Frank Krennrich named next chair of Department of Physics and Astronomy at Iowa State

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AMES, Iowa – Frank Krennrich, professor of physics and astronomy at Iowa State University, will become the next chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, an academic department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Frank Krennrich

Krennrich succeeds Joseph Shinar, professor of physics who has served as chair since 2008 and will remain on the ISU faculty. Krennrich becomes chair effective July 1.

"Frank Krennrich is an internationally recognized astrophysicist and an experienced leader of large collaborative efforts," said Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean Beate Schmittmann. "He has the right vision and qualifications to lead the department to the next stage of excellence."

William Jenks, professor and chair of chemistry, chaired the search committee. "The Department of Physics and Astronomy is an especially strong one," Jenks said. "The search committee was pleased to have top-notch candidates with a variety of skill sets to recommend to Dean Schmittmann. I am confident that Frank will be an excellent chair; his experience with leadership in international collaborative research projects should translate well to leading a large research-centered department at Iowa State."

Krennrich is an internationally recognized leader in very high energy gamma ray astrophysics, which allows astronomers to study the universe. He examines phenomena related to gigantic black holes in the centers of active galaxies, and has a major impact on development of gamma ray astronomy through his leadership role in the VERITAS collaboration (Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System) in Arizona.

In 2010, Krennrich received the Iowa State University Award for Mid-Career Achievement in Research. He earned a Ph.D. in physics in 1996 from Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich.

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About Liberal Arts and Sciences The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is a world-class learning and research community. Iowa State’s most academically diverse college, LAS educates students to become global citizens, providing rigorous academic programs in the sciences, humanities and social sciences within a supportive personalized learning environment. College faculty design new materials, unravel biological structures, care for the environment, and explore social and behavioral issues. From fundamental research to technology transfer and artistic expression, the college supports people in Iowa and around the world.

NEWS RELEASE College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Iowa State University

Contacts: Frank Krennrich, Physics & Astronomy, (515) 294-3736, ( Laura Wille, Liberal Arts & Sciences Communication, (515) 294-7742, (