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University of Iowa News Release

April 28, 2005

Four Engineering Faculty, Staff Receive Excellence Awards

Four University of Iowa faculty and staff recently received College of Engineering Excellence Awards for their individual contributions to research, teaching, service and research staff excellence.

The four, honored by Dean P. Barry Butler at the College's annual faculty/staff recognition luncheon on April 26, are: Jasbir S. Arora, Faculty Excellence Award for Research; Robert Ettema, Faculty Excellence Award for Service; Ralph I. Stephens, Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching; and Marian Muste, Research Staff Award.

Arora, who received his doctorate in mechanics and hydraulics from the UI College of Engineering in 1971 and joined the UI faculty in 1972, is F. Wendell Miller Distinguished Professor of Engineering, professor of civil and environmental engineering and researcher in the Center for Computer Aided Design. An international leader in design optimization, Arora has primary research interests involving the optimal design of structural and mechanical systems -- including cars, airplanes, buildings and bridges.

Ettema, who joined the college in 1980, is professor and departmental executive officer in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, faculty research engineer at IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering, and researcher in the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research. He served as IIHR associate director from 1986-91 and acting director from 1991-94, providing important leadership during critical transitional periods. His research interests include fundamentals and applications of hydraulic engineering, while his special fields of knowledge embrace water resources engineering, hydraulics, sedimentation, ice engineering and coastal engineering.

Stephens, who joined the college in 1965, is professor of mechanical and industrial engineering and has research interests in computational vehicular fatigue life predictions, fatigue crack growth of advanced titanium alloys, fatigue of high strength PM steels, and the influence of high mean tensile stress on fatigue life. Says Stephens, "Since I have thoroughly enjoyed every bit of my teaching, research, and most service, I have not had to 'work' as a university professor." He adds that he is as thrilled to see former graduate students excel as young professionals as he was to be able to motivate them as students.

Muste, IIHR associate research engineer and adjunct associate professor, last year won a Senior Scholar Fulbright Award to conduct research in Germany. His primary areas of research interest include experimental hydraulics and fluid mechanics. Muste, who earned his master's degree and doctorate in civil and environmental engineering from the UI College of Engineering in 1993 and 1995, respectively, has served as coordinator of the college's fluids laboratory and as instructor for the course, "Experimental Methods in Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer."

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

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