Two Academic Departments Getting New Leadership

Thursday, March 18, 2021
Images of Kim Henthorn and James H. Hanson on Rose-Hulman's campus.

Preparing to take over leadership roles within their academic departments on July 1, 2021, are professors Kimberly Henthorn of chemical engineering and James Hanson of civil and environmental engineering.

Two experienced Rose-Hulman educators and scholars will be taking over leadership roles within the institute’s Department of Chemical Engineering and Department of Civil and Environment Engineering starting on July 1, 2021.

Kimberly H. Henthorn, associate professor of chemical engineering, will be leading the academic department in which she earned a bachelor’s degree in 1999 as a member of Rose-Hulman’s first coed freshman class. She will be replacing Adam Nolte, who will remain on the department’s faculty.

Meanwhile, James H. Hanson, professor of civil and environmental engineering, will be head of a department in which he has taught structural engineering courses since 2002. He will succeed Kevin Sutterer, who will remain as a full-time professor in the department.

The chemical and civil & environmental engineering departments have consistently achieved No. 1 status in U.S. News & World Report’s annual college guide, based upon surveys of the nation’s engineering college presidents and senior academic leadership. Both academic areas also have been recognized nationally for producing graduates who have the skills to be leaders in their career fields.

“We rotate the heads of our academic departments to give our senior faculty valuable leadership roles and responsibilities, while at the same time providing different perspectives and voices within the institute’s academic leadership,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Rick Stamper. “Dr. Henthorn and Dr. Hanson have been exemplary classroom instructors and scholars. Department leadership will just add to their impressive academic careers.”

Henthorn, a member of the Rose-Hulman faculty since 2010, specializes in particle technology and two-phase microfluidic systems. She is currently conducting research with students on the science and engineering of chocolate production and has worked with fellow faculty members to introduce new experiments into the chemical engineering laboratory.

The Indiana native has gained industry experience by working for Dow Chemical, Reilly Industries, and Pfizer, and serving as a consultant for Mo-Sci Corporation, Brewer Science, and DuPont. Henthorn earned a doctorate in chemical engineering from Purdue University and taught at the Missouri University of Science and Technology before joining the faculty at her alma mater.

Hanson has earned the Dean’s Outstanding Teacher Award, been a former Roland E. Hutchins Endowed Rose-Hulman Faculty Chair of Civil Engineering, and been named a Fellow of the American Concrete Institute, one of the highest distinctions for structural engineers.

A specialist in structural design of reinforced concrete, pre-stressed concrete and steel, Hanson has conducted research in numerical simulation of crack propagation in concrete structures, use of fracture mechanics in analysis and design of concrete structures, and fracture toughness testing. He wrote a first-of-its-kind civil engineering textbook, “Structural Analysis: Skills for Practice,” after personally interviewing 35 structural engineers from 10 design firms throughout America.

Hanson is a former U.S. Army Engineer officer who designed and built pipelines, organized operations for combat engineering units and conducted the repair and rehabilitation of small structures. He earned bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees from Cornell University, and formerly taught at Bucknell University.
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