Interim Director Named for CIRAS

Interim Director Named for the Center for Industrial Research and Service at Iowa State University

AMES, IA— Assistant Director and Operations Manager Leah Barton has been appointed interim director for the Center of Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS). Following 25 years as CIRAS director, Ron Cox will step down from that role and join the College of Engineering team in the office of the dean. Barton has been serving CIRAS since 2008. She will begin her new role on January 5, 2023. A national search for a new director will begin in 2023.

In her role at CIRAS, Barton has long served as a leadership team member, managed center operations, and most recently led the successful transition to a new CRM.

“My plan as the interim director is to continue to support the vision of CIRAS,” said Barton. “For the past 60 years, CIRAS has delivered proven services to enhance the performance of industry in Iowa. I look forward to celebrating our tenure as an organization and preparing for our future.”

Barton earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa and is currently completing her master’s degree from Iowa State University.

The Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) is part of the College of Engineering and the Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations (EDIR) at Iowa State University. Since 1963, CIRAS has partnered with Iowa companies and communities to help them prosper and grow.

Media Contact: Gayle Mastbergen, CIRAS Marketing Manager,