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University of Iowa News Release


June 11, 2009

UI engineering inducts Whitmore into Alumni Academy, Madsen into Legacy

The University of Iowa College of Engineering will induct Robert W. Whitmore into its Distinguished Engineering Alumni Academy and Donald H. Madsen into its Legacy of Iowa Engineering Saturday, June 13, during the college's spring alumni reunion dinner.

Robert W. Whitmore, who received a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering in 1986, will be inducted into the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Academy for  contributions toward engineering achievement, leadership, and service to the profession and society.

Whitmore serves as executive vice president and chief technology officer for Seagate Technology, Shakopee, Minn., worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of hard disk drives and storage solutions. While at the UI, Whitmore, a native of Iowa City, was inducted into Tau Beta Pi, national engineering honor society, and Pi Tau Sigma, international mechanical engineering honor society. He later earned a master's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota.

Whitmore has presented seminars at the UI College of Engineering to aspiring engineering students, including a Randall and Barbara Meyer "Grabbing the Globe" Seminar in 2006. He and his wife, Molly, who is also a UI graduate, have supported endowed scholarships in both engineering and nursing at the UI. Whitmore has given numerous national presentations to audiences including the National Academies in Washington, D.C., and the Board of Science Technology and Economic Policy National Symposium.

Donald H. Madsen, who served as professor of mechanical engineering from 1954 to 1990 and as the first associate dean of the college from 1967 to 1974, will be  inducted into the Legacy of Iowa Engineering, which recognizes faculty, staff, alumni and friends who made exceptional historical contributions toward advancing the college in teaching, research or service.

As associate dean of the college, Madsen was a tireless advocate of higher graduation standards for engineering, resulting in the development of a new core course curriculum. He also was the college's "in-house" architect for the engineering building, leaving his mark in many locations -- none more important than the complete renovation and expansion of the Engineering Library. A registered professional engineer, Madsen often served as an expert witness, investigating and testifying in numerous accident cases. His expertise ultimately found its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which implemented changes in the way expert witness testimony is viewed by the law.

Information on the entire membership of the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Academy can be found at:

The complete list of Legacy of Iowa Engineering members is located at:

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, University News Services, 319-384-0009,