CONTACT: GARY GALLUZZO
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0009; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Oct. 22, 2002
Parkin appointed Bently Professor of Engineering
F. Parkin (left), professor of civil and environmental engineering
in the University of Iowa College of Engineering and director of the Center
for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination, has been named Donald E
Bently Professor of Engineering.
UI College of Engineering Dean Barry Butler said that the honor recognizes
Parkin's outstanding record of teaching and research.
"We are fortunate to create a synergy between a leading advocate for
innovative approaches to environmental protection in Don Bently and the internationally
recognized research and teaching efforts in environmental health issues in
Professor Parkin," Butler said. "Linking an accomplished UI engineering
alumnus with one of the college's leading faculty members provides an important
model for advancing higher education through private giving. Also, we are
honored to be able to bring two native Iowans together to make a significant
difference in the area of environmental engineering."
Parkin, an Earlville, Iowa native, earned a bachelor's degree in 1970 and
a master's degree in 1971 in civil engineering from the University of Iowa
and a doctorate in environmental engineering in 1977 from Stanford University.
He has authored more than 50 publications in rigorously refereed journals
and is a co-author (with Perry McCarty) of the 5th edition of Chemistry for
Environmental Engineering and Science. He serves on the editorial board of
the journal Biodegradation and as vice chair of the National Research Council
Water Science and Technology Board Committee on Environmental Remediation
at Naval Facilities.
Parkin, who holds a primary appointment in the College of Engineering and
a secondary appointment as professor of occupational and environmental health
in the College of Public Health, has research interests that include anaerobic
biological processes; enhancing bioremediation of highly oxidized contaminants
such as perchloroethene, carbon tetrachloride, and perchlorate; understanding
the interactions between chemical and biological processes that affect the
fate of toxic chemicals in the natural environment; using constructed wetlands
for the treatment of landfill leachate; and health effects of environmental
contamination. His teaching interests include environmental chemistry, biological
treatment processes, and remediation of environmental contamination.
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 of Minden, Nev. The Donald Bently
Engineering Fund establishes a permanent endowment with the annual spendable
earnings used to support the Colleges academic and research pursuits.
A member of the college's Distinguished Engineering Alumni Academy, Bently
is a globally recognized authority on rotor dynamics as well as vibration
monitoring and diagnostics. Born in Pleasant Prairie, Iowa, he earned a bachelor's
degree in 1949 and a master's degree in 1950, both in electrical engineering,
from the UI College of Engineering. Working from his garage as a graduate
student, he pioneered and perfected a transistorized design for a new type
of distance-measuring device. His transducer found application inside machinery
where it was used to observe vibration and position characteristics -- important
indicators of machinery condition.
He is 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 is also the former president of Bently Rotor Dynamics Research Corporation
(BRDRC), a subsidiary of Bently Nevada Corporation. He sold BNC and BRDRC
(as a sale of assets) to General Electric in a friendly acquisition in January
2002. He is currently 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
is also the owner of Bently Agrowdynamics -- the agricultural business of
the Bently Family Limited Partnership, of which he is general partner. He
has authored or co-authored more than 140 papers on rotor dynamics and is
the holder of two patents. In 2002, he was recognized as a Fellow by the American
Society of Mechanical Engineers.
Bently is chairman of the International Symposium on Stability Control of
Rotating Machinery scheduled for August 2003 in Gdansk, Poland. His book,
"Fundamentals of Rotating Machinery Diagnostics," is scheduled for
release in November 2002.
Bently Agrowdynamics is focused on environmentally sustainable agricultural
practices and the innovative use of renewable resources. Key among these accomplishments
has been reconstruction of the Mud Lake Dam, damaged during the 1994 Double
Springs Flat earthquake in the western U.S Carson Valley. The 100-year-old
structure's conversion from earthen-filled construction to rock-filled construction
ensures a supply of irrigation water for Bently Agrowdynamics' South Ranch
properties that is earthquake-safe, protecting the surrounding community's
land and homes.
One of 11 colleges on the University of Iowa campus, the College of Engineering
has educational courses that date back more than a century. It teaches disciplines
in biomedical, chemical and biochemical, civil and environmental, electrical
and computer, industrial, and mechanical engineering. The college is recognized
for its small, personalized size, and focused mission. Its location on a strong
liberal arts campus -- with natural strengths in writing and communications,
health sciences, business, law, and arts and humanities -- provides highly
complementary resources to build the type of broad technological education
demanded in a rapidly changing world. The college excels internationally in
several specialty and interdisciplinary research areas, such as computer-aided
design and simulation, human factors, environmental health solutions, biotechnology,
medical imaging, hydraulics and water/air resources, and polymerization.
The UI Foundation is the preferred channel for private contributions to
all areas of the university. Foundation staff work with alumni and friends
to generate funds for scholarships, professorships, facilities improvements,
equipment purchases, research and other UI initiatives.