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Two professors elected fellows of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers

Mark Cutkosky has been recognized for achievements in robotics, and Thomas Kenny has been honored for achievements in microelectromechanical systems.

Two professors elected fellows of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers

November 12, 2014

Stanford Professors Mark Cutkosky and Tom Kenny.

Mark Cutkosky and Thomas Kenny, both professors of mechanical engineering at Stanford, have been named fellows of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) in recognition of their significant contributions to the field. Cutkosky, who holds the Fletcher Jones Chair in the School of Engineering, was cited for noteworthy advances in robotics and mechanical design. His work on robotic hands has been especially groundbreaking, and his papers on grasping are among the most cited in the field. He is also known for his research on running and climbing robots, and for pioneering shape deposition manufacturing, a process that can design and assemble prototypes all at once.

Cutkosky, who is also an IEEE fellow, received a Fulbright Distinguished Chair’s appointment to the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa, Italy, in 2002. He is a member of the Stanford Bio-X interdisciplinary biosciences group. Cutkosky earned his PhD in 1985 at Carnegie Mellon. Earlier in his career he was recognized with a Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation. Cutkosky has advised 40 doctoral students, many of whom now hold leading faculty or industry positions.

Kenny, the Richard W. Weiland Professor at Stanford Engineering, is being recognized for his significant contributions to microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and devices, investigating both their experimental and theoretical properties. He has obtained fundamental results in measuring small forces and explaining how geckos use the van der Walls force for adhesion. Kenny has also developed MEMS-based resonators that are used for timing in electronic systems. His recent work has addressed MEMS processes that enable enhanced device performance and lower-cost manufacturing.

Kenny received a Technical Achievement award from IEEE in 2011. He and his students helped modernize the clock function that is the heartbeat in all electronics with MEMS timing solutions that replace 75-year-old quartz technology while providing higher performance, smaller size, lower power demand and a lower cost. That has since become a commercial product.

Kenny is a founder of Cooligy Inc., a manufacturer of cooling solutions for microprocessors, and a member of Stanford Bio-x. He earned his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in 1989.

Kenneth Goodson, the Bosch Chairman of the Mechanical Engineering Department and the Davies Family Provostial Professor at Stanford, cheered the news.

“We are very proud of professors Cutkosky and Kenny and what they bring to the department, the university and to the broader discipline of mechanical engineering internationally,” Goodson said. “We and their colleagues beyond Stanford know that they have been leaders in these fields for many years, and it is great to see this formal recognition from the ASME."

Cutkosky and Kenny are among 144 fellows elected to ASME this year. They will be honored and formally recognized during ASME’s annual congress, which is being held Nov. 14-20 in Montreal, Canada.