University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Go to chemistry home page.


Darrel Untereker receives Outstanding Achievement Award

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents has honored Alumnus Darrel F. Untereker, Ph.D., as a 2013 recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award (OAA). The OAA honors graduates who have attained unusual and noted distinction in their chosen fields, professions and public service, and who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and leadership.

Untereker is being honored for his outstanding contributions to and leadership of efforts to develop medical devices that improve the health of millions of people, his service to the University of Minnesota and its Department of Chemistry, and his expertise, problem-solving skills and management effectiveness that has been instrumental to the growth of Minnesota-based Medtronic, Inc.

Untereker received his undergraduate chemistry degree from the University of Minnesota in 1967, which was followed by two years of post-graduate work in analytical chemistry at the university. He received a doctorate in chemistry from the University of New York at Buffalo in 1973, under the tutelage of Professor Stanley Bruckenstein, who was a professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Minnesota from 1955 to 1968. Untereker followed that with post-doctoral work in surface science at the University of North Carolina. He also earned a CER in Business Administration from Stanford University.

In 1976, Untereker joined Medtronic, Inc., where he is the vice president of Corporate Research and Technology, and a Senior Technical Fellow. In his 37 years as a scientist and technical leader at Medtronic, In., he has played key roles in the development of a myriad of technologies critical for medical devices. He has worked lithium batteries, electrochemical sensors, and iontophoretic drug delivery systems. He has led polymer, electrochemical and metallurgical science groups who use materials science and biomedical engineering to design implantable medical devices. Since 1995, he has been involved in and, ultimately, has led a corporate engineering sciences group that focuses on troubleshooting, problem solving and problem prevention in all Medtronic businesses  

Untereker has more than 60 publications in several fields as well as 40 patents. He has received many honors, awards, and accolades for his contributions to the scientific community, for his service on industrial advisory boards, for his engineering achievements and service, and for his mentoring of younger scientists and engineers. His awards include the Medtronic Star of Excellence, the Medtronic Outstanding Initiative Award, and election to the Bakken Society, the highest technical honor in Medtronic (named for Earl Bakken, the founder of Medtronic). He is a Fellow in both the Electrochemical Society (ECS) and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). He is a 2006 winner of the Charles W. Britzius Distinguished Engineer Award for lifetime achievement in and service to the profession of engineering.

Untereker also gives generously of his time to the University of Minnesota, serving on the IPRIME Advisory Board, presenting numerous lectures and workshops, and mentoring young scientists and engineers. He also has served as a judge for the Department of Chemistry's Third-Year Graduate Student Research Symposium.