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: