Laboratory & Facility Tours

Several optional tours of the faculty laboratories and research facilities present at the University of Iowa are scheduled from 4:30 - 6:30 pm on Fri., Jan 20th. Tours will depart from the lobby of the Iowa House Hotel near the check-in table. A list of tours and times is below.

  • 3:00 - 4:00 pm: Space-flight Hardware Testing Facility 
    • The University of Iowa has a long history of building instruments for space, beginning with James Van Allen's experiment on Explorer 1 and through today with the NASA TRACERS mission. Come see a facility where Iowa researchers test equipment to ensure it can survive the harsh conditions of space and the ride to get there!
  • 4:00 - 5:00 pm: The Materials Analysis, Testing, and Fabrication (MATFab) Facility and Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) Lab
    • Check out a facility where advanced microfabrication takes place. The instrumentation and researchers working here make structures smaller than a human hair (< 10 micron) from a variety of materials and support projects across disciplines -- from medical device manufacture, to infrared sensors, to diffraction gratings for astronomy.
  • 4:00 - 5:00 pm: The MAGIC Magnetometer Facilities
    • Magnetometers, used to detect changes in the magnetic field, are a spectacularly useful instrument in geosensing and space weather, but our scientific capability for making these instruments is in danger. Come learn about both the colorful history of these instruments (with stories that include submarine detection, a "lost recipe," and a drawer full of ring cores) and new generation of instruments developed for space-flight at the University of Iowa.
  • 4:30 - 5:30 pm / 5:30 - 6:30 pm: Van Allen Observatory (VAO)
    • Tour the rooftop observatory used by astronomy students at University of Iowa. The observatory consists of a 0.41m diameter Cassegrain reflection telescope, CCD camera, eight position filter wheel, and a 2048-channel digital spectrometer.