Distinguished Alumni Awards

P. Barry Butler

P. Barry Butler
To P. Barry Butler, for outstanding leadership in the development of future engineers.

Executive Vice President and Provost, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa

  • BS, 1979, Aerospace Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • MS, 1981, Aerospace Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • PhD, 1984, Mechanical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

After receiving his PhD from Illinois in 1984, Barry Butler began his academic career in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Iowa, where he served as associate professor, professor, and department chair. In 1997, he was named an Associate Dean and, later, Dean of Academic Programs for the College of Engineering at Iowa. Since 2011, he has served as the university’s Executive Vice President and Provost.

Butler’s leadership has been instrumental in the creation of two highly successful, multicollege research centers and in the establishment of combined BS/MS programs. He also serves as the campus coordinator of the Iowa Space Grant Consortium. With this experience and a $3 million grant from the Iowa Office of Energy Independence, he established a statewide consortium to enhance Iowa’s wind energy competitiveness.

Throughout his 27-year academic and administrative career, Butler has focused on the preparation of future engineers. As Dean of the College of Engineering at Iowa, he established the Hanson Center for Technical Communication to help students improve and implement their oral and written communication skills. He also initiated the Grabbing the Globe lecture series and Virtual International Project Teams, which promote global awareness and cooperation.

Butler has served as chair of the engineering section of the Iowa Academy of Science and has been actively involved with the American Society of Engineering Education. Throughout the past decade, he has promoted the mission and education of Eastern Iowa’s Corridor STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Initiative. His dedication to helping youth succeed is further evidenced through his years as a mentor for middle school and high school science students in the Iowa City public schools and in his organization and leadership of community activities.

Since 2001, Butler has been active on the Mechanical Science and Engineering Alumni Board of Directors at Illinois, serving as it’s vice president and president. He continues to support the university as a sustaining life member of the Alumni Association and has been honored to receive the Aerospace Engineering Distinguished Alumnus Award from Illinois. Butler also serves on the Board of Directors of the American Wind Energy Association and the Board of Trustees of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Association.

In addition, Butler is the recipient of Society of Automotive Engineers Ralph Teetor National Educator Award and has been named the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Outstanding Professor and American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Associate Fellow. Butler’s research focus is in the area of non-ideal reactive fluid flow modeling, and he has published 59 archived journal articles and select conference proceedings. His consulting work is highly valued by numerous professional entities.

Current as of 2012.