College of Engineering Professorship honors memory of alumnus Ralph Hoeper

University of Nevada, Reno faculty member Henry Fu receives Ralph E. Hoeper Endowed Professorship

College of Engineering Professorship honors memory of alumnus Ralph Hoeper

University of Nevada, Reno faculty member Henry Fu receives Ralph E. Hoeper Endowed Professorship

University of Nevada, Reno Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Henry Fu has been awarded with the Ralph E. Hoeper Endowed Professorship. This is the first endowed professorship within the College of Engineering.

"The College is grateful for this support and opportunity," College of Engineering Dean Manos Maragakis said. "To make this prestigious award we followed a competitive process and Henry Fu was chosen from a group of very qualified applicants. I am proud of Henry's accomplishments and I am confident this award will make him even more competitive in his pursuit of excellence and national prominence."

The award honors the memory of Ralph E. Hoeper who graduated from the College of Engineering with a degree in electrical engineering in 1951 after serving in World War II as a submariner. He was one of the pioneers in the telephone industry and worked to give back to rural communities. Ralph and his wife Rose Hoeper bought Foresthill Telephone in the 1940s. Over the years, they built up the company and led the Foresthill, Calif., community into the digital age. In 2006, Ralph was posthumously awarded the University's James Graves Scrugham Medal. He was one of only nine College of Engineering alumni to receive this award.    

Since her husband's passing in 2001, Rose has continued to be a great supporter of the College of Engineering. She has supported the K-12 Outreach Program within the College and has created five other endowments at the University.

"I'll always be grateful to the University of Nevada, Reno and Rose and Ralph," Fu said. "I plan to use funds from the Hoeper Professorship to advance my research into new areas. Since the funds are not tied to a specific project, they provide an opportunity to explore new research topics and the creation of new research capabilities in my group."

Fu's research focuses in the area of extremely small scale fluid dynamics such as bacteria and micro-robotic devices. This includes complex biomaterials, hydrodynamics of swimming microorganisms and low-Reynolds number hydrodynamics in which fluid flows are smoother and fluid is in constant motion. His research is supported by the National Science Foundation and he says this research can lead to applications in biomedicine and health.

"We are interested in learning how some bacteria are able to move through the different environments inside the human body," Fu said. "Knowing how they achieve this may lead to new methods to disrupt their motion and hence infection."

Fu will hold the professorship for three years at which time it will either be extended or rotated to another faculty member within the College of Engineering.

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