The prestigious honor recognizes faculty nationally and internationally renowned for their scholarship, teaching, and service

Keri Hornbuckle, Donald E. Bently Professor of Engineering, was named a recipient of the 2023 University of Iowa Distinguished Chair.

The accolade represents one of the most prestigious honors granted to faculty members at Iowa. It acknowledges scholars who are distinguished at a national and global level, and have made significant contributions to the university, the state of Iowa, and beyond through outstanding achievements in research, teaching, and/or service. Those selected for the honor receive additional financial resources to support their professional activities, enabling them to further extend their scholarly impact.

Hornbuckle, along with Mark Blumberg, F. Wendell Miller Professor and chair in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, will hold the title of UI Distinguished Chair for the duration of their faculty appointments at Iowa. In accepting the title, they will relinquish their previously held endowed positions.

“We are proud to honor and celebrate the contributions of these esteemed faculty members with the University of Iowa Distinguished Chair,” said Kevin Kregel, executive vice president and provost. “Our two newest honorees have had a profound impact on our university and within their respective fields. Their exceptional scholarship, along with their commitment to teaching excellence, elevates our institution and inspires our next generation of leaders.”

Hornbuckle joins Michelle Scherer, professor of civil and environmental engineering, as an honoree from the College of Engineering. Scherer earned the honor in 2021.

Hornbuckle, who has been a faculty member at Iowa for 25 years, is an internationally recognized leader in environmental engineering. Throughout her career, she has focused on the exposure and emission of air pollutants, including insecticides, herbicides, surface active compounds, fragrances, and industrial chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

She has published more than 100 research studies in prestigious scientific journals. After her appointment as director of the Iowa Superfund Research Program (ISRP) in 2018, she led the program’s successful renewal of a $13 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Her ISRP studies on PCBs in public schools, indoor air, building materials, and children’s blood have been widely cited and featured in major media outlets, leading to important policy changes.


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