Alliance for Iowa State
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The first thing you notice during a visit to the Iowa State University engineering laboratory is the full-sized mannequin lying across a table to study improving suturing techniques and tools. There is also a bin full of basketball shoes to study tread patterns and their effects on traction and performance. A bigger-than-a-toy remote-control land rover is there to research improving the controls for machines and robots. And a big fish tank is available for measuring volume and testing waterproofing technologies. Groceries and other products are piled in the lab to determine the best placement of UPC codes on packaging.
Welcome to the Augmentation and Training of Humans with Engineering in North America (ATHENA) Lab at the Iowa State College of Engineering.

"We have lots of different projects and we're always doing something here," said Thomas Schnieders, a master's student in human computer interaction and industrial engineering and co-founder and coordinator of the  new ATHENA Lab. 

"In this lab, we take humans and make them better," said Richard Stone, associate professor of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering and director and co-founder of the lab. "Through technology, training, and the principles of engineering, we can make most tasks better."
"Our mission is to always be focused on the human," Stone said. Other examples of augmented human research include developing more effective and comfortable body armor for soldiers and police officers, and figuring out better and faster training routines for welders. The ATHENA lab is spilling over with other projects and data-gathering tools. It supports the research work of 13 graduate students and courses in occupational biomechanics, human factors, applied ergonomics and work design, cognitive engineering and human factors in product design. 

The ATHENA Lab exemplifies the ways in which research at Iowa State University is preserving and enhancing the safety and quality of life.

Co-founders of the ATHENA Lab, 
Richard Stone and Thomas Schnieders (left to right).
Iowa State's Mission:
Create, share, and apply knowledge to make
Iowa and the world a better place.

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The Alliance for Iowa State is a coalition of Iowa State alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff, and friends.
The Alliance advocates Iowa State University's land grant mission throughout Iowa
while focusing its advocacy on state legislators and public policy makers.

The Alliance for Iowa State is maintained by the Iowa State University Alumni Association.