A Brief History of Chemical Engineering at The University of Iowa

The concept of chemical engineering at The University of lowa started as early as 1903, as illustrated by the early catalogs in the University Library Archives.  In that year, a separate series of courses is listed as "Courses in Applied Chemistry."  That activity began in the College of Liberal Arts, whose Dean was then Amos Noyes Currier (1888-1907).  Instruction in Industrial Chemistry was conducted by Dr. William Jay Karslake (Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1895).  He came to Iowa in 1904, and his name last appeared in the 1917-18 Catalog.

 

The term "Chemical Engineering" was first used in the 1905 catalog. The curriculum of the course content was listed for sophomores, juniors and seniors, while the freshman year was the same as for mechanical engineering students.  The administration of the program was in Engineering, which was a part of the College of Applied Science, under the direction of Dean William G. Raymond.

Thus, the program in chemical engineering was under the aegis of the Chemistry Department from the very beginning until 1952.

 

Dr. Hubert L Olin was the first person trained in chemical engineering to join the faculty (1919), when Dr. E. W. Rockwood was Head of Chemistry (1906-1920). In 1920, the Chemistry Department came under the direction of Professor Edward Bartow, a sanitary engineer.  Dr. Bartow negotiated with Dean Raymond of the College of Applied Science regarding a cooperative effort in chemical engineering. This was actually established in 1926 when responsibility for the program was accepted by Dean Raymond and his successor, Dean C. C. Williams.  (The College of Applied Science became the College of Engineering in 1927.)  The budget responsibility remained with the Department of Chemistry.

 

Past and present faculty members in what is now The University of Iowa Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Department:

 

H. L. Olin (Head 1919-1944)

1919-1950—Emeritus

J. L. Beal

1934-1936

L. W. Cornell

1936-1937

J. Howard Arnold

1937-1944

W. L. Faith (Head of Div.)

1944-1945

C. S. Grove (Head of Div.)

1945-1948

J. O. Osburn (Acting Head 1948-1949)

1946-1985—Emeritus

K. Kammermeyer (Div. & Dept. Head)

1949-1973—Emeritus

C. J. Major

1950-1965

Robert W. Roberts 1961-1962

Arthur F. Vetter

1962-1987—Emeritus

Sun-Tak Hwang (Program Chair 1978-1982)

1966-1982

J. K. Beddow

1968-1997—Emeritus

Richard Tock

1970-1974

Kirk C. Valanis (Materials Div. Chairman)

1974-1978

Gregory Carmichael (Chair 1982-1995, Interim Chairman 1998-1999)

1978-

Ravindra Datta

1981-1998

Susan M. Selke

1983-1984

David W. Luerkens

1984-1993

David G. Rethwisch

1985-

Randall A. Yoshisato

1985-1989

Jonathan S. Dordick (Chair 1995-1998)

1987-1998

Victor G. J. Rodgers

1989-2005

David W. Murhammer (Chair 2007-2012)

1989-

Audrey A. Butler, Lecturer

1989-

John M. Wiencek (Chair 2002-2007)

1995-2007

Tonya L. Peeples

1995-

Gary Aurand, Adjunct 1995-

Robert Linhardt

1996-2003

Alec B. Scranton (Chair 2000-2002)

2000-

Julie L. P. Jessop

2000-

C. Allan Guymon (Chair 2012-present)

2002-

Charles O. Stanier

2004-

Jennifer Fiegel

2006-

Eric Nuxoll

2008-