Ken received his PhD in applied mathematics from MIT in May 2008. His work under Professor Martin Bazant was in the field of dense granular flow. Ken's PhD work also credits influences from Professor Arshad Kudrolli of Clark University Physics as well as MIT Mechanical Engineering Professor Lallit Anand and his students in the Solid Mechanics & Materials Laboratory.
After his graduate studies, Ken served for three years as an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Applied Mathematics Lecturer at Harvard University in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. At Harvard, Ken worked with John Hutchinson and L. Mahadevan. In 2010, Ken received the Nicholas Metropolis Award from the American Physical Society for best doctoral thesis in computational physics.
In 2011, Ken joined the faculty of the department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT, and shortly thereafter received an appointment as the Class of 1956 Career Development Chair. He was awarded the NSF CAREER Award at the end of 2012.
Ken has co-organized several colloquia and seminars within applied math and mechanics. These include the Simple Person's Applied Math Seminar at MIT (2006-2007), the Mechanics: Modeling, Experimentation, Computation seminar at MIT (2011-current), the NEW.Mech workshop (2010-current), and the New England Granular Materials Workshop (2011). He also organizes the APS focus session on Continuum Descriptions of Discrete Media (2011-current), the Amorphous Solids topic at ASME Congress (2012), and the Multiscale Mechanics of Particulate Media symposium for the Society of Engineering Science. Ken is a member of SIAM, APS, and AMS, and ASME. He also serves on the Editorial Board for the journal Computational Particle Mechanics.
Ken is from the Bay Area of California and for a scientist, has had an unusual upbringing. Ken's mother is the founder of Stars 2000 teen musical theater company where she is the producer, choreographer, and music director for several musicals per year. He was raised performing in shows and the stage is Ken's second home. In fact, the name "Ken Kamrin" was chosen by his parents for its alliterative appeal on a marquee. This theatrical side of his personality is usually easy to see in Ken's talks and lectures. Father Terry and sister Kacey remain musically active, both jazz enthusiasts and singers. Acting, singing, and dancing are the mainstays of the Kamrin family vitality and it doesn't take much to get the family to break into harmony!