Author: Jeff Eckhoff

Communications Manager at CIRAS, Iowa State University

CIRAS Scanner Captures History of Mini-campanile’s Bells

It is a bright summer day when Tin-Shi Tam climbs the steps inside Iowa State University’s iconic campanile to play her daily midday concert on the Stanton Memorial Carillon. Up above, after she’s worked the carillon’s bells through a mix of tunes that includes both Garth Brooks and the theme from a Hong Kong soap opera, Tam starts talking about the miniature version—a one-fifth scale model of the campanile that eventually would be unveiled to the public in October. “I think the whole idea about this project is that not only did we involve so many Iowa State students and faculty to build it, but this is a project that we can actually own,” Tam said. “It’s the whole process. We’ve documented every process. This is something that we can share and say, ‘This is how it works.’”

Develop Talent through Internships

Internships can feed the talent pipeline for many small- to medium-sized manufacturers facing serious workforce gaps as their senior employees near retirement. But internship success (finding, engaging, and retaining talent) requires strategy and planning to locate and groom qualified job candidates. As the Program Manager of Apprenticeship and Workforce at the Maryland Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), I … Continue reading Develop Talent through Internships

MarketWise Offers Insight, Advice in NE Iowa

Once every other month for five years, Donna Bruesewitz has taken a day away from her office and driven somewhere to learn from others who do what she does. Bruesewitz is one of five original members who still attend regular meetings of MarketWise NE. The northeast Iowa business networking group was founded five years ago by the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) in partnership with CIRAS. ABI launched the group—along with others such as LeanWise, the CFO Roundtable, and the Operations Excellence Roundtable—by partnering with CIRAS and numerous other experts across the state. The goal was to help functional managers develop through the sharing of experiences, lessons, and best practices with colleagues just down the road.

Did You Know?… Subcontracting Expands your Government Sales

Subcontracting opportunities can be a lucrative avenue in the government sector, which allows businesses to participate in government contracting without dealing directly with the government. Why subcontracting? The federal contracts that are awarded to prime contractors often come with subcontracting plans containing goals for doing a percentage of the work with small businesses.

 Capstone Helps Life Line Open New Door

A Sumner, Iowa, manufacturer of emergency vehicles believes it’s on the cusp of a major innovation after Iowa State University engineering students helped the company develop a new design for a side-entry ambulance door. Life Line Emergency Vehicles, a maker of custom ambulance bodies since 1985, was scheduled to go to a national trade show this fall with a working prototype of its first ambulance with a motorized sliding side door—a new feature that’s expected to make it safer and more convenient for emergency medical crews to operate in tight spaces or along the side of a highway.

Tours of Digital Manufacturing Lab Offer Peek at Possibilities

Trent Walters knew his purpose. “I’m learning the possibilities,” said Waters, an engineer with Dee Zee truck accessories in Des Moines. “You come here and look at all this, and then you start thinking, ‘We can do that…’ ” Waters is one of dozens of Iowa manufacturers who have visited Iowa State University’s Digital Manufacturing Lab powered by Alliant Energy since it opened in September at the ISU Research Park.