Logo: University of Southern California

Past AME Chair to Head ONR

"We are happy that someone of Dr. KassnerĀ“s caliber has accepted this position"
Eric Mankin
October 05, 2009 —

Michael E. Kassner, a professor in the Viterbi School Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and its Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, has been named Director of Research of the Office of Naval Research.

Kassner served as chair of AME from his 2003 arrival at USC until summer, 2009. He has more than 37 years of experience in research and higher education, according to the Oct. 1 ONR announcement. He will remain on the faculty of the USC Viterbi School while on fellowship leave to ONR.

Michael E. Kassner
"We are happy that someone of Dr. Kassner´s caliber has accepted this position," said Dr. Walter Jones, ONR executive director. "His vision, experience and leadership will be a valuable asset to ONR as it remains focused on attracting a diverse cadre of the best and brightest scientists."

"Michael has been a standout professor at the Viterbi School in every area -- research, administration, and teaching," said Dean Yannis C. Yortsos. "We know he will be a great resource for ONR."

The director of research is responsible to the chief of naval research for the overall integration of the discovery and invention (D&I) science and technology portfolio in support of naval needs.

Before coming to the Viterbi School, Kassner served in two high-level roles at Oregon State University as the Northwest Aluminum professor of mechanical engineering and director, graduate program in materials science. Kassner has also held positions at the University of California, San Diego; Naval Postgraduate School; Department of Energy; and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory "which are all relevant to his new role at ONR," said the release.

Kassner's recent research projects include work on creep, fracture, fatigue and thermodynamics, supported by three National Science Foundation grants, Basic Energy Sciences of the Department of Energy, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Kassner has published two books, one on the fundamentals of creep plasticity in metals and another on phase diagrams, and has authored or co-authored more than 160 published articles. He has been on several editorial and review boards for major scientific journals. He is a Fellow of the ASM International.

Michael Kassner graduated with a Bachelors in Science-Engineering from Northwestern University in 1972, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Stanford University in 1979 and 1981. See his biography page for more information.

About the Office of Naval Research
The Department of the Navy´s Office of Naval Research provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps´ technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 70 countries, 1,035 institutions of higher learning, and 914 industry partners. ONR employs approximately 1,400 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel.