The University of Iowa

University of Iowa offers inside look at 12 areas of campus

Public invited to events during Week of Inspiration

Have you ever wanted to get behind the wheel at the nation’s premier driving simulator? Follow the path the nationally ranked Hawkeye football team takes into Kinnick Stadium? Tour the State Hygienic Lab for a close-up at how the University of Iowa helps keep people from getting sick?

In honor of our new president, the UI is offering behind-the-scenes opportunities to experience what makes us one of the nation’s top public research universities. These 12 open houses are part of a series of events for students, staff, faculty, and the greater UI community during its Week of Inspiration.

The open houses will be held from 7–9 a.m. from Monday, Sept. 12 through Thursday, Sept. 15. Coffee and donuts will be served.




Monday, September 12, 7 a.m. - 9 a.m. at the College of Education

Explore the University of Iowa College of Education’s high-tech, collaborative space, known as N110. Meet the college’s new dean, Dan Clay, and see the contemporary space that houses the Linda R. Baker Teacher Leader Center, the Education Technology Center, the Iowa Center for Assistive Technology Education and Research (ICATER), and the Dr. Paul D. Larson I-SERVE Office (Support, Education, and Resources for Veterans and Enlisted). Attendees can also meet some of outstanding students who represent the future of education and experience cutting-edge assistive technology in action, like the Double Robot. View more information.


Monday, September 12, 7 a.m. - 9 a.m. at the Energy Control Center

The University of Iowa’s Energy Control Center (ECC) houses one of the most advanced and extensive energy management tools available in any campus environment. Since its opening in 2010, the ECC has become a model for many other institutions. Campus Technology magazine calls it one of their “favorite green practices in higher education today.” The ECC, located in the University Services Building, serves as a central location for the monitoring, analysis, and forecasting of energy supply and consumption across campus. Energy experts will demonstrate this award-winning, state-of-the-art technology and take a peek at the Building Energy Dashboards that provide real-time displays of energy use in campus buildings. View more information.


Monday, September 12, 7 a.m. - 9 a.m. at the College of Engineering Combustion and High Speed Fluid Mechanics

The lab finds solutions to important questions in combustion and related fluid mechanics. Researchers and students are focused on two key technical areas: combustion instability for alternative fuels in gas turbines and optimizing the producer gas generated from biomass materials. The open house is will also be devoted to details about how the addition to the Seamans Center for the Engineering Arts and Sciences, currently under construction, is advancing engineering education and research. View more information.


Monday, September 12, 7 a.m. - 9 a.m. at the College of Dentistry

With a recently completed renovation and new wing, a tour of the College of Dentistry will showcase clinical and research space, and dental education for the 21st Century. Attendees can stop by the Simulation Clinic to see how dental students are educated with the latest technology and participate in hands-on activities, including “building” a tooth and digital scanning. Interactive displays at the entrance to the College will also highlight advances in dental research as well as provide an opportunity to learn more about oral health care. Please enter the building at the main entrance to begin all activities. View more information.


Tuesday, September 13, 7 a.m. - 9 a.m. at the National Advanced Driving Simulator 

The National Advanced Driving Simulator is the premier driving simulator in the U.S. Its research touches the everyday lives of anyone who uses the nation’s roadways, including drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Open house attendees will tour the most realistic driving simulator in the U.S., including the vehicle dome and control room. They will also experience driving a simulator on varied roadways and environmental conditions. In addition, researchers will be available to discuss the types of studies they conduct using simulators. View more information.


Tuesday, September 13, 7 a.m. - 9 a.m. at the State Hygienic Laboratory  

Food and water are basics of life that we often take for granted. But how do you know if they're safe to consume? This tour of the State Hygienic Laboratory will give attendees a behind-the-scenes look at how Iowa's largest public health laboratory determines if water is safe to swim in or safe drink. Chemists will demonstrate the processes that ensure water quality—from river to lab to your faucet. Our disease detectives will also demonstrate how to solve the mystery of what pathogens in food are making people sick, as well as the twists and turns of how a laboratorian pinpoints the source of an outbreak. View more information.


Wednesday, September 14, 7 a.m. - 9 a.m. at Kinnick Stadium 

Attendees can start their day by following the route that the Iowa football team takes on game day, tour the locker room of the nationally ranked Hawkeyes, “swarm” in the tunnel, and stroll through the south end zone. Guests will also have an opportunity to learn more about the Kid Captain program, a partnership between University of Iowa Children’s Hospital and the Iowa Hawkeyes that has been honoring pediatric patients and celebrating their inspirational stories since 2009. Meet at the Nile Kinnick statute in the south endzone. View more information.


Wednesday, September 14, 7 a.m. - 9 a.m. at the College of Pharmacy 

The Pharmacy Practice Lab, a nationwide model in pharmacy education, is where students put all of their new knowledge and skills together to prepare for their future careers. The lab introduces a variety of classroom methods including active learning components where students practice their skills relevant to disease states. The open house will feature second and third year students who will be located at numerous stations in the practice lab ready to take vitals, assess bone health, demonstrate smoking cessation models, and give an influenza vaccination. Pharmacy practice lab faculty members will be supervising students, and ready to take your questions as well. View more information.


Wednesday, September 14, 7 a.m. - 9 a.m. at the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center

The laboratory of George Weiner investigates new approaches to cancer immunotherapy, a way to allow the body’s own immune system to fight cancer. The lab is a key hub for the University of Iowa/Mayo Clinic Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in lymphoma. The lab works closely with clinical researchers, and with the biotech industry to help move research advances as quickly as possible to where they help patients. Dr. Weiner is the director of the University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, the only cancer center in Iowa designated as “comprehensive” by the National Cancer Institute. View more information.


Thursday, September 15, 7 a.m. - 9 a.m. at the UI Power Plant 

The UI Power Plant is often referred to as the “beating heart” of campus. It delivers vital services such as heating, cooling, sterilization, and electricity through a complex system of tunnels to the main campus and to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Visitors can step inside the 1920s-era Medieval Revival building to see, hear, and feel how fuel is converted into energy to power the UI campus. Attendees will get hands-on with locally-sourced biomass, like oat hulls, wood chips, and Miscanthus grass, that’s helping the UI achieve its goal of 40 percent renewable energy production by 2020. Guests can also peer into the firing aisle of the massive boilers that generate steam to heat, cool, and power campus. It’s an opportunity to join the power plant staff for an up-close view of the innovative technology and programs that make the UI a nationally recognized leader in renewable energy strategies.  Please note:  For your safety, visitors to the Power Plant are required to wear long pants and closed-toed shoes. Power Plant staff will provide visitors with personal protection equipment to include hardhats, ear protection and safety glasses. Remain with your escort throughout the tour.  View more information.


Thursday, September 15, 7 a.m. - 9 a.m. at the NEXUS Engineering and Arts Initiative

The Nexus of Engineering and the Arts Initiative gives arts and engineering majors the opportunity to collaborate in a number of courses from each college in order to promote creative teamwork among engineering and art students, faculty, staff, and visiting artists and scholars. The engineering profession is an inherently creative endeavor; engineers design new products, processes, and devices that solve problems and improve people's lives. When engineers and artists work together, they can achieve especially impressive outcomes. Engineers bring to the table an understanding of the physical world and the conditions and constraints set by the laws of nature, and artists provide a creative vision of beauty, as well as ingenuity, that can enhance any project. View more information.


Thursday, September 15, 7 a.m. - 9 a.m. at the IIHR – Hydroscience and Engineering & Iowa Flood Center  

Good information is the key to being ready for the next flood. The Iowa Flood Center (IFC), part of IIHR—Hydroscience and Engineering at the University of Iowa, provides accurate, science-based information to help Iowans better understand, monitor, and prepare for floods. The IFC is improving flood monitoring and prediction in Iowa while also developing strategies to help mitigate and prevent future flood damage. Visitors to the IIHR Wind Tunnel Annex will see the IFC’s mobile polarimetric X-band radar, which is used to monitor precipitation; IFC-developed stream-stage sensors, which measure stream water elevation; and rain gauge platforms that measure rain and soil moisture. They will also be able to try out a hands-on watershed model to see how flooding moves through a basin. Visitors will have the opportunity to explore the Iowa Flood Information System—an online application that provides real-time information on precipitation, stream levels, and more across the state—and they may also visit IIHR’s Model Annex next door to see a physical model of a vortex dropshaft and tunnel section for the city of St. Louis. View more information.