UI Chemical Engineering Grad wins GEAR Challenge Honorable Mention Award

By. Elizabeth Jackson
Institute for Defense Analyses

Laura Itle, who earned her bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering from the University of Iowa in 2001, is a member of a research team at the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA). After earning her bachelor’s, Itle earned her Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University in Chemical Engineering in 2005. Outside out of her involvement with the IDA, she is also a member of the Society of Women Engineers and the American Chemical Society.

The IDA is a nonprofit corporation that strives to answer the most challenging U.S. security and science policy questions through analysis and expertise. Itle’s team was recognized with an Honorable Mention Award in the U.S. General Services Administration’s and the Office of Management and Budget’s Government Effectiveness Advanced Research (GEAR) challenge.

The GEAR Center competition challenged teams to demonstrate the potential of the GEAR Center. IDA teams are multidisciplinary, made up of problem solvers from the public, academia, and industry.

Itle’s team proposed, “Secure, Modern, and Mission Capable Credentialing” and aims to improve the customer experience and efficiency of the credentialing process between the IDA, West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, West Virginia National Guard, WVReady, University of Maryland-Center for Public Policy and Private Enterprise, and Marshall University College of Information Technology and Engineering.

The proposal entailed developing an innovative, secure, modern, mission-capable information technology solution hosted by the United States Postal Service to improve the customer experience. More specifically, the “background check” process. Meaning, utilizing post offices as a local, readily accessible identity verification and credential service.


Laura Itle is on the far right. Photo provided by the Institute for Defense Analyses.