Palmer Department Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Barbara R. (BS household equipment ’46) and James R. (BSEE ’44) Palmer established the Palmer Professorship in Electrical Engineering in 1986 through a gift of $1 million to Iowa State. In March 2010, additional earnings from the endowed faculty position were used to establish the Palmer Department Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Proceeds from the Palmer Departmental Chair are used to strengthen the efforts of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering by supporting the scholarly research and educational initiatives of the chair holder, cutting edge research and educational programs in the department, and recruiting world-renowned faculty and top students to the department.

James began his career with C-Cor Electronics in State College, Pennsylvania, in 1955 and rapidly built the firm into an industry leader in the area of CATV. In the 1970s and 1980s, C-Cor led the way in bandwidth expansion as cable TV revolutionized American media. James retired as C-Cor’s chairman and president in 1985. The Palmers also have funded the James R. and Barbara R. Palmer Graduate Fellowship in Electrical Engineering and the Irving Raeder Scholarship for Excellence, in memory of Barbara’s father, a 1918 graduate of Iowa State.


  • Ratnesh Kumar (2021-present)
  • Chen-Ching Liu (2006-2008)
  • Subrahmanyam S. “Mani” Venkata (2003)
  • William Lord (1988-2001)