Karl Kammermeyer Professorship in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Karl Kammermeyer Professorship in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Photo of Karl Kammermeyer

The Karl Kammermeyer Endowed Professorship in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering was established in 2001 through resources provided by a combination of private gifts and funds from The University of Iowa Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering. Dr. John Kammermeyer, an Iowa City area allergist and son of the late Karl Kammermeyer, made a significant contribution to help fund the professorship in honor of his father. Additional private support was also provided by the following chemical and biochemical engineering alumni who were mentored by Dr. Kammermeyer--William Liike, William Lichtenberger, and Richard Dunlavey.

Born in 1904 in Nuremberg, Germany, Karl Kammermeyer attended the Technical University of Munich until 1925, when he emigrated to the U.S. Shortly after arriving here, he began working as a mechanic's helper at the Fisher Body plant in Detroit. At the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, he earned bachelor's degrees in chemical engineering and mathematics in 1930 and a doctorate of science degree in chemical engineering in 1932. For the next 17 years, Dr. Kammermeyer worked as a chemist in the private sector at Pure Oil Company, Publicker Industries, and the Glenn L. Martin Company, which sparked a lifelong fascination with the nature of differential diffusion across plastic membranes.

At The University of Iowa, Dr. Kammermeyer applied his knowledge of plastic membranes to help perfect the artificial kidney and a prototype heart-lung machine. A gifted teacher, Dr. Kammermeyer helped launch many careers by collaborating with students on research until his death in 1999.