Utah State University Professor Ron Sims was named fellow of the Institute of Biological Engineering, or IBE, on April 1.
IBE is a professional organization that encourages inquiry and interest in biological engineering. Its mission is to advocate for biomedical and biological engineering innovation through education, research and service. Fellows are peer-nominated and represent those in the biological engineering community who have made significant and unusual contributions to IBE and the field of biological engineering. Sims said the accolade honors his support network at Utah State University.
“Being elected to this class of fellows means that I stand on the shoulders of the Biological Engineering Department students — undergraduate and graduate — who through their presentations and student leadership activities within IBE, enabled our department to make a significant contribution to IBE growth and international recognition,” he said. “I am grateful and proud to represent this community activity as an IBE fellow.”
Sims has led a 45-year career in industry, government and higher education. He has demonstrated meaningful contributions to the field of biological and biomedical engineering, and his work has improved public health and environmental sustainability. Before joining USU in 1982, Sims held several leadership roles at companies and institutions across the country including Research Triangle Institute, Bayer AG and the International Program in Environmental Aspects of Industrial Development at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He served as head of what is now USU’s Biological Engineering Department from 2003–2014 and was director of the Utah Water Research Laboratory from 1996–2003.
From 1988–1989, Sims collaborated with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency staff to develop curricula and to train engineers, scientists and administrators around the globe in management approaches for addressing contaminated drinking water, air and soil at hazardous waste sites.
He also worked with the U.S. State Department and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization to develop a curriculum and provide training to national and international experts on technologies and processes for accomplishing industrial development within the context of protecting public health and the environment.
Sims has many other accomplishments including being named a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, serving as director of the Huntsman Environmental Research Center, and serving as co-director of the Sustainable Waste to Bioproducts Engineering Center. In his free time, Sims teaches and trains in the martial art of Aikido. He holds a sixth degree black belt.