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

Mike O’Donnell

AMES, IA— The Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) at Iowa State University has announced the appointment of Mike O’Donnell as its director, effective June 16. With a distinguished background in manufacturing and engineering, O’Donnell brings a wealth of knowledge and exemplary leadership experience to this position.

O’Donnell’s professional journey encompasses over two decades in the manufacturing and engineering sector. Holding a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Bucknell University, along with an MBA from Iowa State University, he exhibits a strong academic foundation. Before joining CIRAS, O’Donnell held key positions in both the defense and small appliance industries, where he showcased his expertise in supply chain management, quality control, engineering, and program management.

Having served CIRAS since 2008, O’Donnell has made significant contributions to the organization. Over the past decade, he led CIRAS Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program, a dedicated initiative aimed at equipping manufacturers throughout Iowa with the essential tools and resources for achieving success. O’Donnell led efforts to establish the renowned CIRAS Digital Manufacturing Lab powered by Alliant Energy, launch the influential Iowa Sustainable Business Forum, and expand CIRAS services in strategy and growth.

In his new role as director, O’Donnell will lead the overall strategic direction of CIRAS. He will focus on fostering relationships with industry partners, state and federal entities, faculty, and students. Furthermore, he will work towards advancing the center’s mission of empowering Iowa businesses to thrive.

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,