In memoriam: Miles Kersten

Miles Kersten, retired professor of civil engineering and a University alumnus, died August 28 in Minneapolis. He was 92.

A member of the civil engineering faculty for 33 years, Kersten was instrumental in developing programs in soil mechanics and highway engineering related to soils and pavement design. In his research Kersten concentrated on frost action in the design of highways. He also studied the thermal conductivity of soils, work that still finds application in a variety of problems.

Kersten was born in St. Paul in 1913 and graduated from Minneapolis South High School. He received bachelor's (1934), master's (1936), and doctoral degrees in civil engineering from the University. In 1935 he took a job as a soils engineer for the Minnesota Department of Highways. He joined the University faculty in 1945 and retired in 1978. After retiring he served as an advisor to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

He was an honorary member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers. In 1990 the Department of Civil Engineering created the Miles Kersten Land Grant Chair with gifts from the highway industry and friends in Minnesota. In 1995 he received the first Richard P. Braun Distinguished Service Award from the University's Center for Transportation Studies.