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Release: April 30, 2002

Three professors receive Engineering Faculty Excellence Awards

Three University of Iowa professors have received College of Engineering Faculty Excellence Awards for their individual contributions to research, teaching and service.

The three, who were recognized April 30 by Dean P. Barry Butler at the College's annual faculty/staff awards luncheon, are: Gregory R. Carmichael, Karl Kammermeyer Professor of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering and associate dean for graduate studies and research in the college, for service; Sudhakar M. Reddy, University of Iowa Foundation Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, for research; and David W. Murhammer, associate professor of chemical and biochemical engineering, for teaching.

Internationally known for his research on the environmental impact of Asian development, Carmichael leads a team of researchers studying how Asian pollution is increasingly affecting air quality in California and the rest of the Western United States. In support of his air pollution studies, he also conducts research into high-speed supercomputing. His three-dimensional atmospheric chemistry model is being used to quantify the worldwide fate and impact of man-made pollutants. Carmichael's laboratory is also engaged in research on such major environmental issues as acid deposition, regional-scale photochemical oxidant exposure, reactions on atmospheric particles and the nature of the future environment of the atmosphere. His memberships in professional and scientific societies include: American Institute of Chemical engineers, Air Pollution Control Association, American Chemical Society American Meteorological Society, and American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has research interests in atmospheric chemistry, air pollution engineering, biochemical engineering and high-speed computing. Carmichael, who earned his doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Kentucky in 1979 and came to the UI in 1985, holds a secondary appointment in the department of civil and environmental engineering and is the author of more than 150 articles published in professional journals.

In presenting the service award, Butler noted that Carmichael's support for the college, in addition to his 1981-95 service as department of chemical and biochemical engineering chair, includes co-founder and co-director of the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, chair of the UI Research Council from 1991-92 and service on numerous committees. He also works with United Nations organizations on such issues as the global and regional impact of the fires in Indonesia, as a member of the NASA Langley Research Center Advisory Board on data archiving and analysis, and as an organizer of some 14 national and international meetings during the last two years.

Reddy, who has served on the UI faculty since 1968, is a former chair of the department of electrical and computer engineering. A world-renowned expert in the fields of digital systems reliability, and the testing of very large scale integrated (VLSI) circuits, he was a founder of the field of "fault-tolerant computing" that has become one of the largest areas in electrical and computer engineering. His contributions have ranged from coding theory to self-checking circuit design and his scientific publications are among the most important and enduring in the field. Reddy received his bachelor's degrees, in physics in 1958 and in electrical engineering in 1962, from Osmania University, India. He received a master's degree from the Indian Institute of Science in 1963 and a doctorate in electrical engineering from the UI in 1968. His honors include a Von Humboldt Senior Research Fellowship and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Conference on VLSI. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), which named him a Golden Core Member and selected him six times as a Distinguished Lecturer. He has published more than 100 papers in technical journals and some 200 more in rigorously reviewed proceedings of leading international conferences and symposia, and has served as editor of various computer engineering technical journals.

Butler said that the research award is well deserved by Reddy. To name a few of his innovations, he developed the first techniques for decoding product codes up to their guaranteed error correction capabilities, formulated the fundamental notions of digital system test development costs, and developed optimal testing techniques for computer memories that are still in use today in commercial applications.

Murhammer, who has served on the UI faculty since 1989, received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Oregon State University in 1979 and 1982, respectively, and his doctorate from the University of Houston in 1989. His teaching duties have ranged from the "Engineering 1" freshman course, the "Momentum Transport" sophomore course and the graduate-level "Engineering Aspects of Animal Cell Culture" to the junior-level "Chemical Process Safety," a course he developed with the assistance of funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The latter course -- which involves applying chemical engineering principles to the prevention of explosions, toxic releases, and fires at industrial facilities -- and its set of experiments were highlighted in a recent issue of "Chemical Engineering Education," the premier journal for chemical engineering educators. During the 10 years that Murhammer has served as faculty advisor to the UI student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the chapter has received nine outstanding national chapter awards and had eight UI students receive prestigious AIChE Scholarships (only 15 are awarded annually nationwide). Nationally he has served on the executive committee of the AIChE Student Chapters Committee, received the 1996 AIChE Student Chapter Advisor Award, and currently serves as executive committee chair. Murhammer, whose research interests include biochemical engineering, insect cell culture and bioreactor monitoring, has sponsored more than 60 undergraduates on independent research and successfully sought support for his undergraduate program by obtaining an NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates site grant.

In presenting the award for teaching, Butler said that Murhammer's careful attention to developing problem-solving skills, communication skills, and team-working skills, has not gone unnoticed by his students. He consistently receives high ratings from his students and, in one course, received a perfect score of 6.0 for teaching effectiveness. As a former student put it, "In the case of Dr. Murhammer, I received the best educational bargain I have ever encountered."