By Erik Gomez, Voiland College of Engineering & Architecture intern

Michael-KesslerPULLMAN, Wash. – Michael Kessler, Berry Family director and professor in Washington State University’s School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering (MME), has been named a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

He was recognized for contributions to the understanding and development of multifunctional materials and biorenewable polymers and composites. He is co-director of the Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites (CB2), the first industry and university cooperative research center devoted to the development of biologically based plastics. His team is developing a unique, shape-changing smart material that combines several abilities, including shape memory behavior, light-activated movement and self-healing behavior.

Kessler’s work has been funded by federal agencies and labs including the National Science Foundation (NSF), U.S. Department of Defense and NASA. He is a recipient of an NSF CAREER Award, the Army Research Office Young Investigator Program Award, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Program Award and the Elsevier Young Composites Researcher Award from the American Society for Composites. He is a fellow of the North American Thermal Society and has authored over 160 scholarly journal papers.

He joined MME in 2013. He has supervised 40 graduate students and 14 postdoctoral research fellows. He holds a Ph.D. in theoretical and applied mechanics from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.