Dennis Vigil has been named the Reginald R. Baxter Endowed Department Chair in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (CBE) at Iowa State University effective July 1. Vigil currently serves as the associate department chair and professor in CBE and he has been at Iowa State for 29 years. Vigil is replacing Andrew Hillier, who served 10 years as department chair and will return to teaching and research in the department.
Vigil joined the CBE department in 1994 as an assistant professor and rose through the ranks of associate professor and professor. He also helped establish and served as associate director of the Center for Multiphase Flow Research and Education at Iowa State. Vigil is an accomplished scholar, teacher and researcher and has received many honors including the Iowa State University Regent’s Faculty excellence award.
“Dennis is passionate about providing students the highest quality education,” said W. Samuel Easterling, the James L. and Katherine S. Melsa Dean of Engineering. “Working closely with faculty and staff, Dennis plays a vital role in developing our future engineering leaders who will make an impact in Iowa and communities around the world. He will continue to advance the department with his vision, leadership and creativity.”
Vigil leads his own research group that specializes in developing and validating new models and computational methods for simulating the behavior of multiphase processes, particularly as they relate to important technological problems such as enhanced oil recovery and aquifer remediation and development of novel reaction engineering and separation approaches for fermentation.
Vigil is looking forward to this new opportunity. “Our department is strong and has had such outstanding leadership,” Vigil said. “I appreciate and am proud to be part of this deep tradition and look forward to continuing building on our strengths into the future. Iowa State is the place I call home so I am honored to be taking this next step in my academic leadership journey.”
Vigil received his doctorate and master’s degrees in chemical engineering at the University of Michigan, and his bachelor’s in chemical engineering at the University of New Mexico.