Engineering Staff Advisory Council

What is ESAC?

The purpose of the Engineering Staff Advisory Council (ESAC) is to facilitate communication within the college, represent staff concerns and issues to College of Engineering Administration, and ensure staff involvement in committees and discussions that affect College of Engineering staff.  ESAC also promotes local community service and social activities to encourage community-building within the College of Engineering, and to give back in our larger community.

The Engineering Staff Advisory Council is an elected body that represents staff members in the College of Engineering. This constituent group is composed of Professional and Scientific, Merit Supervisory Exempt, and Merit Confidential staff.

Meetings are held the last Thursday of each month, beginning at 8:30 a.m. and generally run until 10:30 a.m.

Meet the 2013–14 ESAC Members


Staff Recognition Awards

Nominations due:  April 15, 2014
Contact: Jennifer Rumping (

Give credit where credit is due — nominate a co-worker for an ESAC award:

  • Mary Sheedy Staff Excellence Award: recognizes outstanding service to the college, positive attitude, and commitment to the college and its mission
  • Staff Community Engagement Award: recognizes imagination and dedication beyond the scope of work, with exceptional contributions to improving the community
  • Staff Research Award: recognizes significant contributions to the advancement of engineering science and technology

ESAC sponsors these annual awards to recognize the outstanding efforts of staff within the College of Engineering. Anyone can nominate a staff member who deserves recognition. Recipients will be honored at the Spring Faculty & Staff Award Ceremony. For details, contact Jenni Rumping, or visit the

Recent ESAC Activities:

Get to Know the Iowa Flood Center

IFC Engineer Derek Chang (right) demonstrates the Iowa Flood Information System.On Thursday, March 13, ESAC hosted a "Get to Know the College" event featuring the Iowa Flood Center. IFC Associate Director Nate Young presented an overview of the center and its activities, and IFC Engineer and ESAC Vice President Dan Gilles demonstrated the Iowa Flood Informatioin System. A poster session and refreshments followed in the John Deere Commons. At right, IFC Engineer and ESAC member Derek Chang takes students through IFIS, the suite of online tools developed by the Iowa Flood Center.


Golden Ladle Soup/Chili Cookoff

Matt McLaughlin took home the golden ladle "Du Jour" award for his tasty chili recipe at ESAC's 2014 Soup/Chili Cookoff on Feb. 19.










Matt McLaughlin took home the golden ladle "Du Jour" award for his tasty chili recipe at ESAC's 2014 Soup/Chili Cookoff on Feb. 19. Leftover crackers from the event were donated to Table 2 Table, which rescues food from local businesses and redistributes to multiple agencies, such as DVIP, food pantries, Crisis Center, etc.


2013 Holiday Food Drive

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the Engineering Staff Advisory Council’s Holiday Food Drive! Faculty, staff, and students in the College of Engineering donated more than 500 pounds of food and other necessities to support the Crisis Center of Johnson County. The Crisis Center serves about 11,000 individuals in Johnson County and distributes more than 1 million pounds of food each year.

Although there was no formal competition, ESAC President Jon Durst says the Engineering Computer Support (ECS) contributed the most items. “It’s impressive,” Durst says. “I think the ECS staff members take a lot of pride in their contribution each year.”

Sara Steussy, chair of the ESAC Community Service Committee, says it’s easy to see how important the food pantries are — just stop and talk to a few people who use the service. “They wouldn’t have enough food to eat without the help of the pantries,” she says.

If you'd like to learn more about the Crisis Center of Johnson County, visit

Thank you!

River Clean-Up 2013

If it could, the Iowa River would likely be heaving a big sigh of relief right now. Thanks to the efforts of 77 volunteers on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, the river is now free of about 2.5 tons of trash, including a riding lawnmower, numerous bicycles, tires, and more.

The effort was a collaborative effort that brought together University of Iowa students, staff, and other volunteers to pick up refuse in and along the Iowa River as it flows through Iowa City. Several organizations cooperated to organize the clean-up effort, including the City of Iowa City, the UI Engineering Staff Advisory Council (ESAC), UI Facilities Management, and the UI Office of Sustainability. Many students from campus Greek organizations also took part. The volunteers collected trash from Park Road to Sturgis Ferry.

ESAC Activities, 2012–13

Make a Difference Day

On Saturday, October 27 ESAC members joined in the Press Citizen Stock the Pantry Food Drive. 

Fighting Hunger in Johnson County

Nationwide, demand at food banks is increasing. But as the recession drags on, some Midwest food banks report flagging donations. A group of University of Iowa staff are part of a local partnership working to make sure that doesn’t happen in Johnson County.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen organized “Stock the Pantry,” a food drive to benefit three area food pantries: the Crisis Center, North Liberty Community Pantry, and the Coralville Ecumenical Food Pantry. Several other area organizations participated, including the University of Iowa Engineering Staff Advisory Council (ESAC), 10 area elementary schools, and Hy-Vee.

ESAC volunteers for Johnson County Food Drive on Make A Difference Day

For more information about the Food Drive and to see how your contributions were used please visit the Press Citizen web site here.

Cleaning Up

Engineering Stafff Advisory Council cleaning up

On June 2, volunteers spent a very productive morning picking up refuse along the banks of the Iowa River as it flows through the University of Iowa campus. IIHR staff member Brandon Barquist, who led the event, estimates that the group amassed more than 1,000 pounds of trash. The refuse was sorted for recyclables after collection.

The University of Iowa Engineering Staff Advisory Council (ESAC), along with UI Facilities Management, the Office of Sustainability, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, organized the Riverwalk Clean-Up project. The volunteers collected trash along the banks of the Iowa River from the pedestrian bridge near Hancher to the railroad bridge just north of Benton Street.

Barquist says the project is part of ESAC's commitment to community service. "As members of the university community and especially as staff of the College of Engineering, we feel a special attachment to the river and the environment we work in every day. We're glad to have this opportunity to help make things a little better."

Members of ESAC are elected by their co-workers to represent all staff members in the College of Engineering. ESAC was established to facilitate communication within the college, represent staff to the administration, and promote staff involvement. Organizing service projects such as this one is also part of ESAC's mission.