Prize Recipient


Ken Kamrin


""For synthesizing the essential physics and mathematics of elastic-plasticflow of granular materials into a numerically tractable computation, and for performing continuumlevel calculations for dynamic processes in granularmaterials.""


Ken Kamrin is a native of Pleasant Hill, California. He graduated from UC Berkeley in 2003 with a BS in Engineering Physics and a Mathematics minor. Ken completed his PhD in Applied Mathematics at MIT in 2008, under the supervision of Martin Z. Bazant. Ken is currently a Lecturer and NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Harvard in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Ken's thesis looked at various perspectives in the computation of dense granular flows. On a multi-scale front, his work developed the Stochastic Flow Rule, which provides a mechanical generalization of the Spot Model for granular drainage. Ken's thesis also constructed a continuum model forgranular rheology, which modifies and combines past work in granular statics and plastic flow into one universal 3-dimensional elasto-plastic model. The model was encoded and simulated using the finite-element method, and was shown to test favorably against known stress and velocity data in several inhomogeneous flow geometries. Ken's continued work on granular media is focused on characterizing nonlocal effects in slow, quasi-static flow. His current research has also branched into topics such as numerical simulation methods for fluid/solid interaction and low-Reynolds number fluid flow problems.

Past honors include the 2003 UC Berkeley Certificate of Distinction, awarded to the top four students in the university's graduating class, as well as Berkeley's 2003 Engineering Science Departmental Citation. Ken acknowledges graduate support from the NSF and NDSEG graduate fellowship programs, and preliminary funding from the MIT Akamai Presidential fellowship.