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Release: Immediate

Three professors honored for contributions to UI College of Engineering

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Three University of Iowa College of Engineering professors recently were honored for their individual contributions to the College.

The three, who were recognized by Dean Richard K. Miller at the college's April 1 annual faculty awards luncheon, are: Asghar Bhatti, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, for teaching; Andrew Kusiak, professor of industrial engineering, for research; and John M. Liittschwager, professor of industrial engineering, for service.

Bhatti, who holds joint appointments in the departments of civil and environmental engineering and in mechanical engineering, has research interests that include the fields of earthquake engineering and computer-aided design. Bhatti came to the University in 1980 and is the recipient of the 1985 Dow Outstanding Young Faculty Award from the North Midwest Section of the American Society of Engineering Education and the 1973 G.N. Gokhale Gold Medal for Best Civil Engineering Graduate from the University of Karachi. He is a member of numerous professional societies, including the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Society of Engineering Education. Bhatti is the author of 20 technical reports and some 46 publications in international journals and conference proceedings and is a registered professional engineer in Iowa.

He received a B.E. in civil engineering from Karachi University in Pakistan in 1973 and a master's and doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley in civil engineering and structural mechanics in 1975 and 1980, respectively.

In making the presentation to Bhatti, Dean Miller commented on Bhatti's teaching talents: "But perhaps his most frequently cited quality is that of an intense personal commitment to student success, including doing 'whatever it takes' to help students master the material."

Kusiak, professor and past department chair of industrial engineering, is internationally known for his expertise in the applications of artificial intelligence and optimization in engineering design and manufacturing. A member of the College of Engineering faculty since 1988, he is the recipient of an Honorary Professorship from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Peoples Republic of China, 1994 and a 1973 Outstanding Publication Award from the Institute of Industrial Engineers. Kusiak is the author of a major textbook on Intelligent Manufacturing Systems, published by Prentice Hall in 1992, and has edited 13 books. He has published more than 100 journal articles, 30 book chapters, 100 conference papers and technical reports and currently serves on the editorial boards of 15 different journals while serving as editor-in-chief of another.

Kusiak received his bachelor's in precision engineering and his master's in mechanical engineering from Warsaw Technical University, Poland, in 1972 and 1974, respectively. He earned his doctorate in operations research from the Polish Academy of Sciences in 1979. Prior to coming to the University of Iowa, he was an assistant professor of industrial engineering from 1982 until 1985 at the Technical University of Nova Scotia and associate professor in the industrial engineering program, department of mechanical engineering between 1985 and 1988 at the University of Manitoba.

Dean Miller, in making the presentation, noted that Kusiak's work has been supported by numerous contracts from several federal agencies and from Rockwell International Corporation, which in 1992, cited a series of his projects as having saved the company about $1.5 million.

John Liittschwager, who came to the university in 1961, is recognized for his commitment to the College through his service as a past department and division chair, as well as his service on more than 25 committees and the chairmanship of eight committees on the college level. In addition, he has served on another 20 committees, chairing four, at the university level. He received a bachelor's degree industrial engineering from Iowa State University in 1955 and a master's degree industrial engineering from Northwestern University in 1961.

Dean Miller noted of his work: "He has had a major impact on the college through his leadership on several of these committees. For example, he chaired the Engineering Faculty Council for two years in 1992-94, and then chaired the special ABET Engineering Accreditation Task Force last year which helped prepare the College for what appears to be another clean bill of health in all programs."

Miller added that Liittschwager has also given of his time outside the university community by assisting the State of Iowa Legislative Service Bureau on districting legislation and the League of Women Voters, in addition to numerous foreign governments including Scotland and England and many community school districts in Iowa.