The concept of chemical engineering at The University of lowa started as early as 1903, as illustrated by the early catalogs in the University Library Archives.  In that year, a separate series of courses is listed as "Courses in Applied Chemistry."  That activity began in the College of Liberal Arts, whose Dean was then Amos Noyes Currier (1888-1907).  Instruction in Industrial Chemistry was conducted by Dr. William Jay Karslake (Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1895).  He came to Iowa in 1904, and his name last appeared in the 1917-18 Catalog.


The term "Chemical Engineering" was first used in the 1905 catalog. The curriculum of the course content was listed for sophomores, juniors and seniors, while the freshman year was the same as for mechanical engineering students.  The administration of the program was in Engineering, which was a part of the College of Applied Science, under the direction of Dean William G. Raymond.

Thus, the program in chemical engineering was under the aegis of the Chemistry Department from the very beginning until 1952.


Dr. Hubert L Olin was the first person trained in chemical engineering to join the faculty (1919), when Dr. E. W. Rockwood was Head of Chemistry (1906-1920). In 1920, the Chemistry Department came under the direction of Professor Edward Bartow, a sanitary engineer.  Dr. Bartow negotiated with Dean Raymond of the College of Applied Science regarding a cooperative effort in chemical engineering. This was actually established in 1926 when responsibility for the program was accepted by Dean Raymond and his successor, Dean C. C. Williams.  (The College of Applied Science became the College of Engineering in 1927.)  The budget responsibility remained with the Department of Chemistry.


Past and present faculty members in what is now The University of Iowa Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Department:

H. L. Olin (Head 1919-1944) 1919-1950—Emeritus
J. L. Beal 1934-1936
L. W. Cornell 1936-1937
J. Howard Arnold 1937-1944
W. L. Faith (Head of Div.) 1944-1945
C. S. Grove (Head of Div.) 1945-1948
J. O. Osburn (Acting Head 1948-1949) 1946-1985—Emeritus
K. Kammermeyer (Div. & Dept. Head) 1949-1973—Emeritus
C. J. Major 1950-1965
Robert W. Roberts 1961-1962
Arthur F. Vetter 1962-1987—Emeritus
Sun-Tak Hwang (Program Chair 1978-1982) 1966-1982
J. K. Beddow 1968-1997—Emeritus
Richard Tock 1970-1974
Kirk C. Valanis (Materials Div. Chairman) 1974-1978
Gregory Carmichael (Chair 1982-1995, Interim Chairman 1998-1999) 1978-
Ravindra Datta 1981-1998
Susan M. Selke 1983-1984
David W. Luerkens 1984-1993
David G. Rethwisch 1985-
Randall A. Yoshisato 1985-1989
Jonathan S. Dordick (Chair 1995-1998) 1987-1998
Victor G. J. Rodgers 1989-2005
David W. Murhammer (Chair 2007-2012) 1989-
Audrey A. Butler, Lecturer 1989-
John M. Wiencek (Chair 2002-2007) 1995-2007
Tonya L. Peeples 1995-
Gary Aurand, Adjunct 1995-
Robert Linhardt 1996-2003
Alec B. Scranton (Chair 2000-2002) 2000-
Julie L. P. Jessop 2000-
C. Allan Guymon (Chair 2012-present) 2002-
Charles O. Stanier 2004-
Jennifer Fiegel 2006-
Eric Nuxoll 2008-
Syed Mubeen 2014-