University of Michigan
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April 20, 2019

Obituary: Bruce H. Karnopp

March 20, 2017

Obituary: Bruce H. Karnopp

Topic: Obituaries

Bruce H. Karnopp, 78, of Ann Arbor, died peacefully Jan. 1 in the company of his beloved family.

For nearly 40 years Karnopp was a professor at the University of Michigan and taught College of Engineering students. He served the U-M community in myriad roles, such as faculty adviser to the 1993 National Champion Sunrayce solar car team, assistant dean for CoE, chairman of U-M's Admissions Advisory Committee, participation in CoE's Summer Engineering Academy, and he served 13 years in the CoE Orientation Program.  

Bruce H. Karnopp

Karnopp was known and loved by his students for always having the time and enthusiasm to help them pursue their education in engineering. Karnopp taught more than 15,000 students in his career and was known by many as, "the best instructor I've ever had at this university." He was awarded the Amoco Foundation Faculty Teaching Award, Arthur F. Thurnau Professorship, College of Engineering Teaching Excellence Award, Michigan Association of Governing Boards Distinguished Faculty Award, and was chosen six times as "Professor of the Term" by the Michigan Chapter of Pi Tau Sigma.

As a father, Karnopp was supportive and active in his children’s academic and athletic endeavors. He was always in the stands at every swim meet and spent many hours trying to help his daughter with her math homework. He was a frequent volunteer for the Developmentally Disabled Children organization, and knew first-hand the challenges of raising a child with disabilities.

Karnopp is survived by his wife Paula Karnopp, daughter Cynthia Camburn, sons Jim and John Karnopp, grandsons Forrest Karnopp and Holden Camburn, and brother Dean Karnopp.  

The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Brain Bank Discovery Fund. Checks may be made to “University of Michigan” and sent to Medical Development, 1000 Oakbrook, Suite 100, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. For more information, call 734-764-6777. Donations also may be made to the University of Miami Brain Bank at or call 305-243-6219.

A memorial service is planned for 2 p.m. Sunday, March 26, in the Michigan Room at the Michigan League, 911 N University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48104.

— Submitted by Cynthia A. Camburn