College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Tom Rudolphi retiring after 38 years at Iowa State

Rudolphi chats with Prof. Leifsson and Prof. Hong.

Tom Rudolphi, professor in Aerospace Engineering will retire following the the 2016-2017 school year. Rudolphi has spent 38 years at Iowa State, originally working in the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, which would eventually become the Department of Aerospace Engineering Rudolphi served as the department chair for 8 years, once from 1996-2003, and again on an interim basis during the 2009-2010 school year. Under Rudolphi’s direction, the department founded the Industrial Advisory Council, which seeks input from outstanding aerospace engineering professionals on the direction of the department. Rudolphi also began the Hall of Distinguished Alumni, which has honored alumni who have gone on to extraordinary careers in the aerospace industry.

Rudolphi looks back upon his time at Iowa State fondly, remembering the little moments that made his tenure special. “Working with people from incoming undergraduate freshman to gradute students going out the door to faculty and staff, that’s all been part and parcel to the whole enjoyment of things,” Rudolphi said. “It’s always been a job that I enjoyed getting out of bed at 6 o’clock in the morning and doing something you’re interested in or staying late until 10 o’clock at night.”

Rudolphi addresses the crowd during his retirement ceremony.

Rudolphi arrived at Iowa State in the fall of 1979 after spending time at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. With a background in engineering mechanics, Rudolphi’s research focused on computational methods and computational solid mechanics, especially the use of singular integral equations as a means and basis of computational methodologies.

A reception was held on Friday afternoon to celebrate Rudolphi’s career. Many of Rudolphi’s current and former colleagues were in attendance to honor their friend.

Rudolphi plans on staying in Ames and spending more time with his wife. “I have a great appreciation for the role Iowa State University has played in my life and I’m grateful for that.”