May 13, 2004

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Contact: Jill Hummels, School of Engineering, (785) 864-2934.

KU engineering school to bestow highest honor on two alumni today

LAWRENCE -- The University of Kansas School of Engineering and its advisory board will honor two of the school's alumni for careers that exemplify professional achievement.

On Thursday, May 13, Warren Corman, Lawrence, and Thomas M. Murray, Blacksburg, Va., will receive the Distinguished Engineering Service Award at the Adams Alumni Center at KU. The award was created by the KU School of Engineering Advisory Board in 1980 to honor engineering alumni, or engineers who have maintained a close association with the school, for their outstanding contributions to the theories and practices of engineering research and development in new fields of engineering, or direction of an organization that has made exceptional contributions in design, production and development.

"The School of Engineering and its advisory board are pleased to recognize two alumni who've had an extraordinary impact on the structures in which we live, work and learn," said Stuart R. Bell, dean of engineering. "Tom Murray, who earned his doctorate in engineering mechanics from KU, has become a recognized expert in structural steel design."

No less important is the lifetime of service from University Architect Warren Corman, a 1950 architectural engineering graduate.

"Warren has done an astounding job as university architect at KU," Bell said. "What some people may not be aware of is the important work he completed for students throughout the state during his 31 years as director of facilities for the Kansas Board of Regents before he came to KU.

"These two alumni stand as exceptional role models of personal and professional integrity for our students to emulate," Bell said.

Corman and Murray each will receive a bronze sculpture acknowledging the achievement. Portraits of the honorees and highlights of their professional accomplishments also will become part of a permanent display in Eaton Hall, home of the School of Engineering.

Brief biographical information follows.

Warren Corman of Lawrence is university architect and special assistant to the chancellor at KU. He is a 1950 KU architectural engineering graduate.

Corman has had a major impact on the learning environment encountered by the state's college students. In 1966 he was recruited by the Kansas Board of Regents to be director of facilities, a position he held for 31 years. During his tenure he worked with all the regents institutions, overseeing planning and construction on more than 300 construction projects, valued at more than $500 million. Corman also was instrumental in two public policy actions that continue to serve Kansans: the State Building Advisory Committee, which greatly reduced the opportunity for corruption, and Crumbling Classrooms, widely recognized as the single most important facilities repair-and-rehabilitation funding project in regents history. Upon retiring from the regents post in 1997 Corman was hired as university architect and special assistant to the chancellor at KU. Corman has been integral to the completion of numerous construction projects, including the Memorial Stadium renovation, the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics and the School of Engineering's own Eaton Hall.

Thomas M. Murray of Blacksburg, Va., is the Montague-Betts professor of structural steel design at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. An expert in structural steel design, Murray has focused on the areas of floor vibration problems, metal building roof design and moment end-plate connections.

Engineering News-Record dubbed him the "floor vibration guru" for his research into floor serviceability. Along with his other areas of expertise, Murray has significantly affected the economics and safety of steel-framed buildings. Virtually every structural engineer is aware of and uses his design criteria.

He has written six books and monograms and more than 125 papers for refereed journals, conference proceedings and technical magazines. He also has given more than 250 presentations at local, state, national and international professional meetings. He has received numerous teaching awards, and in 2002, he was one of 74 engineers in the United States to be elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

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