College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Valery Levitas appointed Murray Harpole Chair in Engineering

Valery Levitas
Valery Levitas
Valery Levitas will add the appointment as Murray Harpole Chair to his many honors beginning July 1, 2023.

Department of Aerospace Engineering faculty member Valery Levitas has been appointed Murray Harpole Chair in Engineering.

Levitas is an Anson Marston Distinguished Professor and has held the title of Vance Coffman Faculty Chair Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering. He also holds a professorship in Mechanical Engineering and is a faculty scientist with Ames National Laboratory. He has developed a strong multidisciplinary research program at the intersection of advanced mechanics, physics, material science, chemistry, and applied mathematics and collaborates with leading international researchers in these fields.

He is credited with 468 publications, including 293 journal papers, three books, 11 book chapters, and 11 patents.

The Murray Harpole Chair in Engineering is endowed by Murray Harpole, an Iowa State University electrical engineering graduate. He established the chair position to support and recognize the changing needs in engineering, to help attract students, and to provide them with the best training required for building a successful career in engineering.

Harpole and his wife Ruth have a long history of philanthropy with Iowa State’s College of Engineering. Murray began his career on the Manhattan Project with development of the atomic bomb, and his next 20 years included a variety of research and development work, including serving as project director of the Alvin deep-ocean research submersible. He also served as chairman and CEO of Pentair, a global diversified manufacturing company that he co-founded. Harpole, who passed away in 2011, was a recipient of the Anson Marston Medal, the highest honor in Iowa State’s College of Engineering.