Press Center

Alumna establishes professorship in chemical process safety in the UI College of Engineering

June 29, 2012

A $1 million gift commitment to the University of Iowa Foundation will create a professorship in the UI College of Engineering.

Sharon Tinker of Houston, Texas, established the Sharon K. Tinker Process Safety Professorship in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering. The fund will provide support for a faculty member who has a distinguished program in chemical and biochemical engineering and specializes in chemical process safety, skills, and knowledge that are applied to prevent industry and laboratory incidents that can result in injuries, environmental damage, and property loss.

The UI Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Department is one of only a few in the U.S. that offers a dedicated chemical process safety course and, thanks to a contribution in 2009 by Sharon Tinker to renovate and expand a lab, is the only program that contains a dedicated laboratory component.

“Sharon Tinker’s devotion to the College of Engineering runs deep,” said Alec Scranton, the college’s dean. “She has helped us in so many ways—from mentoring our students to providing invaluable advice and counsel on academic and research initiatives. We are very proud of her career accomplishments as well as her commitment to helping keep our college a leader in engineering education.”

Tinker, a native Iowan, graduated from the UI in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering and has been a longtime employee of ExxonMobil Corporation. She is a former member of the UI Chemical Engineering Advisory Board and has served on the college’s engineering development council since 2005.

The UI acknowledges the UI Foundation as the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the university. For more information about the foundation, visit