News about
The University of Iowa College of Engineering
Week of February 19, 2017

E/WEEK College Staff:
Editor:  Wendy Brentner, director of alumni relations and communications
Contributing Writer:  Lynn Davy, UI Strategic Communication
College Web Site:  www.engineering.uiowa.edu

1. $96.9 Million Iowa Watershed Approach Shifts into High Gear
2. College Celebrates National Engineers Week
3. Butler Named President of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
4. Mechanical Engineering Publishes January 2017 Newsletter
5. Chris Schwarz to Speak at Iowa-Illinois Safety Council Conference
6. Grants and Contracts
7. Events for the Upcoming Weeks
8. About E/Week                    

1. $96.9 Million Iowa Watershed Approach Shifts into High Gear

Cities, counties, and other groups are organizing regional watershed management authorities (WMAs) and hiring project coordinators as the Iowa Watershed Approach (IWA), a $96.9 million program, enters its first official year and kicks off work to reduce flood risks and improve water quality across the state.

It was roughly a year ago that the governor’s office announced the grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Iowa’s proposal, The Iowa Watershed Approach for Urban and Rural Resilience, received the fourth largest award, coming in behind New Orleans, New York, and Virginia.

A key player behind the grant win was the Iowa Flood Center (IFC) at the University of Iowa, which helped develop and implement the IWA. In the past year, IFC representatives and other partners have fanned out across the state to meet with residents, elected officials, and conservation advocates to talk about details of the program, including cost-share assistance available for the construction of farm ponds, wetlands, and grassed waterways to manage runoff and reduce flooding.

More recently, as the WMAs start to take shape, IFC officials say they have been encouraged to see local residents stepping up to take control of watershed actions.

“They have really taken ownership and are adapting the program to meet their individual watershed needs,” says Larry Weber, IFC co-founder. “This is exactly the kind of local stewardship we envisioned.”

Weber says he’s looking forward to reaching other milestones as well, including the addition in 2017 of several new watershed coordinators and the creation of at least three new WMAs.

“We will also be identifying locations for the construction of projects such as ponds, wetlands, and more,” Weber says. “It’s all very exciting.”

Iowa has been hit hard by flooding in recent years. From 2011 to 2013, heavy rain prompted eight separate presidential disaster declarations in 73 counties, covering more than 70 percent of the state. A record-setting flood in 2008 triggered federal disaster relief, including funding used by the IFC for a pilot venture, the Iowa Watersheds Project, which ended in 2016.

“We know we need to move the needle, but therein lie some big questions: What projects and structures do we implement to reduce nutrient runoff, and how do we measure their success over time? We’re ready to get some answers to those questions.”

The nine watersheds participating in the program are the Middle Cedar, East and West Nishnabotna, Clear Creek, Dubuque/Bee Branch, English River, North Raccoon, Upper Iowa, and Upper Wapsipinicon. Progress in each watershed varies: Some are establishing WMAs; others are in the process of hiring coordinators, an important first step to commence watershed projects.

“We just hired our coordinator and he’s the one who will build relationships with land owners and execute the watershed plan,” says Todd Wiley, Benton County supervisor and chairman of the Middle Cedar WMA. According to Wiley, the federal grant’s five-year time frame means “there’s a bit of pressure to get things going. The clock is definitely ticking.”

“We really want to get the ball rolling,” says Michelle Franks, executive director of Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development, Inc., who is working to build a WMA (sometimes referred to as a “coalition”) on the East and West Nishnabotna River. “A watershed plan is something that has been needed in southwest Iowa for some time. We feel like the time is now.”

For Franks, the process of getting the East and West Nishnabotna River WMA finalized has been a bit like “herding cats” because there are so many entities that must be included in the initial membership invite.

“We’ve got 48 towns, 12 counties, and 13 soil and water conservation districts in our watershed boundaries,” says Franks. “It’s been a real challenge to reach out to each of them and to explain the program and what we are trying to do.”

On the North Raccoon River, James Patrick, Storm Lake city manager, is also working to get a local WMA formed. About a dozen entities have joined the coalition so far, with more expected to sign on before the end of March. The focus of the North Raccoon River WMA will be on reducing floods and controlling nutrient runoff, which will improve water quality.

“We’re not going to make much headway unless we have a collaboration of efforts,” says Patrick.

Back on the Middle Cedar River, Wiley says his group is excited about welcoming its new coordinator.

“We have a lot of rural acreages in our watershed area, and many residents are concerned about water quality,” Wiley says. “We know we need to move the needle, but therein lie some big questions: What projects and structures do we implement to reduce nutrient runoff, and how do we measure their success over time? We’re ready to get some answers to those questions.”

The IWA is a collaboration of numerous agencies, universities, nonprofits, and municipalities. See the full list here.

For more information, visit www.iihr.uiowa.edu/iwa.

2. College Celebrates National Engineers Week

Student organizations will celebration National Engineers Week February 19–24 by hosting events throughout the week.

February 19 – Dodgeball tournament, 5:30-8 p.m., Field House

February 20 – Construction event, 8 p.m., 2229 Seamans Center.  Contestants will build primitive structures from marshmallows, skewers, and tin foil under a time constraint

February 21 – Trivia Night hosted by the Society of Women Engineers, 8 p.m., 3505 Seamans Center.  Student organization teams will compete for points based on the number of correct answers provided.

February 22 – Relay Races, 7:30-9 pm, Robert A. Lee Community Recreation Center.  Teams will complete relay races by running the length of a basketball court and completing various tasks at a table before sending the next person.  

February 22 – Mr. Engineer Contest, 4:30 pm, 3rd floor atrium sponsored by the Society of Women Engineers

March 3 – Engineering Formal, 2nd floor ballroom, Iowa Memorial Union, 7-11 pm.  Tickets are $15/each and will be sold in the Biomedical Engineering Departmental Office, 1402 Seamans Center.  Tickets will be available at the door for $20/each.  

3. Butler Named President of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

P. Barry Butler, professor of mechanical and industrial engineering and executive vice president and provost of the University of Iowa, has been named president of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL.

He will assume his new position March 13, 2017.

"Our loss is clearly Embry-Riddle’s gain," Bruce Harreld, University of Iowa president said. "Barry has been a central member of our university for decades and his service has impacted tens of thousands students, faculty, and staff. Speaking personally, I will miss his counsel, wisdom, and friendship. He and his wife, Audrey, are an exemplar of university citizenship."

"The College of Engineering and I congratulate Barry on this exceptional next step in his career, and wishing both Audrey and him much success in the future," Alec Scranton, Engineering dean, added. "They have been great colleagues and friends for many years. We will miss them both."

"Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is an outstanding university with an excellent reputation in the field of engineering, especially aviation and aerospace. Their emphasis on excellence and innovation, as well as their specialized areas of research and education, are aligned with Barry Butler's values and leadership. I can see why he is a perfect fit."
Butler was appointed provost of the university in May of 2011, after serving as interim provost since October of 2010. Prior to his appointment, Butler was dean of the UI College of Engineering since 2000.

Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University is a non-profit independent institution offering associate, bachelor, master's, and PhD degree programs in Arts & Sciences, Aviation, Business, Engineering, and Security & Intelligence. Called "the Harvard of the sky," it is the world's largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, and has campuses in Daytona Beach, Florida and Prescott, Arizona, and through the Worldwide Campus with more than 125 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The university is a major research center in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies.

For the Embry-Riddle announcement, go to https://news.erau.edu/headlines/dr-p-barry-butler-named-new-president-of....

4. Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Publishes February 2017 Newsletter

The University of Iowa Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering has published its latest newsletter.

Featured in the newsletter are:

* How NADS (National Advance Driving Simulator) thinks big
* New faculty members Daniel McGehee, Xuan Song, Zhen Kan, and Matias Perret
* The student organization Iowa Marine Autonomous Racing Club (IMARC)
* Alumni news
* Faculty excellence news
* Student Success news

To read the electronic, interactive version of the newsletter, go to http://www.pageturnpro.com/University-of-Iowa-College-of-Engineering/771....

5. Chris Schwarz to Speak at Iowa-Illinois Safety Council Conference

Associate Research Scientist Chris Schwartz will be an invited speaker at the Iowa-Illinois Safety Council 64th Annual Professional Development Conference & Expo on April 19-21 in Dubuque, Iowa.  He will be speaking Friday, April 21st on automated vehicles.  

6. Grants and Contracts

Fred Stern, George D.  Ashton Professor of Hydroscience and Engineering, professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, and faculty research engineer, IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering, received a $46,424 subcontract for the Korea Institute of Science and Technology for “Unsteady turbulent free-surface flow simulations around a ship with high resolution grids using DFDShip-Iowa.” He also received a $10,000 grant for “CFDShip-Iowa Code Development, FSI and V&V for Sim- and Deep-V planning hulls.”

George Constantinescu, professor of civil and environmental engineering and faculty research engineer at IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering, received a $111,452 grant from the National Science Foundation for “Collaborative research: Near-bed flow, turbulence, and emergent hydrodynamics of biologically=conditioned labile river channels.”

Pablo Carrica, professor of mechanical and industrial engineering and faculty research engineer at IIHR, received an $18,000 grant from the US Department of Defense, Department of the Naval Research for “Hydrodynamics of operation of self-propelled submarines in waves.”

James Buchholz, associate professor of mechanical and industrial engineering and associate faculty research engineer at IIHR, received a $997,591 grant from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust for “Designing the future of fluid mechanics education.”

Dawn Marshall, research manager, National Advanced Driving Simulator, Center for Computer-Aided Design, received a $1.4M grant from the US Department of Transportation, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology for “Safety research using simulation (SAFER-SIM).

Nathan Young, research engineer, IIHR, received a $22,580 contract from the US Department of Defense, Army Corps of Engineers Omaha District for “Iowa FPM Activities with USACE in seven watersheds.”

Hongtao Ding, assistant professor of mechanical and industrial engineering and researcher at the Center for Computer-Aided Design, received a $43,000 contract from TEDA Jinnuo Hanhai Data Technology Co., Ltd., for “Data analysis of metal cutting and forging processes.”


7. Events for the Upcoming Weeks

February 19 – 34th Annual UI Presidential Lecture, 3:30 p.m., Levitt Center for University Advancement.  Gregory Carmichael, Karl Kammermeyer Professor of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, will present, “What goes around, comes around.”

February 22 – Biomedical Engineering Graduate Seminar, Noon, Galagan Auditorium, 14B Dental Science Building.  Jennifer Robinson, postdoctoral research scientist, Columbia University will present “Estrogen’s Effects on Fibrocartilage growth and homeostasis: an important signaling molecule for musculoskeletal and craniofacial tissue regeneration and maintenance.”

February 24-25 – FIRST Tech Challenge Iowa Championship, 1-6 pm, Coralville Marriott Hotel, 300 E. 9th Street, Coralville, IA.  

8. About E/WEEK

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