David Grewell Receives Mid-career Achievement in Research Award

By Ellen Bombela, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications Service

For David Grewell, research isn't just about discovering new information. It's also about applying the findings to practical uses in society.

"Just doing research isn't the only thing I thrive on," said Grewell, the recipient of the Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Mid-Career Achievement in Research Award. "I do more applied research, so I can go to a place like Walmart and actually point at the shelf and say that's a bio-based product that we developed."

Grewell has been a professor in Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State for 13 years. During that time, he has developed multiple products that can be found at Walmart, on Amazon and will soon be found in some Ford Motor Company products.

Along with developing those products, some of Grewell's successes include drawing in over $7.7 million in external funding, having 15 patents and publishing numerous journal articles and books.

Grewell helped develop and is now the director of the Iowa State Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites. The center brings together university researchers and industry partners to research renewable resources and create new processes and products.

Matt Helmers, professor in agriculture and biosystems engineering and Dean's Professorship in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, praised Grewell for developing the center.

"Through the development of this center David has shown the leadership required to bring together a team of faculty researchers," Helmers said.

Though his success earned him this award, Grewell said it really reflects on his department.

"This really speaks to the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department and shows how the department nurtures faculty and their development," Grewell said. "None of this would be possible without the department."

Grewell received his bachelor's degree in 1989, master's degree in 2002 and Ph.D. in 2005 in welding engineering from The Ohio State University.

Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will present awards to faculty and staff on March 8 at its Spring-Semester Convocation and Awards Program in the Memorial Union.

March 1, 2018