In memory: Former electrical engineering chair Rodney Soukup

In memory: Former electrical engineering chair Rodney Soukup

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Rodney Soukup
Rodney Soukup

Rodney Soukup, former chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering, passed away at home on June 23, 2021, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 82.

Born in Faribault, Minnesota on March 9, 1939, Soukup grew up in Montgomery, Minnesota and earned his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota.

After a brief stint in private industry, Soukup spent four years as a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Iowa and 35 years at the University of Nebraska, including more than 23 as electrical engineering chair. As chair of the department, Soukup was a pioneer in technological, cultural and academic exchanges with the post-Cold War Czech Republic.

After retiring from UNL in 2011, he volunteered for several years at the University's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, teaching classes on popular music.

Soukup was a prodigious technology supporter; a prolific consumer of music; and a lifelong sports enthusiast, playing slow-pitch softball for nearly four decades and holding Nebraska football season tickets for almost as long. He spent much of the last decade of his life traveling the world – China, Europe, Australia, Alaska, and especially Hawaii – with his wife, Tracy.

He is survived by Tracy, his wife of 55 years; three sons: Rick, Mike (Annamarie), and Steve (Melissa); and seven grandchildren.

Funeral Mass was held July 2 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Lincoln, Nebraska ( The family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the following:

  • University of Nebraska Foundation: Dr. Rodney Soukup Memorial/Electrical Engineering Department Excellence Fund, 1010 Lincoln Mall, Suite 300, Lincoln, NE 68508.
  • The University of Minnesota Foundation: Hartig Fund, 200 SE Oak Street, # 500, Minneapolis, MN 55455
  • Saint Joseph Catholic Church, 7900 Trendwood Drive, Lincoln, NE 68506

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