Values, Vision and Mission

Our Values

The Department of Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University is a community of faculty, staff, students, and alumni—as well as industrial and governmental partners—working together to improve the state of Iowa and society in the broadest terms through mechanical engineering research, education, and service.

As a community of scholars, we create and share knowledge at the highest levels through our educational and research programs. We are committed to improving lives and livelihoods through research in the science and technology of mechanical engineering and delivering a superior and forward-looking education to our students. We strive to be discipline leading in our endeavors, and our scholarship values center on the concepts of innovation and impact that are distinctive, recognized, and enduring.

As a community of professionals, we promote the virtues of teamwork and an exemplary standard of conduct that defines a collegial and respectful environment. We recognize our responsibility to accept prominent leadership roles to build the department’s broad respect as a valued source of advice and technical expertise.

Our Visiondsc_1954-crop

Through the excellence of its people, the Department of Mechanical Engineering will be recognized as a leader of its discipline in a manner that exemplifies the

land-grant traditions of learning, discovery, and engagement. The department will be a desirable place to study and work, with our community comprising the best and the brightest, because of research and educational programs grounded in the mechanical engineering sciences and set within the context of meeting important societal needs.

Our Mission

The mission of the Department of Mechanical Engineering has three tenets that center on the principle of improving lives and livelihoods: to create knowledge through research in the science and technology of mechanical engineering; to share knowledge through educational programs and the dissemination of our new discoveries; and to develop the professional potential of faculty, staff, and students.

Mechanical engineering student in a lab

Our department expands the frontier of human knowledge in the discipline of mechanical engineering through fundamental and applied research conducted by faculty and students. As skilled researchers, we bring the principles of mechanical engineering to bear on important problems of national, and even global, implication: energy and the environment; health and safety; information and cyberinfrastructure; and national security. Our research portfolio encompasses traditional areas of mechanical engineering, as well as emerging and interdisciplinary ones. Through initiative and innovation, we expand the frontiers of the mechanical engineering profession.

The success of any organization can be measured by its ability to develop and realize the potential of its most important asset—its people. Students grow through their educational experiences in and out of the classroom, as well as through their relationships with faculty and each other. Staff members learn new professional skills and apply them through active engagement in the department’s operations. Mentoring opportunities and embracing leadership opportunities that magnify contributions beyond the department’s and university’s borders develop the scholarly careers of faculty members.

Our land-grant mission is based on the premise that knowledge is beneficial to mankind and the greatest benefit comes from dispersing knowledge as widely as possible. We share knowledge with our students through educational programs and all of society through disseminating our research findings in scholarly publications, presentations, patents, entrepreneurship, and technology transfer. Through classroom, laboratory, and project-based instruction, undergraduate and graduate students are well served by a curriculum that is based upon the fundamental principles of mechanical engineering, as well as forward looking and set within the context of our profession’s social mandate. Our curriculum prepares students for diverse and successful careers across the global engineering marketplace, and it further fosters creativity and critical thinking skills through research and design experiences.