Kenneth L. DeVries, associate dean and professor of mechanical engineering in the University of Utah College of Engineering, has been named Engineering Educator of the Year by the Utah Engineers Council.
It was the second year in a row the organization's top honor has gone to a Utah faculty member.The council, which represents all professional engineering societies in Utah, honored DeVries for his "engineering accomplishments and service to the profession and the community." He was nominated by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
The winner is selected from nominations received of faculty members at University of Utah, Brigham Young University, Utah State University and Weber State College.
A former chairman of the school's Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, DeVries is the college's associate dean for research. He is a recipient of both the University's Distinguished Reseach Award and Distinguished Teaching Award.
DeVries was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 1985, which commended his "fundamental studies of the atomic basis of polymer failure." The previous year he became a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, which praised his research on the mechanics of adhesives and polymers.
In his research, DeVries uses various chemical, microscopic and macroscopic techniques to study polymer failures from the molecular level on up. His goal is to find better ways of predicting the strength and durability of polymers, including rubber products, plastics and fibers.