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College of Engineering Oral Histories: Biographies

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Our Biographies

Learn about featured engineers and access their stories


Hans Gesund, Ph.D.

Hans Gesund was born in Vienna, Austria and moved to the United States in 1940. He joined the UK College of Engineering’s Department of Civil Engineering in 1958 and is now celebrating his 58th year of teaching.

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Thomas W. Lester, Ph.D.

Dean of engineering and professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Kentucky  from 1990 –2012. Prior to his current appointment, Dr. Lester served as professor and chairman of mechanical engineering at Louisiana State University, as professor of nuclear engineering at Kansas State University,.

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Lee T. Todd, Jr,, Ph.D.

Dr. Todd was born in Earlington, KY.  He earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Kentucky in 1968 and went on to earn his master's and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1970 and 1973.  He developed a strong reputation as an innovator of cutting edge technology, founding and leading numerous successful technology companies prior to his tenure as president of the University of Kentucky. Dr. Todd served as president of the University of Kentucky from July 2001 through June 2011.

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Issam Harik, Ph.D. Dr. Issam E. Harik is the Raymond-Blythe Professor of Civil Engineering and Program Manager of the Structures Section.  He received is Ph.D. from Wayne State University in Detroit in 1982 and joined the University of Kentucky the same year.