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Heat Transfer Engineering, 27(5):1–2, 2006

C Taylor and Francis Group, LLC
ISSN: 0145-7632 print / 1521-0537 online
DOI: 10.1080/01457630600559405


The 30th Donald Kern Award

Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, USA
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The Donald Q. Kern Award for 2004 was conferred on Dr. Ramesh K. Shah at the Summer Annual Heat Transfer Conference,
San Francisco, Calif., on July 19, 2005. Although editorials in Heat Transfer Engineering usually deal with heat transfer
processes or heat exchangers, I would like to use this page to salute an outstanding practitioner of heat transfer. First, a few
words about Don Kern.

(now Transport and Energy Processes Division) established their

premier award in his honor in 1973. The award emphasizes
contributions that have significant practical applications. It is
fair to say that Heat Transfer Engineering, which first appeared
in 1979 and has been directed toward the practicing engineer, is
part of Don Kern’s legacy.
Ramesh K. Shah is an outstanding practitioner of heat trans-
fer. After graduating from Gujarat University in India, he came to
the U.S. and earned an M.S., the first of three degrees at Stanford
University. His advisor for the Engineer and Ph.D. (completed in
1971) was Prof. A. L. London, who got him heavily involved
with compact heat exchangers. His studies were interspersed
with industrial positions that emphasized this technology. In
Photo 1 Sadik Kakac, Arthur E. Bergles, and Ramesh K. Shah, at the Heat
1971, he began a thirty-year career at Delphi Harrison Ther-
Transfer Awards Luncheon, ASME Summer Heat Transfer Conference, San mal Systems (formerly Harrison Radiator Division of General
Francisco, Calif., July 19, 2005. Motors Corporation), Lockport, NY, directing R&D for auto-
motive compact heat exchangers. Throughout this period, he
Donald Q. Kern (1914–1971) was born in New York City. He was adjunct professor of mechanical engineering at the State
received his Ph.D. from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn University of New York at Buffalo. From 1995–1997, he was
(now Polytechnic University) in 1942. He was employed in in- professor and chairman in the Department of Mechanical Engi-
dustry from 1937 to 1954. In 1950, he published the landmark neering at the University of Kentucky. Retiring from Delphi in
Process Heat Transfer, which was the first applied heat transfer 2001, he became a research professor at Rochester Institute of
book. Process heat transfer became a recognized specialty within Technology, working primarily in fuel cells. He recently “un-
heat transfer, particularly for chemical engineers. In 1954, Kern retired” from industry, moving to India where he oversees heat
formed his own firm, which consulted in thermal process tech- exchanger development at Subros Ltd. near Delhi.
nology for a wide variety of clients. His reputation was such What this thumbnail sketch of a career does not tell you is
that the AIChE Heat Transfer and Energy Conversion Division the great amount of time Ram Shah has put into organizing con-
ferences, presenting short courses, editing, and writing. Most
Address correspondence to Dr. Arthur E. Bergles, Department of Mechani- of this has been done on his own time, as these activities—
cal, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, with the exception of short courses—are unimportant to in-
NY 12180. E-mail: dustry. He has been involved with the organization of a dozen

international conferences and published more than 120 tech- Ram Shah’s achievements have earned recognitions prior to
nical papers and thirty books and edited volumes—including the Kern Award. His accomplishments and reputation were al-
conference proceedings. He has taught short courses and pre- ready such that he was the subject of an early interview in HTE
sented keynote lectures/seminars in 33 countries. He is widely (Vol. 1, No. 3, 1980). He was elected a fellow of ASME in 1984
recognized as a world-class expert on compact heat exchang- and of SAE in 1997. He was made the Ramachandran Chair
ers and the associated fluid flow/heat transfer characteristics. Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, from
His emphasis has been on practical heat transfer, but he has December 1998–January 1999. He received the ASME Heat
not hesitated to use analyses and numerical simulations to get Transfer Memorial Award (Art) in 2000. He has been named an
answers to difficult problems. He was the driving force in es- honorary professor at four overseas universities.
tablishing the international journal Experimental Thermal and With all of this international activity, it is apparent that Ram
Fluid Science. Underpinning that publication is an organiza- Shah is a global engineer. I have had the pleasure of working
tion: since its inception in 1988, he was co-founder and pres- with him on various projects over the years in several countries.
ident of the Assembly of World Conferences on Experimental We have indeed transferred a lot of heat together, and as they say,
Heat Transfer, Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics. He is “where there is heat, there is light.” It is appropriate to include
also the co-editor-in-chief of the Russian Journal of Engineering a counterpart to Photo 1. Photo 2 was taken at an international
Thermophysics. program 24 years earlier to the very day. Comparing the pictures,
the subjects appear a bit older, but the topic of compact heat
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exchangers has also matured.

I can’t think of a more deserving person for the Donald Q.
Kern Award and a more qualified person to present the Kern
Award Lecture on “Advances in the Science and Technology of
Compact Heat Exchangers.” Ram Shah’s Kern Award Lecture
appears next.

Art Bergles has been a contributor to HTE since 1981.

He is a professor emeritus at RPI, and has adjunct ap-
pointments at MIT and the University of Maryland.
He is a fellow of seven societies, was president of
ASME, and is a member of the National Academy
of Engineering, the Royal Academy of Engineering
(UK), the Academy of Sciences and Arts (Slovenia),
and the National Academy of Sciences (Italy). He
has received the Heat Transfer Memorial Award, the
Photo 2 Sadik Kakac, Arthur E. Bergles, and Ramesh K. Shah, at the NATO Kern Award, the Max Jakob Memorial Award, the
Advanced Study Institute on Low Reynolds Number Flow Heat Exchangers, Luikov Medal, the Nusselt-Reynolds Prize, and the ITherm Achievement
Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, July 19, 1981. Award.

heat transfer engineering vol. 27 no. 5 2006

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Heat Transfer Engineering

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The 30th Donald Kern Award

Arthur E. Bergles
Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering , Rensselaer Polytechnic
Institute , Troy, New York, USA
Published online: 23 Feb 2007.

To cite this article: Arthur E. Bergles (2006) The 30th Donald Kern Award, Heat Transfer Engineering, 27:5, 1-2, DOI:

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