Remembering the life and work of Kevin Powers

In In Memoriam, News by Jen Ambrose

Professor Kevin W. Powers passed away on January 15, 2015. He was 63.

Dr. Powers was the site director of the National Science Foundation’s Center for Particulate and Surfactant Systems (CPaSS) at UF, and the associate director for the R&D facilities at UF’s Particle Engineering Research Center (PERC). He also taught particle technology, thermodynamics, and engineering design and was a coach for Integrated Process and Product Design program (IPPD) student teams in the College of Engineering.

“Kevin consistently displayed a combination of high intellect, strong integrity, and an engaging interpersonal style,” writes Jennifer Curtis, associate dean of research for UF College of Engineering. “Whether meeting with students, working with professional colleagues, or collaborating with industry representatives, he always listened first – and then applied his unique talents and expertise to solve problems and help others. His passion, humility, and eagerness to do ‘whatever it took’ will be greatly missed by his many friends and by the university overall.”

Powers received his dual B.S. degrees in chemistry and physics from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, his master’s degree in chemistry from Michigan State University, and his Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from the University of Florida. Between 1973 and 1993, he served in the US Air Force as an instructor, chief pilot, and assistant professor. He was stationed in the USA, Europe and South Korea.

Over his career, Powers gained international recognition as an expert in nanomaterials. His research interests included the synthesis and applications of engineered materials, with an active focus on the investigation of potential toxicity. He advised the International Organization for Standardization on several occasions, and was a lead on grant projects with NSF, DOE, DoD, USAID, NIH, DOE, FDA and industry. He was awarded several patents. Powers established active collaborations within the U.S. and abroad, while supervising the research of several Ph.D. candidates and publishing extensively.

“Besides his numerous scientific and technological achievements, Kevin’s caring attitude, especially toward students, was unparalleled,” writes Brij M. Moudgil, distinguished professor of materials science and engineering and director of both CPaSS and PERC. “He will be sorely missed.”

Services will be held for Dr. Powers at the Baughman Center, this Saturday, January 31st at 2:30.

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