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UTA engineering professor earns lifetime achievement award from ICCES

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Media Contact: Herb Booth, Office: 817-272-7075, Cell: 214-546-1082, hbooth@uta.edu

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The International Conference on Computational and Experimental Engineering and Sciences honored Kenneth Reifsnider of the UTA Research Institute for lifetime achievement.

Reifsnider is the director of the Institute for Predictive Performance Methodologies at UTARI and a member of the prestigious National Academy of Engineering. ICCES specifically recognized Reifsnider’s pioneering contributions to science and applications of composite materials. He received his award at the organization’s conference in Madeira, Portugal, in June.

Kenneth Reifsnider

Kenneth Reifsnider, director of the Institute for Predictive Performance Methodologies at the UTA Research Institute, was recently honored for lifetime achievements by the International Conference on Computational and Experimental Engineering and Sciences.

“It is an honor to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from ICCES,” Reifsnider said. “After a career spent developing, testing and applying composite materials for use in dozens of applications from fuel cells to airplanes, it is gratifying to be recognized by an international group for my contributions to innovation, education and knowledge in the field.”

Reifsnider, who joined UTA in 2015 as a Presidential Distinguished Professor, has joint appointments at UTARI and in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. He is an international expert on composite materials and has pioneered their development and application to aerospace structures, fuel cells, jet engines and turbines. Reifsnider’s lab, IPPM, specializes in developing polymer, metal and ceramic-based composites for structural, electrochemical, chemical processing, nuclear fuels and nuclear waste storage and chemical processing applications.

Reifsnider is emeritus director of the South Carolina SmartState Center for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells at the University of South Carolina, where he was credited with leading South Carolina’s fuel-cell initiative and the state’s effort to develop solid oxide fuel cells for applications in society. He has also held chaired faculty positions at the University of Connecticut and Virginia Tech, and visiting positions at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the University of Bristol, England. He also was a White House appointee to the U.S. Air Force National Scientific Advisory Board.

He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2004 for the development of strength-life prediction relationships in composite materials. His research interests include durability, damage tolerance and strength-life relationships in material systems, performance and life prognosis, aging, material state changes, long term behavior, and fuel cell science and engineering.  

Mickey McCabe, executive director of UTARI, said that the award is well-deserved and highlights the innovative research being performed at UTA in the area of sustainable urban communities contained within UTA’s Strategic Plan 2020: Bold Solutions | Global Impact.

“Dr. Reifsnider is very deserving of this prestigious award. He has made significant contributions to the field of composites mechanics, technology and life prediction for the past 30 years, and he continues to push the frontiers of learning in these fields today at UTA,” McCabe said.

Erian Armanios, chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the College of Engineering, lauded Reifsnider’s contributions to the field of composites.

“This prestigious award represents the most befitting recognition of Professor Reifsnider’s seminal research, initiated in the 1970s and aimed at understanding the fatigue and fracture of composites, which remain challenging subjects to this day,” Armanios said.

Reifsnider earned his doctorate in metallurgy and his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in engineering from Johns Hopkins University. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from McDaniel College.

Founded in 1986, ICCES brings together more than 500 of the world’s most respected researchers in various disciplines. The conference’s aim is to enhance interactions between engineering, life sciences and the physical sciences, and to promote interdisciplinary research so that developments in these disciplines can be quickly translated into engines for global economic growth.

-- written by Jeremy Agor