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Remembering Bruce Karnopp


Bruce Karnopp

University of Michigan (U-M) Mechanical Engineering (ME) Associate Professor Emeritus Bruce H. Karnopp, Ph.D, passed away on January 1st , 2017. Karnopp spent nearly four decades teaching at U-M ME before retiring in May of 2004.

Well-known in the field of dynamics, Karnopp’s vast knowledge on the subject made him a one-of- a-kind educator. In fact, his reputation as an instructor at U-M ME has been described as legendary. Throughout the course of his 36-year career his teaching impacted the lives of over 15,000 students, many of which described him as the best instructor they ever had at the University of Michigan. His passion and talents earned him a number accolades throughout his teaching career including the Amoco Foundation Faculty Teaching Award, the Arthur F. Thurnau Professorship, the College of Engineering (CoE) Teaching Excellence Award, and the Michigan Association of Governing Boards of State Universities Distinguished Faculty Award. He was also selected as “Professor of the Term” six times by the University of Michigan Chapter of Pi Tau Sigma and served as faculty advisor to the 1993 National Champion Sunrayce solar car team.

Awards and accolades aren’t the only things Professor Karnopp will be remembered for. While serving as an assistant dean for the U-M College of Engineering from 1984-89, he initiated recruiting programs for underrepresented minorities and out- of-state students. He also spearheaded a project to improve access to the University for students in rural areas of Michigan. Karnopp served as the chair of U-M’s Admissions Advisory Committee where he helped to develop the mission statement that confirms the University’s long-standing commitment to diversity. He participated in U-M CoE’s Summer Engineering Academy, preparing new students for success at the University. And, during his 13 years of service in the U-M CoE Orientation Program, he was often the first face seen by the incoming class of students and their parents.

Professor Karnopp’s charisma and love for teaching was a gift to the University of Michigan’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and the students he touched. He will be sorely missed by all!

Donations in Professor Bruce Karnopp’s memory are being accepted for the Brain Bank Discovery Fund. Checks may be made to “University of Michigan” and sent to Medical Development, 1000 Oakbrook, Suite 100, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. You may also call 734-764-6777.