Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles

The student will use modern quantum chemistry techniques to study mesoporous silica nanoparticles, in collaboration with Ames Laboratory experimental groups.

Mentor: Mark Gordon, Ames Laboratory Associate and Distinguished Professor, Iowa State University

Alloy Design and Optimization

Energetic calculation is one of the most important tools used in alloy design and optimization. The computations based on energetics for both equilibrium and non-equilibrium phase transformations will be used to develop new alloys and processing. Students will use thermodynamic theory to describe the properties of alloys. The internship will include calculation program development for ternary or multi-component systems using C++.

Mentor: Shihuai Zhou, Assistant Scientist III, Ames Laboratory

Blood Drop Formation and Flight

Blood is a common type of evidence found in violent crime scenes. The location and patterns of bloodstains are often used to confirm or refute suspect or witness accounts of the circumstances or sequence events related to a bloodletting incident. Given the complex nature of both real world environments and the fluid itself, a fundamental understanding of the mechanisms of blood drop formation and flight require basic research into these phenomena.

Given his penchant for turtles, it was no surprise that Interim Director Tom Lograsso would choose to dress like one for Halloween. But he had lots of company as members of the director's office came as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Raphael (Duane Johnson), Donatello (David Baldwin), Michaelangelo (Cynthia Jenks) and Leonardo (Lograsso).

But it didn't stop there. Mark Murphy dressed as the TMNTs' sensei, Splinter and Deb Covey came as April O'Neil, a TV reporter and turtle companion. Rounding out the crew were four apprentice turtles:  Diamond Vogel (Melinda Schlosser), Pittsburgh Paints (Beth Ebert) Valspar (Stacy Joiner) and Dutch Boy (Leslea Abrahamsen) with Jeanine Crossman (favorite turtle quotes) and Tessla Lemons (pizza delivery person).

Below are pictures from the Halloween breakfast.



Donatello (David Baldwin, Michaelangelo (Cynthia Jenks), Raphael (Duane Johnson), Leonardo (Tom Lograsso), April O'Neil (Deb Covey), and sensei Splinter (Mark Murphy)


Diamond Vogel (Melinda Schlosser), Pittsburgh Paints (Beth Ebert), Valspar Paints (Stacy Joiner), Dutch Boy (Leslea Abrahamsen) and sensei Splinter (Mark Murphy)

Pizzah! Donatello and Raphael reach for the pizza delivered by Tessa Lemmons and Jeanine Crossman.




"Convicts" Jean Johnson and Kori Grooms broke out from Occupational Medicine to grab some breakfast. Image

A group of six advanced placement chemistry students from Mason City High School toured Ames Laboratory on Oct. 26 as part of a day-long vist to Iowa State University.

The students, led by Mason City chemistry teacher Adam Callahan, made several stops on campus, including Ames Lab.

Ames Lab Public Affairs director Steve Karsjen, right, talks about the importance of lead-free solder with a group of AP chemistry students from Mason City High School.

Mark your calendars! The 12th annual Ames Laboratory Employee Benefit Holiday Auction will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 10.

Donations of items to be auctioned are needed as soon as possible and may be dropped off at the Public Affairs Office, 111 TASF. Items will be on display throughout the holiday season. Donations of food and hats scarves and mittens will also be collected.

A new activity for this year's auction will be an "Ugly Christmas Sweater" contest. Konnie Willie-Kennicker is spearheading the contest and urges people to check their closets, the Goodwill Store or the Salvation Army for a potential winning garment. Sweater judging will take place during the auction and an as-yet-to-be-determined prize will be awarded to the winner.

Check the November Insider for more details and a listing of auction items.


Two Ames Laboratory researchers were among 39 faculty and staff honored by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University for their accomplishments. The recipients were recognized at the Fall Liberal Arts & Sciences Faculty/Staff Convocation on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013.

ImageAmes Lab physicist Alan I. Goldman, Distinguished Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy received an Excellence in Undergraduate Introductory Teaching which recognizes outstanding performance in teaching undergraduate introductory classes (defined as entry-level courses in the discipline). He taught many semesters of the introductory Physics 111 and 221 courses and received an exceptionally high average student rating of 4.4/5.0. Comments from students attest to his ability to communicate a complex subject in lecture while keeping them engaged through the imaginative use of demonstrations and clickers and leaving time for questions. He views teaching as a valuable opportunity to communicate to his students the beautiful order in the natural world.





ImageAmes Lab scientist Mark S. Gordon, Frances M. Craig Distinguished Professor, Department of Chemistry, received an award for Graduate Mentoring. The award recognizes the effectiveness of major professors who serve as mentors and who enrich the student-professor relationship by support and attention to detail which enables students to finish their work in a timely and scholarly manner. Major professors considered for this award are expected to be supportive of their students beyond graduation.

Gordon has graduated 36 Ph.D. students, six M.S. students, and has 13 graduate students in his current group. Many of his former students are employed at prominent research organizations such as the Air Force Research Laboratory and as faculty at top research universities including Purdue University, University of Zurich, and University of Copenhagen. He treats all students as unique individuals, nurtures them according to their interests and strengths, and encourages and develops them into the best possible scientists they aspire to be.

Ames Laboratory cyclists completed the National Bike Challenge with a total of nearly 16,500 miles. Forty-six riders contributed to the total which placed the Lab fourth among the 62 Iowa teams registered for the event and 88th nationally out of 2,144 teams.

Iowa State University finished as the number three workplace in Iowa behind Rockwell-Collins and ACT, Inc., thanks to the strong showing by Ames Lab riders.

The national event, which ran from May 1 to September 30, drew a total of 34,627 riders who logged a total of 19.26 million – yes MILLION – miles. That translates in 7.15 million pounds of CO2 saved. Ames Lab riders saved 10,188 pounds of CO2.

Top rider for Ames Lab was Rebecca Shivvers with more than 2,100 miles. She won a Voltaic Fuse 4W Solar Charger. Gary Walter was close behind in second place and won a $100 gift certificate to Bike World. In third was Kyle Marchuk with 828 miles for which he won a $50 gift certificate to Bike World.

Besides Shivvers, Walter and Marchuk, the following also participated in the Challenge: James William Evans, Valentin Taufour, Keith Woo, Dan Kayser, Steven Constance, Anton Jesche, David Vaknin, Konnie Willie-Kennicker, Chih-Chia Su, Jonna Berry, Margaret Evans, Marilu Dick-Perez, Stacey Althaus, Gaoyuan Ouyang, Jinfang Cui, Vickie Hahn, Karl Gschneidner, Steve Karsjen, Gordie Miller, Ross Anderson, Kerry Gibson, Payton Goodrich, Norma Sandvick, Steven Y., Mark Murphy, Keith Fritzsching, Julia Sager, Andy Meiszberg, Deb Samuelson, Kara Nady, Michael McGuigan, Juan Duchimaza, Katie Sievers, Igor Slowing, Tom Wessels, Paul Berge, Jared Delmar, Brandt Jensen, Alon Klekner, Barbara Lograsso, Sallie Spencer, Andrea Spiker, and Larry Stoltenberg.

To celebrate the conclusion of the Bike Challenge, participants gathered on Oct. 2 for a lunchtime pizza party courtesy of Ames Lab Director Tom Lograsso. Lograsso presented the prizes to the top two bikers.

Rebecca Shivvers receives her solar charger from Tom Lograsso.
Gary Walter with his $100 Bike World gift certificate.


National Bike Challenge participants who gathered for the wrap-up pizza party were, (front row, l-r) Rebecca Shivvers, Jim Evans, Jonna Berry,
Stacey Althaus, Marilu Dick-Perez, Gaoyuan Ouyang, Anton Jesche; (back row, l-r) Steve Karsjen, Dan Kayser, Gary Walter, Alon Klekner,
Valentin Taufour, David Vaknin, Mark Murphy, Steve Constance, Tom Lograsso and Kerry Gibson.

ImageFor those who know him, you expect to see Dave Boeke behind the wheel of a Mopar muscle car. But the Ames Lab senior research technician has turned over a new leaf … and a green leaf at that.

The gas-guzzlin’, shiny black Dodge Challenger – as well as his vintage lime green one and another project car – have been replaced by a Toyota Prius hybrid. And a commercial wind turbine is churning out electrical power on farmland he owns in northern Iowa.

“I got rid of the muscle cars and bought the Prius in April of 2012,” Boeke says. “It’s actually my wife’s car, but I drive it occasionally. I still have my Dodge Ram pickup … everybody needs a truck if not for you then for your friends to borrow … so I’ll hang on to it.”

“I’ve been thinking about getting a second Prius,” he adds. “We got 46 mpg on a longer trip and you actually get better mileage in town than out on the road.”

“His” wind turbine is part of the Pioneer Prairie wind farm that stretches from southern Minnesota into Howard and Mitchell counties in northern Iowa. The wind farm is owned by EDP Renewables, a Houston-based company that leases a portion of the farm northwest of Osage that Boeke inherited from his late father, Richard.

“Dad was interested in the wind farm and went to a lot of meetings they had when it was first proposed,” Boeke says. “There are actually a lot of restrictions about where a turbine can be placed and he felt like it would be good for the environment to generate electricity that way.”

The initial studies looked at prevailing winds 50 meters above the ground which weren’t sufficient. But later studies, taken 80 meters up, showed more than enough wind to spin the turbines.

The senior Boeke signed a contract in September 2008 and the turbine was running in 2009. Dave inherited the land in 2010.

“You can make more by leasing the land than you ever could farming it,” Boeke said.  “They have a 30-year lease and it’s renewable so I expect the turbine to be there for quite some time.”

“There are quite a few people at the Lab driving Priuses and even a couple that have wind turbines,” Boeke says, “but I think I might be the only one that can claim both.”

Boeke at the base of "his" wind turbine with his Prius in the foreground.