Iowa State University


Bob Harris, Center for Advanced Technology Development, (515) 294-5808
Satish Udpa, Electrical and Computer Engineering, (515) 294- 8180
Henry Imberti, Percival Scientific Inc., (515) 432-6501
Anita Rollins, IPRT Information, (515) 294-1113
Skip Derra, News Service, (515) 294-4917


AMES, Iowa -- Novel computer software developed at Iowa State University will soon be marketed by Percival Scientific Inc., Boone.

The state-of-the-art software to manage biological incubators and plant growth chambers was created during a contract research project conducted through Iowa State's Center for Advanced Technology Development. A team of researchers led by Satish Udpa, professor of electrical and computer engineering, developed the product.

The PACES software permits efficient, controlled monitoring of the incubators and growth chambers Percival produces for universities, government institutions and private firms in the U.S. and abroad. The program also stores historical data, a capability important to researchers.

"This will make us unique in the market," said Henri Imberti, Percival director of product development. Existing products are more expensive and lack several features compared to PACES, Imberti said.

The core of the software project took about four months to complete after preliminary meetings, according to Michael Chan, a research associate at ISU. The team, which consisted of both graduate and undergraduate students, decided early to create a program from scratch. By using the latest software development tools from Microsoft, the program has a very "modern look and feel," said Chan. "It's a state-of-the-art Windows application, and should allow the company to work more closely with its customers."

The project, which involved cost-sharing funds from the state of Iowa, was so successful that Percival already has orders for the product even though it won't be available until late November, Imberti said.

"We are very satisfied," said Imberti of the work completed by ISU's research team. "They did an excellent job."

The Center for Advanced Technology Development is a member of the Institute for Physical Research and Technology, a consortium of research, technology development and technology transfer entities at Iowa State University.


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