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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 23, 2005

UI Engineer Receives National Recognition

Tonya Peeples, associate professor of chemical and biochemical engineering in the University of Iowa College of Engineering, recently received the 2005 Distinguished Service Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Minority Affairs Committee.

The award was presented for "sustained service and outstanding achievements that advance the goals of the Minority Affairs Committee." Among those goals is reducing the under-representation of minorities in the AIChE, the chemical

engineering profession, and engineering as a whole.

Peeples, who came to the UI in 1995, is a researcher in the field of organisms that thrive in extreme environments and has research interests that include extremophile biocatalysis and bioremediation. Her study of how microbes adapt to extreme heat, cold and pressure also may lead to a better understanding of conventional life systems and environments. She earned her doctorate in 1995 from The Johns Hopkins University.

An executive committee member and researcher at the UI Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing, she received a General Electric Faculty For The Future Award in 1996 and a prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award in 1997. In 2004, she won the Lloyd N. Ferguson Young Scientist Award for excellence in research from the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers. She is currently a researcher in The Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis, a National Science Foundation engineering research center.

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,