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University of Iowa News Release

May 4, 2004

Three Engineering Faculty Receive Excellence Awards

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

The three, recognized by Dean P. Barry Butler at the college's annual faculty/staff awards luncheon May 3, are: Nicole Grosland, Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching; Victor Rodgers, Faculty Excellence Award for Service; and Alec Scranton, Faculty Excellence Award for Research.

Nicole Grosland, who joined the college in 2001, is assistant professor of biomedical engineering, as well as orthopaedic surgery in the Carver College of Medicine, and research scientist in the Iowa Spine Research Center. Her special fields of knowledge include orthopaedic biomechanics and finite element method.

She earned her bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering in 1994 and her doctorate in spinal mechanics in 1998, both from the UI. After receiving her doctorate, she worked as a research engineer and was identified as an exceptional teacher. Since her fall 2001 appointment as assistant professor, she has received outstanding scores for teaching effectiveness from students in all her courses. Her additional activities include delivering lectures to students in her lab; planning the introductions of a new course; making presentations for ACE (Ambassadors Connecting with Engineering) academy, Society of Women Engineers panels, and parent and orientation groups; and visiting high schools for recruitment.

Rodgers, who joined the college in 1989, is professor of chemical and biochemical engineering, director of the Ethnic Inclusion Effort for Iowa Engineering, and researcher in the Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing. Nationally, he has served as session chair 10 times for various professional organizations, as well as national chair for the American Institute of Chemical Engineering (AIChE) Minority Affairs Committee from 1994-97 and the Gender Issues Task Force in 1997. He received the AIChE Minority Affairs Committee Distinguished Service Award in 1999 and was nominated for director of the organization in 1997.

At the UI, he has served on numerous committees and has mentored student groups, serving as faculty advisor for the Multi-Ethnic Engineering and Science Students Association (MESA) since 1990 and Hawkeye Engineer since 1993. He is also a leader in minority recruiting efforts, serving as principal investigator of the GAANN (Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need) fellowship program and on the advisory board for women in Science and Engineering (WISE). He is a judge for the annual Iowa Junior Science and Humanities Symposium and, through MESA, tutors Iowa City students in grades 5-7. His research interests, for which he has received support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), include membrane separation science, transport phenomena and artificial organs.

Scranton, who joined the college in 2000, is professor of chemical and biochemical engineering, associate dean for academic programs, director of the NSF-supported Photopolymerization Center, and researcher in the Optical Science and Technology Center. He is internationally recognized for his work in photopolymerization, or light-activated processes and a field with widespread commercial applications.

Researchers at the center are exploring cutting-edge research on photopolymerization and are developing novel applications. The unique advantages offered by photopolymerization processes have led to a rapid growth in its use in areas such as solvent-free processing, biomedical materials, and high-technology devices. Much of the growth in the field has occurred without a fundamental understanding of the underlying photochemical processes, a role the center fills. Scranton, the recipient of several UI teaching awards, and his colleagues are now known as one of the best U.S. photopolymerization research groups.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 301, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, Writer, 319-384-0009,