Associate Director of CCAD and F. Wendell Miller Distinguished Professor Arora Retires

Jasbir S. Arora, F. Wendell Miller Distinguished Professor of Civil, Environmental, and Mechanical Engineering and associate director of the Center for Computer-Aided Design, has retired after 47 years in the College of Engineering.

"A giant in his field of teaching and research, Professor Arora wrote the book referred to as the bible on optimization," says Karim Abdel-Malek, CCAD director.  "He also provided sound and strategic advice, counsel, and mentorship to me and hundreds of staff and students over the years. With his calm and steady demeanor, coupled with an unwavering commitment and dedication to the highest standards of academics, Jas has left an indelible mark on us all, locally and globally."

Professor Arora is an emeritus faculty member and will continue to be a CCAD affiliate. We asked him to reflect on his career and tell us about his plans for the future.

Q: What brings you the most satisfaction when you look back on your career?

A: There are several very satisfying endeavors that I can think of: working with and teaching undergraduate and graduate students, working with graduate students on research and publishing the results in journals, publishing a textbook on optimum design that is in its fourth edition, and working on digital human modeling projects with a great group of people at VSR/CCAD.

Q: What will you miss most?
A: Working with graduate students on research topics.

Q: What do you plan to do in retirement?
A: I plan to work on several projects: digital human modeling research, optimization algorithms for digital human motion simulation, and developing material for the fifth edition of my book, Introduction to Optimum Design.

Q: What are you most excited about?
A: I am most excited about not having to keep up a schedule. This will give me more time with family and for travel.

Q: What do you like best about Iowa City?
A: Iowa City is a very nice small town with all the activities of a big town. You can go anywhere within 10 to 15 minutes. It has an excellent educational system for kids and excellent healthcare facilities. I have really enjoyed the university atmosphere and small-town feeling.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I like to read and do research on the effects of different foods on the body and do research on natural therapies for different ailments. I also like to keep up with the political news about the country and other places around the world. I also like to follow the stock market and do research on stocks.

Q: What are some of your favorite things?
A: Playing golf, doing yoga, traveling to beautiful places and appreciating the natural beauty, traveling to coastal areas and enjoying the beaches and ocean.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
A: I have really enjoyed the academic freedom that the university environment provides. In many ways, you are your own boss. You can dream-off any topic to pursue for research, develop a plan to investigate it, and sell it to some agency/entity for their financial support.

For more information about Professor Arora and his research, see his College of Engineering webpage: