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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 1, 2008

Eichinger named to Ashton Professorship in Civil Engineering

The University of Iowa College of Engineering has appointed William Eichinger, professor of civil and environmental engineering in the University of Iowa College of Engineering and faculty research engineer at IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering, to the William D. Ashton Professorship in Civil Engineering.

The new professorship was created in August and honors UI engineering graduate William Ashton of Davenport, Iowa. The professorship is supported by the Ashton Professorships Fund at the UI Foundation, which was created by a recent major gift commitment from the Ashton Family Foundation in Dallas, Texas.

Eichinger, who earned his doctorate in hydrologic science from the University of California-Davis in 1995 and joined the UI faculty in 1997, has specialized knowledge in the fields of hydrology and fluid mechanics in the environment, atmospheric pollution control and remediation, optical remote sensing, lidar and nuclear physics. He is the recipient of the 2000 UI College of Engineering Excellence Award for Teaching.

Ashton received Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in civil engineering from the UI in 1962 and 1963, respectively. He founded Ashton Engineering Inc. in Davenport, Iowa, in 1982, and he is a member of the college's Distinguished Engineering Alumni Academy.

After graduating from the UI, Ashton served as chief of the Structural Design Section, Rock Island Corps of Engineers, enjoying a distinguished career that won him the Army Meritorious Civilian Service Award in 1974 and the Army Certificate of Appreciation in 1978. His extensive community service includes the Rotary Club of Davenport, where he served as board member and president and led service trips to India for National Immunization Day against polio and to Guatemala to design rainwater capture systems.

In 2004 Ashton and his brother, 1964 UI engineering graduate Jim Ashton of Dallas, Texas, provided the cornerstone gift to the UI Foundation to enable construction of the Ashton Cross Country Course at the UI. The brothers made their gift in memory of their former Hawkeye cross country coach, the late Francis X. Cretzmeyer. William and Jim Ashton were both letter winners on the Iowa Hawkeyes cross country team, and William is a former UI Varsity Club president.

One of 11 colleges on the UI campus, the College of Engineering teaches disciplines in biomedical, chemical and biochemical, civil and environmental, electrical and computer, industrial and mechanical engineering. The college excels internationally in several specialty and interdisciplinary research areas, such as computer-aided design and simulation, human factors, environmental health solutions, biotechnology, medical imaging, hydraulics and water/air resources, photopolymerization, and nanoscience and nanotechnology. All six engineering programs have close teaching and research ties with the five UI health sciences colleges.

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,