In search of greener adventures

Students growing algae in the lab

Farmers in search of greener pastures are looking to Iowa State students for help. That's because students at Iowa State's BioCentury Research Farm are conducting biomass research that's turning plant matter into energy. It's how they're helping farmers reduce waste and increase profit.

At the BioCentury Research Farm, student researchers are learning valuable skills, including how to use stalks from crops to create renewable biofuels and how to grow algae for use in aquaculture feed and water cleanup systems. The BioCentury Research Farm is the first integrated research and demonstration facility in the nation dedicated to biomass production and processing. It's also unique because it's one of the only facilities of its kind where students have a major part in designing and operating projects.

This makes conducting research there an amazing opportunity for Iowa State students like Jake Atherton. Said Atherton, senior in biological systems engineering, "It's exciting because the BioCentury Research Farm allows me to play an active role in research that will be extremely valuable in our world's growing need for energy, fuels, chemicals, and materials." It's also great for students' futures. "Working with professors is advantageous to have on your résumé," said Logan Fritz, junior in mechanical engineering. "Plus, getting involved on campus is an opportunity of a lifetime."

Whether it's turning corn stalks into biofuel or entrepreneurship ideas into full-fledged companies, students have ample opportunities to get valuable real-world experience at Iowa State. So it's no wonder that when it's time to find jobs, our students have the pick of the crop.

Learn about other Cyclones and their adventures and nominate a Cyclone whose adventure story needs to be shared.