The Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professorships Program

The University of Iowa honors the memory of an Iowa woman, Ida Cordelia Beam, whose quiet gift of Benton County Land ever renews learning. The program has since 1977 brought hundreds of eminent scholars and scientists to give public lectures and to meet with students and faculty. The Department of Chemistry has been honored to host several speakers through this University-wide program.

Most Recent Speaker

In Spring 2013, the Department of Chemistry hosted Professor Rodney C. Ewing as an Ida Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor.   Dr. Ewing is the Edward H. Kraus Distinguished University Professor at the University of Michigan with faculty appointments in the Departments of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences, and Materials Sciences and Engineering.  He has published over 600 scientific papers in journals, edited books, and proceedings volumes on a vast array of topics in environmental mineralogy, radioactive waste management, and radiation effects.  His current scientific research interests include the mobility of actinide nanoparticles in the environment, design and evaluation of materials for nuclear waste management, and radiation damage in complex ceramic materials.  Professor Ewing has also written extensively on issues regarding nuclear waste management and policy, including co-editing the book “Uncertainty Underground – Yucca Mountain and the National’s High-Level Nuclear Waste” in 2006.  He has given numerous lectures about the “renaissance” of nuclear power and on the risks and scale of development that would be required in the nuclear energy sector to actually make significant contributions to decrease greenhouse gas emissions.  He is currently a member of the Board of Radioactive Waste Management of the National Research Council and was recently appointed to the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board by President Barack Obama on July 28, 2011. 

Dr. Ewing visited the University of Iowa campus on May 2 and 3, 2013, where he met with UI faculty across campus; presented a public lecture, "Lessons Learned at Yucca Mountain," on nuclear waste management policies in the United States; and gave a technical talk, "Actinides in the nuclear fuel cycle and their impact on geologic disposal", as part of the Department of Chemistry colloquium series.


Past Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professors in Chemistry

  • 2013. Rodney C. Ewing, University of Michigan.
  • 2010. Dr. Michael P. Doyle, University of Maryland.
  • 2008. Jacqueline K. Barton. California Institute of Technology.
  • 2001. Karl Wieghardt. Max Plank Institute, Germany.
  • 1997. Mario Molina. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • 1994. James Collman. Stanford University.
  • 1992. John Polanyi. University of Toronto, Canada.
  • 1990. Malcomb Green. University of Oxford, England.
  • 1989. Derek Barton. Texas A & M University.
  • 1987. Cristopher Walsh. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • 1986. George Pimentel. University of California, Berkeley.