Sukup is one of four who will receive the prestigious alumni award this year in recognition of lifetime achievements and commitment to engineering education.
Sukup was Sukup Manufacturing Company’s first degreed engineer. He earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in agricultural engineering from Iowa State University (ISU). After becoming president in 1995, the family-owned business added portable grain dryers, grain bins for farm and commercial storage, and pre-engineered steel buildings to the products the company designed. This has grown the company to ten times its size from when he took over.
Sukup has also made substantial philanthropic contributions at local and international levels. He has an interest in the world’s food supply and has made several trips to Africa, most recently for the ASABE conference on Global Food Security. Sukup Safe T Homes® in Haiti provide safe and secure shelter during several natural disasters.
He has received numerous awards, most notably the 2016 Cyrus Hall McCormick Jerome Increase Case Gold Medal award from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) and the 2013 Engineer of the Year award by the Iowa chapter of the ASABE.
Sukup is also a supporter of musical programs and Iowa State University. He contributed to the ISU Music Department for the Charles and Mary Sukup Endowed Artist in Organ position.
The Sukup family also made a leadership gift towards the construction of Sukup Hall at ISU for the research and teaching facility in the agricultural and biosystems engineering department.
A well-respected engineer and business leader, Sukup has demonstrated his commitment to creating a better world through designing and producing products that increase the world’s food supply and giving back through participation in a variety of civic activities.
Sukup stands in good company. Other 2017 recipients of the award include Lilia Abron, Ph.D., P.E. (CEO and founder of PEER Consultants and former assistant professor at Howard University); Terry Olberding (a management consulting contractor with Eagle Research Group and past nuclear safety specialist for the Department of Energy’s National Security Administration); and Tom Scholz (co-founder of the band Boston and previously a senior product design engineer at Polaroid Corporation).
The four will be honored on October 14, at the 112th annual Convention in Michigan. Each will be presented a commemorative plaque, and a $2,000 scholarship will be given in the name of each alumnus to a deserving student member of Tau Beta Pi.
Tau Beta Pi is the Engineering Honor Society, founded at Lehigh University in 1885. It has collegiate chapters at 246 engineering colleges in the United States and active alumni chapters in 40 cities. It has initiated more than 582,000 members in its 132-year history and is the world’s largest engineering society.