It has been an eventful year for Iowa State’s College of Engineering with a dean search, research projects making strides, annual events as well as guest speakers from all over the country.

Sarah Rajala, dean of the College of Engineering, announced in August that she will be retiring at the end of this academic year.

PHOTOS: Easterling Engineering

W. Samuel Easterling a Montague-Betts Professor of Structural Steel Design and Department Head is one of many looking for the spot as the next dean of the College of Engineering. Easterling said people are very important, not only students but faculty as well. “People are the core, they are our most valuable asset and key to success,” Easterling said. Easterling spoke in the Alliant Energy-Lee Liu Auditorium at 2 p.m. Monday March 25.

After five candidates were brought to campus for visits and open forums, the college recently appointed W. Samuel Easterling as the next dean of the college, who is set to begin his tenure July 15.

Throughout the year, a variety of research projects were started and others made progress.

A group of engineers led by professor Hongwei Zhang, received a $1 million grant to develop a new program for helping improve the process of collecting agriculture and transportation information.

The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) and Iowa State researchers worked together to make traveling more safe for drivers on the road during harsh weather conditions.

Additionally, a team of researchers developed a mathematical model and created new state policies requiring landlords to report a unit’s recent bedbug infestations to potential tenants.

Richard Cruse, professor of agronomy, and her colleagues received a three-year grant to test how planting strips of prairie among row crops benefits the environment and how this will affect soil over time.

When it comes to events, The 10th annual hackathon took place over the span of 36 hours and featured students who were tasked to create software, apps, hacks and other technology-related inventions.

Engineers Week and the engineering career fair attracted hundreds of students and companies to help connect industry professionals to students and celebrate the college as a whole.

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Facebook's Kate McKinley gives a lecture on virtual reality and security as part of Iowa State's E-Week lectures in Howe Hall Thursday. Kate is a veteran of the software industry, and spoke about the importance of starting software designs with security in mind when creating virtual and augmented reality applications.

Scott Kelly lecture 2

Capt. Scott Kelly talks about his upbringing, naval career, time in space, and time back on Earth to an almost full C.Y. Stephens Auditorium on Feb. 18.

During Engineers Week, Facebook security leader Kate McKinley gave the keynote lecture discussing her work in virtual and augmented reality technology along with her long and eventful career path at companies like Mozilla, Netflix and iSEC.

Additionally, Capt. Scott Kelly shared his stories to students about living in space for a year and what he thinks the future of space exploration holds for the next generation of mankind.

Reporting contributed by Kaylie Crowe.

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