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University of Iowa News Release


June 3, 2010

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 staff excellence in 2009-10.

The four, honored by Dean P. Barry Butler at the college's annual faculty/staff recognition reception, are: Larry Weber, Faculty Excellence Award for Service; Thomas Casavant, Faculty Excellence Award for Research; Anton Kruger, Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching; and Susan Beckett, Mary Sheedy Staff Excellence Award.

Weber, professor of civil and environmental engineering and Edwin B. Green Chair in Hydraulics, is director of the college's world-renowned IIHR--Hydroscience & Engineering research institute. He is the lead investigator for IIHR's fish passage program, funded by a $15 million external contract from Public Utility District No. 2 of Grant County, Washington. He is especially known in the college and the community for helping to secure a series of state and federal grants to develop tools that are helping Iowans to better assess their risks of flooding.

Casavant, professor of electrical and computer engineering with joint appointments in biomedical engineering and opthalmology and visual sciences, holds the Roy J. Carver Chair in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology and directs the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. He also serves as co-principal investigator of the John and Marcia Carver Nonprofit Genetic Testing Laboratory and co-director of the Holden Cancer Center Program in Cancer Genetics and Cancer Biology. His work not only helps researchers to determine the genetic basis of disease, but also helps train young graduates in the life sciences to conduct biomedical problem solving using modern computational methods.

Kruger, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, earned his doctorate in the UI Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1992, joined the college in 1995 and has taught in the department since 2006. He is also an associate faculty research engineer at IIHR--Hydroscience & Engineering. Senior faculty and Kruger's students cite him for his development of curriculum, commitment to student success, availability to students by maintaining extensive office hours, and involvement in student senior design projects. He received the college's Research Staff Excellence Award in 2003.

Beckett, administrative staff member in computer systems support, was cited for outstanding service. The Mary Sheedy Award -- named for a secretary who served 40 years in the College of Engineering Dean's Office ( -- is presented to a staff member who provides outstanding service to the college of engineering, has a positive attitude that impacts and improves the work atmosphere within the college, leaves a lasting impression with the college and its constituents, and demonstrates a commitment to the college and its mission.

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

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