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Kenneth F. Dunker papers

Identifier: RS 11/5/56

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content

This collection (1970-2013, undated) contains computer-generated artwork, publications, correspondence, photographs, slides, and teaching materials documenting the career of Kenneth Dunker at Iowa State University. His teaching career is highlighted by files containing lecture notes, photographs, and slides used in architecture and civil engineering courses taught by Dunker. Publications and newsletters with contributions by Dunker are included. Dunker was an advisor for the Iowa State Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineering’s Concrete Canoe and Steel Bridge Building Teams and documented the teams’ efforts through photographs and the collection of clippings and newsletters. Finally, the collection includes prints of early computer-generated artwork created by Dunker and his colleague Paul Shao, related correspondence, and exhibition information. A complete listing of all of the drawings found in the collection can be found in the appendix.


  • 1970-2013, undated

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Kenneth Dunker was born on November 19, 1942, in Madison, Wisconsin. He received his B. Arch. (1965) from the University of Michigan, M.S. (1967) in Architectural Structures from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. (1985) in Structural Engineering from Iowa State University.

Dunker spent most of the teaching career at Iowa State, except when he briefly worked as a Teaching Assistant (1965-1966) at Cornell University and as an Associate Professor (1978-1979) at the University of Oklahoma. At Iowa State University, Dunker was first hired as Associate Professor (1974-1978) in the Department of Architecture. Upon returning to Iowa State, he held the position of Assistant Professor (1979-1987) and Associate Professor (1987-1999) in the Department of Civil and Construction Engineering, a position he held until his retirement.

Dunker was active in research of highway bridge strengthening and performance. He taught courses in structural analysis and design, masonry, steel, and reinforced concrete. Later in his career he also taught courses on computer art and graphics. Dunker wrote or co-wrote several publications and journal articles, many of these appearing in the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) journal. He and his colleague, Professor Shao, worked on computer art and were among the first in the 1970s to make drawings, mostly composed of lines and patterns, with computers.

Dunker was a member of professional societies such as American Concrete Institute, American Institute of Steel Construction, American Society of Civil Engineers and others. He also was a member of honorary societies including Tau Sigma Delta, Phi Kappa Phi, Chi Epsilon and Sigma Xi. He and his colleague, Professor Shao, won several awards at international computer conferences for their work in computer art.


5.04 Linear Feet (12 document boxes, 1 map case folder)


Kenneth Dunker (1942- ) worked as a professor (1974-1978, 1979-1999) at Iowa State University in the Departments of Architecture and Civil and Construction Engineering. He researched the strength of highway bridges and taught courses on a variety of different types of materials used in engineering. Along with his colleague, Professor Shao, he was one of the first to make computer drawings and they won various international awards for this accomplishment. This collection contains some of the artwork that he and Professor Shao made, as well as his lecture notes and slides from classes he taught and his publications. There are also photographs and the negatives that correspond to them.


This collection is organized into three series and one appendix:

Series 1, Academic career at Iowa State, 1970-2013, undated

Series 2, Professional and student organizations, 1983-2001

Series 3, Computer artwork, 1971-2013, undated


Items in related collections

RS 11/5. Iowa State University. Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering records, 1892-2013

RS 11/5/56. Kenneth F. Dunker papers, 1970-2013, undated
April 10, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University
Ames Iowa 50011-2102 United States
(515) 294-6672