Chairs and Professorships

Er-Wei Bai

College of Engineering Distinguished Professorship

Christoph Beckermann

University of Iowa Foundation Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering 

Gregory Carmichael

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. 

Pablo Carrica

The F. Wendell Miller Distinguished Professorship is named for F. Wendell Miller, an attorney and farm manager from Rockwell City, Iowa, who died in 1995. The Miller Endowment Trust was established from the Miller estate, with interest and income from the trust divided equally between the UI and Iowa State University to encourage the advancement of academic endeavors.

Kyung K. Choi

Roy J. Carver Professorship in Mechanical Engineering

David Cwiertny

The William D. Ashton Professorship in Civil Engineering.honors UI engineering graduate William Ashton of Davenport, Iowa.  The professorship is supported by the Ashton Professorships Fund at the UI Foundation, which was created by a recent major gift commitment from the Ashton Family Foundation in Dallas, Texas.

Ashton received Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in civil engineering from the UI in 1962 and 1963, respectively.  He founded Ashton Engineering Inc. in Davenport, Iowa, in 1982, and he is a member of the college's Distinguished Engineering Alumni Academy. 

After graduating from the UI, Ashton served as chief of the Structural Design Section, Rock Island Corps of Engineers, and in 1970 earned the title of Quad City Engineer of the Year for his work on the 2,600-foot Milwaukee Railroad Bridge over Saylorville Reservoir.  He has traveled throughout the United States as well as abroad to India, Ghana and other countries on many water-related projects.  He received the U.S. Department of the Army Meritorious Civilian Service Award in 1974 and the Army Certificate of Appreciation in 1978.  His extensive community service includes the Rotary Club of Davenport, where he served as board member and president and led service trips to India for National Immunization Day against polio and to Guatemala to design rainwater capture systems. 

In 2004 Ashton and his brother, 1964 UI engineering graduate Jim Ashton of Dallas, Texas, provided the cornerstone gift to the UI Foundation to enable construction of the Ashton Cross Country Course at the UI.  The brothers made their gift in memory of their former Hawkeye cross country coach, the late Francis X. Cretzmeyer.  William and Jim Ashton were both letter winners on the Iowa Hawkeyes cross country team, and William is a former UI Varsity Club president.

Soura Dasgupta

The F. Wendell Miller Distinguished Professorship is named for F. Wendell Miller, an attorney and farm manager from Rockwell City, Iowa, who died in 1995. The Miller Endowment Trust was established from the Miller estate, with interest and income from the trust divided equally between the UI and Iowa State University to encourage the advancement of academic endeavors.

Mona Garvin

The Robert and Virginia Wheeler Faculty Fellowship in Engineering was established in 2003 through a gift to The University of Iowa Foundation from the estate of Robert Wheeler, a graduate of the College of Engineering, and his wife, Virginia. The Robert and Virginia Faculty Fellowship Fund establishes a permanent endowment with annual spendable earnings used to support the College's academic and research pursuits.

Robert Wheeler was born in New York in 1922. He graduated from The University of Iowa, earning a BS degree in 1948, an MS degree in 1949, and a PhD degree in 1958 -- all in civil engineering. He was among the first to earn a doctorate in civil engineering at the University. From 1953-1958, Dr. Wheeler was an instructor in civil engineering and served as assistant professor from 1958-1961. He also taught at Macalester College, Michigan Technical University, and the University of Akron. He retired from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Missouri-Columbia. During his career, he also was a land developer in Denver, Colorado, and helped design emergency medical transportation systems in New York and Missouri.Dr. Wheeler served in the U. S. Army and was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S.

Virginia R. Wheeler, a native of Sioux County, Iowa, married Dr. Wheeler in 1946 in Iowa City. She served as a supervisor for the Brown Shoe Company, St. Louis.

Nicole Grosland

College of Engineering Distinguished Professorship

C. Allan Guymon

The Sharon Tinker Professorship in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering is named after Engineering alumna Sharon Tinker (BSE 1980 chemical engineering) a retired process safety engineer in the ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company.

After graduation from the University of Iowa, she joined the Exxon Chemical Company and worked in technical and management positions in chemical plants and refineries in Texas, California, Louisiana, and Singapore.

Ms. Tinker has been recognized for her contributions with a Young Engineer of the Year Award from the Texas Society of Professional Engineers, an ExxonMobil Chemical Responsible Care Award, and an ExxonMobil Chemical Global Manufacturing Excellence Award.  In the past she has served on the United Way of the Baytown Area Board of Directors in Baytown, Texas, the Torrance Education Foundation Board of Directors in Torrance, California, and the University of Iowa College of Engineering Chemical and Biochemical Department Advisory Board. She was inducted in the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Academy in December 2019.

Ms. Tinker is currently a member of the Safety and Chemical Engineering Education (SACHE) Committee of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and the UI College of Engineering Campaign Task Force.  She continues to be a member of the Ameican Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and the Society of Women Engineers (SWE).

Keri Hornbuckle

The Donald E. Bently Professorship in Engineering was established in June 2002 through a gift to the University of Iowa Foundation from University of Iowa engineering graduate Donald E. Bently. A globally recognized authority on rotor dynamics as well as vibration monitoring and diagnostics, Mr. Bently was born in Pleasant Prairie, IA. He graduated from the UI in 1949 with a B.S. degree with distinction, and in 1950 with an M.S. degree, both in electrical engineering, from the UI College of Engineering. Working from his garage as a graduate student, Mr. Bently pioneered and perfected a transistorized design for a new type of distance-measuring device. His transducer soon found its application inside machinery where it was used to observe the vibration and position characteristics that are important indicators of machinery condition.

He was founder and former owner, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of the Board of Bently Nevada Corporation (BNC), a $200 million per year manufacturer of electronic systems for monitoring the mechanical condition of machinery. He was also the former President of Bently Rotor Dynamics Research Corporation (BRDRC), a subsidiary of Bently Nevada Corporation. Mr. Bently sold BNC and BRDRC (as a sale of assets) to General Electric Corporation in a friendly acquisition in 2002. Until his death in 2012, Mr. Bently was the owner, Chairman of the Board, and Chief Executive Officer of Bently Pressurized Bearing Company, which manufactures modern, highly efficient bearings that control stability for rotating machinery. He also was the owner of Bently Agrowdynamics – the agricultural business of the Bently Family Limited Partnership, of which he is general partner.

Mr. Bently authored or co-authored more than 140 papers on rotor dynamics and was the holder of two patents. In 2002, he was recognized as a Fellow by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Mr. Bently was Chairman of the International Symposium on Stability Control of Rotating Machinery (ISCORMA-2), held in 2003 in Gdansk, Poland. Mr. Bently’s book, titled Fundamentals of Rotating Machinery Diagnostics, was released in 2002.

Witold F. Krajewski

The Rose & Joseph Summers Chair in Water Resources Engineering was established through a gift to the University of Iowa Foundation from University of Iowa engineering graduate Joseph B. Summers of Hanford, CA, in honor of his wife, Rose. Based in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineeering, the Summers’ gift enables the College to further strengthen its internationally renowned programs in water resources engineering.

Until his death in 2006, Mr. Summers was chairman of the board of Summers Engineering Inc., which he founded in 1962. An active consulting engineer, he was a leader in water use, irrigation, and drainage issues in California and internationally. He made a profound impact on water conservation and preservation in the water-starved U.S. West. Among many honors, Mr. Summers received the inaugural Merriam Improved Irrigation Award from the U.S. Committee on Irrigation and Drainage in 1999.

A member of the College’s Distinguished Engineering Alumni Academy, Mr. Summers received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from The University of Iowa in 1948. He served as a member of the UI Engineering Building Campaign Steering Committee for the Seamans Center for the Engineering Arts and Sciences and served as a member of the Engineering Advisory Board and Development Council.

Mr. Summers was a recipient of The University of Iowa Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award for Service.

Ching-Long Lin

Edward M. Mielnik and Samuel R. Harding Professor of Mechanical Engineering was established by C. Allan Poots and Dr. Jennifer Niebyl of Coralville, IA.

A former engineering student in the late 1950’s, Mr. Poots went on to become a successful residential developer, building more than 650 homes in the Iowa City area as well as Coralville’s Brown Deer Golf Course. Dr. Niebyl is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Iowa. Their gift honors two Engineering faculty members who mentored Mr. Poots as a student.  Mr. Poots’s academic mentors and lifelong friends were Professors Edward Mielnik and Samuel R. Harding.

Professor Mielnik was a 1943 graduate of the College of Engineering and received his Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He taught undergraduate and graduate courses in materials science and materials processing at the college. He retired in 1983 and died in 2002.

Professor Harding joined the Engineering faculty in 1944. He was superintendent of the Machine Tool Laboratory and instructor inmanufacturing processes. He retired in 1960 and died in 1969.

Sudhakar M. Reddy

University of Iowa Foundation Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Joseph Reinhardt

Roy J. Carver Chair in Biomedical Engineering

Michelle Scherer

The Donald E. Bently Professorship in Engineering was established in June 2002 through a gift to the University of Iowa Foundation from University of Iowa engineering graduate Donald E. Bently. A globally recognized authority on rotor dynamics as well as vibration monitoring and diagnostics, Mr. Bently was born in Pleasant Prairie, IA. He graduated from the UI in 1949 with a B.S. degree with distinction, and in 1950 with an M.S. degree, both in electrical engineering, from the UI College of Engineering. Working from his garage as a graduate student, Mr. Bently pioneered and perfected a transistorized design for a new type of distance-measuring device. His transducer soon found its application inside machinery where it was used to observe the vibration and position characteristics that are important indicators of machinery condition.

He was founder and former owner, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of the Board of Bently Nevada Corporation (BNC), a $200 million per year manufacturer of electronic systems for monitoring the mechanical condition of machinery. He was also the former President of Bently Rotor Dynamics Research Corporation (BRDRC), a subsidiary of Bently Nevada Corporation. Mr. Bently sold BNC and BRDRC (as a sale of assets) to General Electric Corporation in a friendly acquisition in 2002. Until his death in 2012, Mr. Bently was the owner, Chairman of the Board, and Chief Executive Officer of Bently Pressurized Bearing Company, which manufactures modern, highly efficient bearings that control stability for rotating machinery. He also was the owner of Bently Agrowdynamics – the agricultural business of the Bently Family Limited Partnership, of which he is general partner.

Mr. Bently authored or co-authored more than 140 papers on rotor dynamics and was the holder of two patents. In 2002, he was recognized as a Fellow by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Mr. Bently was Chairman of the International Symposium on Stability Control of Rotating Machinery (ISCORMA-2), held in 2003 in Gdansk, Poland. Mr. Bently’s book, titled Fundamentals of Rotating Machinery Diagnostics, was released in 2002.

Thomas Schnell

Jim "Max" Gross Chair in Engineering was established by the late Jim O’Brien Gross and his widow Donnita Gross. Jim Gross worked as a flight instructor and accountant for Lear Jet and was an accomplished pilot and flight instructor with American Airlines for many years. Gross helped test the Boeing 777 aircraft, and he was an instructor pilot on the Boeing 787.

Jerald L. Schnoor

The Allen S. Henry Chair in Engineering was established in May 2001 through a generous gift to the University of Iowa Foundation from University of Iowa engineering graduate Allen S. Henry of Melbourne, FL. His gift supports a faculty member who has a distinguished academic and research program for a five-year renewable period.

Dr. Henry is retired vice president-general manager of JDS Uniphase Broadband Products. From 1996 to 1999, he was chairman, chief executive officer, and president of Broadband Communications Products prior to its acquisition by Uniphase Corporation. In 1996, Dr. Henry retired as president of the Electronic Systems Sector of Harris Corporation, Melbourne, FL, after 23 years of service.

A member of the College's Distinguished Engineering Alumni Academy, Dr. Henry received his master's and doctoral degrees in mechanics and hydraulics from The University of Iowa in 1968 and 1971, respectively. He has served as a member of The University of Iowa Engineering Building Campaign Steering Committee, as well as the College of Engineering Advisory Board and Development Council.

Dr. Henry has served as chairman of the board of Holmes Regional Medical Center, a 468-bed community hospital. He also serves as board secretary of Health First, an integrated healthcare delivery system in Melbourne, FL. In his role as trustee for Florida Institute of Technology, he has endowed a faculty chair in optical communications. He also was the major benefactor for the Women's Center Capital Campaign. The Women's Center aids more than 10,000 women annually in coping with life problems.

Alec B. Scranton

UI Foundation Distinguished Professorship in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering 

Milan Sonka

Lowell G. Battershell Professor and Chair Biomedical Engineering

Frederick Stern

The George D. Ashton Endowed Professorship in Hydroscience and Engineering honors alumnus Dr. George D. Ashton, an international expert on the study of ice jams, ice control, flooding, snow drifting, snow loads, and river ice. Now a resident of New Hampshire, Ashton was born in Davenport, Iowa in 1939. He received a BSCE degree in civil engineering from the University of Iowa in 1961, an MSCE in civil engineering from the University of Arizona in 1963, and a PhD in mechanics and hydraulics from the University of Iowa in 1971.

From 1962 to 1964 he was a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. From 1964 to 1967 he worked as a Structural Engineer for Bechtel Co. in San Francisco. After earning his PhD, he joined the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) in Hanover, New Hampshire, and held various research and management positions with his research concentrating on river ice processes and problems. From 1990 to 1998, he was Chief Research and Engineering Directorate. He retired in 1998 and now works as a private consultant in Lebanon, New Hampshire, dealing primarily with river ice problems. Ashton has received the Straub Medal from the University of Minnesota, the Hilgard prize from ASCE, the Stevens Award from ASCE and most recently the 2002 Ice Research and Engineering Award by the International Association for Hydraulic Research. He is the author of numerous papers and book chapters dealing with ice problems. He was Editor of the Journal of Cold Regions Science and Technology from 1995 to 2006. 

Gabriele Villarini

The Robert and Virginia Wheeler Faculty Fellowship in Engineering was established in 2003 through a gift to The University of Iowa Foundation from the estate of Robert Wheeler, a graduate of the College of Engineering, and his wife, Virginia. The Robert and Virginia Faculty Fellowship Fund establishes a permanent endowment with annual spendable earnings used to support the College's academic and research pursuits.

Robert Wheeler was born in New York in 1922. He graduated from The University of Iowa, earning a BS degree in 1948, an MS degree in 1949, and a PhD degree in 1958 -- all in civil engineering. He was among the first to earn a doctorate in civil engineering at the University.From 1953-1958, Dr. Wheeler was an instructor in civil engineering and served as assistant professor from 1958-1961. He also taught at Macalester College, Michigan Technical University, and the University of Akron. He retired from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Missouri-Columbia. During his career, he also was a land developer in Denver, Colorado, and helped design emergency medical transportation systems in New York and Missouri. Dr. Wheeler served in the U. S. Army and was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S.

Virginia R. Wheeler, a native of Sioux County, Iowa, married Dr. Wheeler in 1946 in Iowa City. She served as a supervisor for the Brown Shoe Company, St. Louis.

Jun Wang

The James Ashton Professorship in Engineering honors alumnus James E. Ashton, who received his BS in Civil Engineering from the UI in 1964 and went on to pursue advanced degrees from Harvard and MIT, earning a reputation as an expert in composite materials.

He joined General Dynamics Corporation in 1967 as a Senior Engineer in technical and operations management. From 1975 to 1980, Dr. Ashton directed the General Dynamics team of 8,000 personnel and several international manufacturing subcontractors that produced the F-16 fighter plane. After 15 years with the company, he had earned a reputation as a hands-on manager who could mobilize a complex work force to get things done. In 1982, however, Dr. Ashton was dismissed from his position as Vice President of Engineering for the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics when he refused to allow the waste and mismanagement he discovered in the production of the Trident submarine and 688-Class attack submarine to continue.

Dr. Ashton went on to serve as President of Space Services, Inc., of America, which introduced the first private launch vehicle; Vice President and General Manager of Rockwell International's Tulsa facility; President of Healthdyne, Inc.; Chairman of Lanson Industries; and Vice President and General Manager of the Downhole Sensors Division of Schlumberger Well Services, where he did pioneering work in the management of job system shops; Vice President and General Manager of the Naval Systems Division of FMC Corporation; CEO of Fiberite, Inc.; and Chairman and CEO of Precision Partners. .

Larry J. Weber

The Edwin B. Green Chair in Hydraulics honors University of Iowa alumnus Edwin Green. The chair is supported by income from the permanent Edwin B. Green Endowment Fund.  Although he received his B.A. in journalism in 1929, Mr. Green was a long-time supporter of the arts, the medical community, and his own field, journalism.  His generosity also has impacted UI endowed professorships and fellowships, University Libraries, Iowa Hall in the Museum of Natural History, and scholarships to help school children attend educational and recreational programs and summer camps.

During his time at Iowa, Mr. Green worked as an editorial and advertising staff member of The Daily Iowan.  After graduating from the UI, he joined The Iowa City Press-Citizen, later serving as managing editor for 32 years until his retirement in 1966.

Over the years, before his death in 1988, Mr. Green was an exceptional friend of the UI Museum of Art.  On many occasions he lent works from his collection of Grant Wood’s art.  He also helped the museum acquire several important pieces, including Eugene Berman’s L’Orage, Emerson Woelffer’s Max Ernst, Ulfert Wilke’s Red Was the Beginning, and James Rosenquist’s Off the Continental Divide.  In 1985, he made an outright donation of Sketch for Herbert Hoover’s Birthplace, which has been called one of the most important Wood drawings in existence.  Also, through his efforts, the Wood painting Plaid Sweater was donated to the University.

Mr. Green’s generosity also extended to the UI Department of Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Research Center, along with the Lewis E. January Learning Resources Unit and the School of Journalism.  He helped in a campaign to establish a distinguished lectureship series in tribute to long-time School of Journalism director Les Moeller.