College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Former IMSE department chair returns to campus for lecture


Even though the university’s homecoming events do not kick off until October 20, Way Kuo will be making a homecoming of his own earlier in the month.

Kuo, who currently serves as president and university distinguished professor at the City University of Hong Kong, will return to Iowa State University on October 2 to present a lecture titled Soulware: The American Spirit in Global Higher Education. Kuo served on the faculty of Iowa State’s Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering (IMSE) from 1984 to 1993.

His lecture will focus on the ways that the Americas have impacted the spread of higher education institutions all around the world. Kuo will discuss the lack of what he refers to as “soulware,” a type of culture, mentality, professionalism, behavior and way of thinking. He argues that these qualities need to be cultivated among educators.

Kuo holds a B.S. in nuclear engineering from National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan, a M.S. in industrial engineering and statistics from Kansas State University and a Ph.D. in engineering, also from Kansas State. He worked for Bell Laboratories before joining the IMSE faculty at Iowa State in 1984.  He was promoted to full professor in 1988 and was named department chair the following year.

In 1991, while still serving as department chair, Kuo was named a Fulbright scholar in the Industrial Production Engineering Program. He spent a semester as a visiting faculty member at the Universidade NOVA de Lisboa in Portugal and also lectured in England, Germany and Scotland. Before joining the City University of Hong Kong, he had stops at Texas A&M University and the University of Tennessee, where he served as Dean of Engineering.

Gül E. Kremer, professor and C.G. “Turk” & Joyce A. Therkildsen Department Chair of IMSE, is currently in her fourth year as chair of the department and said she hopes to learn from her predecessor.

“Dr. Kuo has a valuable and unique perspective on higher education and I look forward to hearing what he discusses during his lecture,” Kremer said.