University of Missouri Chancellor Cartwright to Be Inducted into College's Distinguished Engineering Alumni Academy May 13

Engineering alumnus Dr. Alexander N. Cartwright, an internationally recognized researcher and scholar in the area of optical sensors and Chancellor of the University of Missouri, will be inducted May 13 into the University of Iowa Distinguished Engineering Alumni Academy.


The induction will occur during the College of Engineering undergraduate commencement ceremony at 12:00 Noon at Carver Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City. He also will deliver the "Charge to the Graduates" keynote commencement speech during the ceremony.


Cartwright received a Bachelor's of Science degree in 1989 in electrical engineering and a doctorate in 1995 in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Iowa.


In August 2017, he became Chancellor of the University of Missouri, coming to MU from the State University of New York (SUNY) where he served as provost and executive vice chancellor from September 2014 to July 2017. The University of Missouri-Columbia is the flagship institution of higher education in Missouri.


A native of the Bahamas, Cartwright believes in inclusive excellence wherein an institution cannot achieve excellence if it is not inclusive. At SUNY he developed a comprehensive completion model to meet SUNY’s ambitious goal of ensuring that more New Yorkers earn the credentials they need to succeed. He launched a system-wide educational effectiveness and strategic enrollment process designed to support each campus in meeting improvement goals.


Cartwright’s research includes engineering optical “metamaterials,” artificial materials that provide optical properties not readily available in nature. His technology for fabricating a rainbow-colored polymer using a one-step, low-cost holographic lithography method was one of just five inventions worldwide to be named to the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME)’s 2013 list of Innovations that Could Change the Way You Manufacture.


Cartwright is a prolific and highly influential scholar, producing more than 150 peer reviewed journal publications and conference proceedings. He has received considerable funding from numerous organizations including the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Department of Defense, and the Office of Naval Research, and various industrial sponsors. Dr. Cartwright holds four patents.


In November 2016, Cartwright was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He was recognized for, “outstanding research, teaching and mentorship in optics, for advancing science in New York, nationally, and internationally, and for strengthening diversity and inclusion in science.”


A live video stream of the ceremony will be available at


The Distinguished Engineering Alumni Academy was created in 1996 to honor University of Iowa engineering alumni for their personal contribution toward engineering achievement, leadership, and service to the profession and to society.  Cartwright will be the 85th graduate to be inducted (

Alexander Cartwright