Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at the University of Iowa has a 100+ year history. Chemical engineering grew out of a branch of chemistry, called “Industrial Chemistry.” The earliest documented mention of industrial chemistry at Iowa is from 1903, in the form of a series of “Courses in Applied Chemistry” that can be found in early catalogs of the the University of lowa found in the University Library Archives. That activity began in the College of Liberal Arts under the leadership of Dean Amos Noyes Currier (1888-1907) with instruction by William Jay Karslake (Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1895).  Dr. Karslake joined Iowa in 1904, and his name last appeared in the 1917-18 Catalog. 

The term "Chemical Engineering" was first used in the 1905 catalog of the University of Iowa. Thus, from 1903 until 1952, the program in chemical engineering at Iowa was under the aegis of the Chemistry Department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. 

The first person trained specifically as a chemical engineer, Dr. Hubert L Olin, joined the faculty in 1919. Professor Edward Bartow, chair of the Chemistry Department, teamed up with the dean of the College of Applied Science (Dean Raymond), to form a cooperative effort in chemical engineering. The cooperative program was established in 1926. The College of Applied Science became the College of Engineering in 1927.

Past and present faculty members in what is now The University of Iowa Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Department: 

 H. L. Olin (Head 1919-1944) 1919-1950—Emeritus
   J. L. Beal 1934-1936
   L. W. Cornell 1936-1937
   J. Howard Arnold 1937-1944
   W. L. Faith (Head of Div.) 1944-1945
   C. S. Grove (Head of Div.) 1945-1948
   J. O. Osburn (Acting Head 1948-1949) 1946-1985—Emeritus
   K. Kammermeyer (Div. & Dept. Head) 1949-1973—Emeritus
   C. J. Major 1950-1965
   Robert W. Roberts 1961-1962
   Arthur F. Vetter 1962-1987—Emeritus
   Sun-Tak Hwang (Program Chair 1978-1982) 1966-1982
   J. K. Beddow 1968-1997—Emeritus
   Richard Tock 1970-1974
   Kirk C. Valanis (Materials Div. Chairman) 1974-1978
   Gregory Carmichael (Chair 1982-1995, Interim Chairman 1998-1999) 1978-
   Ravindra Datta 1981-1998
   Susan M. Selke 1983-1984
   David W. Luerkens 1984-1993
   David G. Rethwisch 1985-
   Randall A. Yoshisato 1985-1989
   Jonathan S. Dordick (Chair 1995-1998) 1987-1998
   Victor G. J. Rodgers 1989-2005
   David W. Murhammer (Chair 2007-2012) 1989-
   Audrey A. Butler, Lecturer 1989-2017
   John M. Wiencek (Chair 2002-2007) 1995-2007
   Tonya L. Peeples 1995-2018
   Gary Aurand, Adjunct 1995-2018
   Robert Linhardt 1996-2003
   Alec B. Scranton (Chair 2000-2002) 2000-
   Julie L. P. Jessop 2000-2018
   C. Allan Guymon (Chair 2012-present) 2002-
   Charles O. Stanier 2004-
   Venkiteswaran (Mani) Subramanian 2005-2018
   Jennifer Fiegel 2006-
   Eric Nuxoll 2008-
   Chris Coretsopoulos 2012-
   Syed Mubeen 2014-
   Jun Wang 2016-
   Jing Zeng, Lecturer 2016-
   Beth Rundlett 2018-
   Joe Gomes 2019-