BioMaP REU Research Environment

The Iowa State chemical and biological engineering program (both undergraduate and graduate) has been consistently ranked in the top quartile of U.S. chemical engineering programs. The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering has long valued and given strong emphasis to its undergraduate program, which is one of the largest in the country. In the Fall 2019 semester 627 undergraduate students were welcomed.

The department boasts a great degree of diversity, with the highest proportion of female undergraduates in Iowa State’s College of Engineering at 46%. 36% of the department’s faculty is female.

Faculty members have been recipients of such recent honors as the NSF CAREER Award, the AIChE NSEF Young Investigator Award; fellowship in the National Academy of Inventors; lead researcher of one of the most significant published papers, as voted by publication readers; the Iowa Energy Center Impact Award; and the Bailey Research Career Development Award from Iowa State University. Participants in the Iowa State BioMaP REU program have placed highly in poster competitions at the AIChE Annual Student Conferences and have been selected for prestigious national honors such as the Future Leaders in Chemical Engineering Symposium.

The department’s direct research expenditures were $9.9M in 2018. The department is associated with 40 faculty members involved with research in biorenewable chemicals, biorenewable energy, healthcare technology, advanced materials, biochemical engineering, catalysis and reaction engineering, computational fluid dynamics, biomedical engineering and biobased products.

The CBE department is housed in Sweeney Hall, a 44,000 square-foot building with modern laboratory and office space, including an $8 million addition completed in 1994 to accommodate the department’s growing strengths in biotechnology, surface science and materials. Other facilities on campus include the Biorenewables Research Laboratory, home to the country’s leading biorenewables research teams. Students will use the department’s excellent computational facilities and the Iowa State University network.

Students working on relevant projects will have access to electron microscopy and chemical/biological spectroscopy maintained by the Office of BiotechnologyAmes Lab and Plant Sciences Institute.