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University of Iowa News Release


Jan. 14, 2011

At A Glance

Engineer receives NASA grant to study metal solidification

Christoph Beckermann, University of Iowa Foundation Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering and director of the Solidification Laboratory in the College of Engineering, recently received a three-year, $450,000 NASA grant to study the effects of convection on the solidification of metal alloys.

Technically described as a study of "the effect of convection on columnar-to-equiaxed transition in alloy solidification," the project is a study of how heat transfer affects the solidification of metal alloys and their respective strengths and other properties. The results could affect the way in which metals are prepared for use in a wide range of devices ranging from cars and aircraft to computers.

A UI faculty member since 1987, Beckermann is internationally recognized for his research in solidification phenomena and materials processing.


Community Chinese classes will be offered in Iowa City, Davenport through spring

The University of Iowa Confucius Institute will offer Mandarin Chinese language and culture classes to community members and families starting Jan. 24 in Iowa City and Jan. 30 in Davenport. The course fee is $50 per session.
Community classes meet two nights per week for seven weeks, and students are split into beginner- and advanced-level groups. Family classes meet for six consecutive Sundays and are designed to introduce Mandarin Chinese in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Native Chinese speakers teach all classes.
The spring 2011 language classes have been designed to allow for more continuity. Students and families are encouraged to continue taking classes into the second session, which begins in March. Both sessions use the same main text, available for purchase on the first evening of classes.
For more information and registration materials, visit or e-mail


Poet Aaron Belz's reading will be streamed by the Writing University

Access the University of Iowa Writing University website -- -- at 7 p.m. Friday Jan. 28 to hear poet Aaron Belz read from his new collection, "Lovely, Raspberry." The stream will originate in a free event at Prairie Light Books in downtown Iowa City.

Belz, also the author of "The Bird Hoverer" and "Plausible Worlds," teaches as Providence Christian College in California. His poetry and criticism have appeared in Cardus, Wired, Books & Culture, First Things, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Exquisite Corpse, Tinfish, Gulf Coast, RealPoetik, the Washington Post,, elimae, Fence, Fine Madness, Poetry Daily, the Equalizer, the Oxonian Review, Yankee Pot Roast, Snow Monkey and Pierogi Press.

He has also appeared in comedy venues including the Tomorrow Show at the Steve Allen Theater, Comedy Meltdown, the New Orleans Comedy Arts Festival and Comedy on Parade.

Learn more at


Masciadri and Friends perform at the UI Jan. 29

Bassist Milton Masciadri and Friends -- Katherine Wolfe, violin; Kate Hamilton, viola; Anthony Arnone, cello; and Ana Flavia Frazao, piano -- will present a free concert at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29, in Riverside Recital Hall at the University of Iowa.

The program will feature three Italian works -- Valse Oubliee by bass virtuoso Franco Petracchi, Habanera by Silvio Amato and Elegia & Tarantella by 19th-century bassist Bottesini; three pieces by Brazilian composers -- Choron by Edmundo Villani-Cortes, Cancao e Danca by Radames Gnatalli and Jongo by Santino Parpinelli; and Franz Schubert's "Trout" Quintet.

A native of Uruguay, Masciadri is professor of double bass at the University of Georgia and a widely traveled soloist and ensemble musician. His enthusiasm for enlarging the repertoire of the double bass has led him to publish and premiere works of many contemporary American and South American composers.

Flavia Frazao is a piano and chamber music professor at the Music School of the Federal University of Goiás in Brazil, as well as the curator and producer of two classical music series.

Hamilton is a faculty member at Concordia College in Minnesota, and both Wolfe and Arnone are faculty members of the UI School of Music.


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Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to participate in a program, please contact the sponsoring department in advance.