton, Director. Kinetics and mechanisms of photopolymerizations and their impact on the structure and properties of photopolymerized materials.

Public Policy Center. Peter C. Damiano, Director. Transportation, environmental quality, health care, economic growth and development.

Water Sustainability Initiative. Jerald Schnoor, Chair, Steering Committee. The University of Iowa has expanded its existing strength in interdisciplinary research on water including its availability, quality, reuse, health impacts, and its relationship to a changing climate.  Economics, policy, and law as well as the natural sciences and engineering are all engaged to solve the problems of water.  The faculty alliance on water sustainability encompasses the Colleges of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Public Health, Law, Engineering, the Graduate College, and the Public Policy Center.  Among the various resources already developed to advance the initiative are the new Iowa Flood Center and the University of Iowa Office of Sustainability.