College of Engineering | Department of Aerospace Engineering| Department of Mechanical Engineering


NSF-IRES program on Renewable Energy and Environmental Sustainability


About This NSF-IRES Porgram:

This International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) project will provide international research experiences for at least 12 undergraduate and/or graduate students to carry out international collaborative researches at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU)  in Shanghai or North China Electric Power University (NCEPU) in Beijing, China for 8 weeks.

The objective of the IRES project is to provide the future American engineers a global perspective and opportunities for their professional growth through meaningful international cooperative research training, networking and mentoring in the fields of renewable energy and environmental sustainability in general, and biomass processing technology and wind turbine aeromechanics, in particular.

This project will bring together IRES participants, involved professors, Chinese faculty members, and their graduate/undergraduate students with multi-cultural background in a multi-level learning experience infused with the excitement of discovery.

It will train participants conduct research in an international research environment to remain at the forefront of world science and technology, making them more proficient in the technical subjects. The program will provide opportunities for their professional development to build their future collaboration network and expose them to Chinese culture and tradition, applicable technological trends and business practices.


Technical Themes of the NSF-IRES program:

The research themes of this IRES program are pyrolysis-based biomass thermochemical conversion (i.e., biomass track) and wind turbine aeromechanics (i.e., wind energy track). By leveraging the unique research facilities and instruments/equipment available at NCEPU and under the supervision of the Chinese faulty mentors, the IRES students on "biomass track" will investigate the effects of blended biomass feedstocks and catalytic co-pyrolysis of biomass and plastic wastes for synergistic production of high quality biofuels and value-added chemicals, while the IRES students on "wind energy track" will conduct comprehensive investigations relevant to wind turbine aeromechanics, such as, to quantify surface wind characteristics and to evaluate their effects on the aeromechanic performance and wake interferences of wind turbines sited over various complex terrains for higher total power yield and better durability of wind turbines operating on onshore and offshore wind farms.

In addition to working in the laboratory to conduct innovative research, the IRES students will also participate in various social and cultural exchanging activities in order to enhance student-faculty, student-mentor and student-student interactions to enable the IRES participants to build their personal friendship and professional connections with participating Chinese mentors and students as well as among the IRES participants themselves on which to build networking for their future professional development and collaboration.


              Theme#1: "biomass track"                                                            Theme#2: "wind energy track"


Our Collaborating Institute on this NSF-IRES Program:

Our collaborating institutions on this NSF-IRES program are Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU)  in Shanghai and North China Electric Power University (NCEPU) in Beijing, China.

NSF-IRES Summer Internship:

Duration of the NSF-IRES Summer Internship Program:

  •  June 01, 2020 ~ July 17, 2020 (8 weeks).

Stipend & Expenses covered by the NSF-IRES ummer InternshipProgram:

  • Up to $2,000 travel expenses.

  • Up to $5,600 stipend.

  • Up to $1,680 additional subsistence for meals, housing, health insurance and other logistics.

Eligibility of the Applicants for the NSF-IRES Summer Internship:

  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States.

  • Completed relevant courses, including Math, Physics, Thermodynamics, Aerodynamics, etc...

  • Good GPA standing (GPA > 3.2)

Application Deadline & Procedure:

Principal Investigators (PIs) of the NSF-IRES Program:

Prof. Xianglan Bai
(the PI of Biomass Track)

Department of Mechanical Engineering

2070 Black Engineering Building
Tel: 515-294-6886
3116 Biorenewables Research Laboratory
Tel: 515-294-7669 

Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011

Dr. Hui Hu
(the PI of Wind Energy Track)
Professor and Director

Advanced Flow Diagnostics and Experimental Aerodynamics Laboratory
Department of Aerospace Engineering
Iowa State University
2271 Howe Hall - Room 2251, Ames, IA 50011
Phone: (515) 294-0094


NSF-IRES Fellowship Awardees:

Ian Gonzalez

 James Larson

Brandon Vance 

 Aurelien Eric Le Denmat











Becoming the Best
Department of Aerospace Engineering, Iowa State University, 2271 Howe Hall, Room 1200, Ames, Iowa 50011
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