Materials Research Science and Engineering Center
Graduate Student

Jordan Kennedy
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Jordan Kennedy is a Ph.D. student at Harvard University's John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science with a concentration in Material Science and Mechanical Engineering. Jordan grew up on a cattle ranch in northwestern Montana surrounded by cowboys (and a few notable cowgirls) who happen to be some of the most creative engineers she has ever known. Jordan earned her BS in Mechanical Engineering from Montana State University – Bozeman. There she was an undergraduate researcher studying the rheology of biopolymer gels in the Magnetic Resonance Laboratory within the Chemical Engineering Department. Jordan had an industrial engineering internship with Cargill Cornmilling and General Electric Healthcare as well as an engineering research internship with the Western Transportation Institute and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. She is currently a graduate student in Shmuel Rubinstein's group. She is a recipient of the Ford Fellowship, GEM Fellowship, and the internal Harvard PRISE Fellowship. In a collaboration with Shmuel Rubinstein and Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan, she is studying the mechanism by which, and the local feedback cues that beavers use to decide to build, repair, or abandon their dams. The overarching goal is to elucidate how relatively poor, fibrous materials, which are locally gathered, can be used to create a robust global structure. This may have applications in improving indigenous structures built in environments where high-quality materials may not be readily available.