ISU Headlines

ISU Engineering College plays major role in National Mechanical Engineering Society

Posted May 7, 2008

The College of Engineering at Idaho State University has had a major role in the leadership of the 110,000-member American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) during the last several years. The current dean of engineering, the retired dean of engineering and a doctoral student in the College of Engineering are involved. 

The Nuclear Engineering Division of the ASME is being led this year by Jay Kunze, Ph.D., retired dean of the College of Engineering, who has served actively in that division for the last 20 years. This year, as the chair of the division, he has overall responsibility for the 16th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering, scheduled May 11–15 in Orlando, Fla.

About 800 attendees are currently registered for the conference, with about 60 percent of these being from other countries. The conference caters to nuclear-power operations and applications. It is focused on how the industry will best expand to build the many new nuclear plants that are being planned.

Kunze also serves as an associate editor of the Journal of Gas Turbines and Power. Also assisting in a major committee role for the ICONE meeting in Florida this month is Akira Tokuhiro, Ph.D., of the faculty of the University of Idaho in Idaho Falls. He is in charge of the Student Program.

The conference last year was in Nagoya, Japan. Idaho State University Ph.D. student Dick Schultz (his regular job is as a senior engineer at the Idaho National Laboratory) was chair of the Nuclear Engineering Division. He played a key role in that 15th ICONE conference, a joint effort between the Japanese Society of Mechanical Engineers and ASME. That conference had nearly 600 attendees from around the world.

During the last three years, top-level management of the society has been assisted by Richard Jacobsen, Ph.D., current dean of the ISU College of Engineering. Though his term as vice president of ASME has ended, he is still very active in the affairs of the society, currently serving as chair of the Board on Research and Technology Development, as member of the Joint ASME/AICHE Committee on Thermophysical Properties, and as a member of the ASME Research and Technology Committee on Water and Steam in Thermal Systems.

It is unusual for three persons (faculty and student) from the same university to be so heavily involved in high-level management of a major professional society. This attests to the great interest that Idaho State University and its College of Engineering have in the future of nuclear power in the nation and the world, and in its commitment to work closely with the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) to assure the success of the nuclear initiative in the United States and the mission of INL.