Jerry ThielJerry Thiel | Director |

Jerry Thiel is the Director of the Metal Casting Center at the University of Northern Iowa.  He has a diverse industrial background and has held management positions in the metal casting and related industries for over 40 years.  His background includes metal casting experience in steel, iron and non-ferrous alloys.  Jerry holds degrees in materials science, manufacturing and manufacturing process development and has published numerous research papers pertaining to molding and core materials for the foundry industry.  He is a past chairman of the AFS division IV executive committee and has served as the chairman for the Cast Metals Institute.  Jerry received the AFS Scientific Merit Award in 2011, the AFS service citation award in 2015, the division IV best paper award in 2012, 2015 and is a three-time recipient of the AFS Howard Taylor award.



Travis Frush | Project Manager | travis.frush@uni.eduTravis Frush

Travis graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a Bachelor of Technology degree in Manufacturing Process Development – Design in 1994.  He earned his Master of Technology degree in Manufacturing Process Development – Metal Casting from the University of Northern Iowa in 1996 where he worked directly with the soligen process.  He has spent the last 20 years working in manufacturing, specifically metal casting and metal processing operations, where his primary job responsibilities were focused in the areas of process engineering, quality engineering and middle management leadership.  He returned to the University of Northern Iowa's Metal Casting Center as the Project Manager of the Additive Manufacturing and Design Center in July 2015.



Dr. Scott Giese staff photoDr. Scott Giese | Professor |

Dr. Scott Giese, University of Northern Iowa Foundry Education Foundation (FEF) Key Professor, has been a faculty member in the Department of Technology since 2003. Dr. Giese has a two technical degrees from Erie Community College in engineering science and materials science and B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. After completing his doctoral requirements in 1995, he was employed at the University of Northern Iowa Metal Casting Center as a research project manager, working with the foundry industry and government agencies in applied research projects related to foundry technologies. He has authored or co-authored 30 papers and conducted over 60 technical presentations on a variety of topics related to foundry processes. His research interests include: mold and core making processes, sand additives, solidification science, metallurgy, and foundry process control. Dr. Giese is an active member of the American Foundry Society and presently serves on the AFS 4A, 4B, 4C, and 4F Committees. In the fall of 2012, he was awarded the FEF/AFS Distinguished Professor Award at the FEF College Industry Conference. At the 2013 Cast Expo, Dr. Giese received the AFS Scientific Merit Award and the AFS Copper Alloy Division Service Award. This year, he is being awarded the Molding Methods and Materials Division Best Paper Award and Best Presentation Award.


Sairam Ravi | Project Manager | ravis@uni.eduSairam Ravi, Project Manager

Sairam Ravi is the Project Manager of the Metal Casting Center at the University of Northern Iowa. He has a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering and an M.S. degree in Applied Physics. Sairam works with the metal casting industry in applied research projects related to the advancement and development of foundry technologies. His research interests include additives and coatings, molding and core making processes, simulation and mathematical modeling, and rapid prototyping. Sairam received the AFS Howard Taylor award in 2014, AFS Ray Witt award in 2016, AFS division IV best paper awards in 2014 and 2017, and WFC best technical paper award in 2016.



Leah Dunlay | Project Manager |

Leah Dunlay, Project ManagerAs the newest member to the MCC team, Leah Dunlay began as a Project Manager in January 2017. She has a bachelor's from Purdue in Mechanical Engineering and a Master's in Mechanical Engineering from Hochschule Mannheim in Germany. Primarily at the TechWorks Campus facility, she will spearhead efforts with MCC’s 3D Systems Direct Metal printer and several other federal level projects. Additionally, she will be managing design functions within the center as well as developing industry workshops and remote training activities. Dunlay's professional background includes experience at John Deere as a Mechanical Engineer, Drivetrain Engineer and Drivetain Analysis Engineer, along with experience at Siemens A/S Flow Instruments for her Master's Thesis.