Realignment planned for IPRT, centers

The offices of the Vice President for Research and of Economic Development and Industry Relations have announced a realignment for the Institute for Physical Research and Technology (IPRT) and its centers, effective July 1. IPRT's administrative role as a research institute will end and its centers and activities will report to other administrative units.

The realignment is part of the university's ongoing effort to improve administrative efficiency and streamline research and economic development units. Leonard Bond, professor of aerospace engineering and director of the Center for Nondestructive Evaluation, has served as IPRT interim director since October 2012 and will oversee the transition.

"The work of the faculty, staff and students associated with IPRT and its centers remains highly valued both within and outside of the university," said David Oliver, interim vice president for research. "The research and services provided will continue and we've taken care to minimize the impact of these changes as much as possible."

Three IPRT centers will report directly to the Office of the Vice President for Research beginning July 1. They are:

  • Center for Nondestructive Evaluation
  • Microelectronics Research Center
  • Virtual Reality Applications Center

Two IPRT centers will report to colleges:

  • Center for Building Energy Research will report to the College of Design
  • Center for Catalysis will report to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

The Center for Sustainable Environmental Technologies, with its mission of promoting thermochemical technologies, will be incorporated into the Bioeconomy Institute.

Program management of Science Bound will shift to the School of Education in the College of Human Sciences. Investments also will be made to expand the program's reach, connect students with researchers and labs, and foster more integration with Iowa State's other STEM-related colleges and outreach programs.

Assistance to businesses

Program management of IPRT Company Assistance will shift to the Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS), a joint program of the Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations and the College of Engineering. This change will further promote the services provided by Company Assistance throughout Iowa and attract more company and industry partnerships with Iowa State. The Company Assistance laboratories will remain at their current locations.

"We're bringing our programs that serve Iowa companies under one umbrella," said Mike Crum, senior policy adviser and leader of the economic development and industry relations office. "The result will be an approachable and flexible program that helps companies achieve their business goals."