Francis kennedy jr

Francis E. Kennedy Jr.

Professor of Engineering, Emeritus

Research Interests

Surface mechanics and tribology (friction, wear, lubrication, surface deformation); mechanical design; mechanical behavior of materials; biomechanics


  • BS, Mechanical Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute 1963
  • MS, Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University 1965
  • PhD, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 1973


  • Mayo D. Hersey Award (ASME) 2012
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Fellow elected 1997
  • Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE) Fellow elected 1994

Professional Activities

  • Editor, ASME Journal of Tribology (1993-1998)
  • Associate Editor, Applied Mechanics Reviews, Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers International Journal, Tribology International, Industrial Lubrication and Tribology
  • Division Chair, Section Chair, Committee Chair or Conference Chair, ASME, STLE, the Society of Automotive Engineers, Sigma Xi, Gordon Research Conference on Tribology, and the Fulbright Advisory Committee for Engineering
  • Member, Pi Tau Sigma, Sigma Xi member, Tau Beta Pi honorary societies
  • Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer, Asian Institute of Technology (Bangkok, Thailand)
  • Visiting Research Scientist, Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest (Romania) and AIST Mechanical Engineering Laboratory (Tsukuba, Japan)
  • Research Faculty Fellow, NASA/Lewis Research Center (Cleveland, Ohio)
  • Visiting Research Professor, Institut National des Sciences Appliquees (Lyon,France), University of California at Berkeley, King Mongkut Institute of Technology (Ladkrabang, Thailand)

Research Projects

  • Wear of nanostructured FeNiMnAl

    Wear of nanostructured FeNiMnAl

    The aim of this project is to determine how the dry sliding wear behavior and wear mechanisms of a range of recently-discovered, very high strength, nanostructured, b.c.c.-based FeNiMnAl spinodal alloys vary with changes in the microstructure (spinodal wavelength, phase composition, interphase interface coherency) produced by ageing. Pin-on-disc wear testing are being performed at a range of speeds in air, inert atmosphere and oxygen. These are aiding in understanding the effects of local heating and of oxidation, including the role played by third bodies (wear debris) in the wear process. A range of state-of-the-art techniques is being used to characterize the pre- and post-wear specimens, and the observed wear behavior is being modeled. This project is funded by the National Science Foundation, Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation.

  • Orthopaedic biomaterials and tribology

    Orthopaedic biomaterials and tribology

    Orthopaedic biomaterials and tribology research focuses on the measurement and prediction of friction, wear, and surface temperatures during sliding in mechanical components. Debris generation from polyethylene wear is considered the biggest problem facing joint replacement today. Current research on cross-linked polyethylene is targeting this problem which involves an analysis of the trade-offs between wear resistance achieved by cross links, and toughness and contact fatigue resistance of the polymer. Tribological studies of polymers analyze wear, contact fatigue and viscoelastic behavior in oscillatory sliding or rolling/sliding contact.


All Together Now
Apr 07, 2011