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University of Iowa News Release

May 28, 2003

College Of Engineering Names Bently Faculty Fellows

The University of Iowa College of Engineering recently named associate professors John D. Lee and Larry J. Weber as Donald E. Bently Faculty Fellows of Engineering.

The faculty fellowships were established in June 2002 to support the research of junior faculty through a gift to the UI Foundation from UI engineering graduate Donald E. Bently. The gift provides a permanent endowment supporting the college's academic and research pursuits.

Lee, who joined the faculty in 1998, is associate professor of mechanical and industrial engineering. He is also affiliated with the Center for Computer Aided Design (CCAD), the Public Policy Center, the Department of Neurology and the Iowa Injury Prevention Research Center. He is nationally known for his research in human factors and cognitive engineering, including such phenomena as driver response to in-vehicle technology. Mercedes Benz recently selected him as one of the top 10 driver distraction researchers in the world. Lee received the college's Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching in 2003.


Weber, who joined the faculty in 1993, is associate professor of civil and environmental engineering. An associate research engineer at the UI College of Engineering's IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering world-renowned water research center, he is nationally known for his research in modeling of fish passage facilities and hydraulic structures. Weber recently received a three-year, $6.9 million contract extension from Public Utility District No. 2 of Grant County, Wash. to study how salmon can co-exist with hydroelectric dams on the Snake and Columbia rivers. He is a member of the International Association for Hydraulic Research and a registered professional engineer in the state of Iowa.

A member of the college's Distinguished Engineering Alumni Academy, Donald E. Bently is an internationally recognized authority on rotor dynamics, vibration monitoring and diagnostics. Born in Pleasant Prairie, Iowa, he earned bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering in 1949 and 1950, respectively, from the UI College of Engineering. 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 manufacturer of electronic systems for monitoring the mechanical condition of machinery.

Bently 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 also is the owner of Bently Agrodynamics -- the agricultural business of the Bently Family Limited Partnership, of which he is general partner.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Gary Galluzzo, University of Iowa News Services 319-384-0009,