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Release: Feb. 24, 2000

UI names Christoph Beckermann UI Foundation Distinguished Professor

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Christoph Beckermann, internationally known for his research in the solidification of metal alloys and composites, has been named University of Iowa Foundation Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering, effective immediately.

Anthony Hines, dean of the College of Engineering, said, "Dr. Beckermann is highly regarded on an international level for his research contributions in solidification phenomena and materials processing. His efforts in teaching, research, and curriculum development have had a significant, positive impact on the Mechanical Engineering Department and the College of Engineering."

Among Beckermann's current research activities is a NASA-funded project to test fundamental theories of solidification. These theories are important to the improved manufacture and properties of metals used in such applications as automobiles, airplanes and machine tools. In conjunction with the project, he is planning to use the International Space Station as a laboratory to investigate solidification patterns in the near-weightless environment of space. A transparent material will be used as a substitute for metals as scientists observe and photograph interior crystal growth.

Beckermann, who joined the UI faculty in 1987, received his undergraduate degree from the University of Hannover, Germany in 1981 and his master's and doctorate from Purdue University in 1984 and 1987, respectively. His scientific and professional memberships include the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; the American Society of Engineering Education; Minerals, Metals and Materials Society; the American Society of Metals; and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

His honors and awards include a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award from 1989 to 1994 and the 1996 American Society of Metals Marcus A. Grossmann Young Author Award. He currently serves on the editorial boards of three international journals.

The UI Foundation Distinguished Professorships are funded by undesignated gifts to the UI Foundation from alumni and friends of the University of Iowa.