Russell B. Mesler 1927 - 2011 Lawrence
Memorial services for Russell B. Mesler, 83, Lawrence, will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Lawrence. Private inurnent will be in Pioneer Cemetery in Lawrence.
He died Friday, July 29, 2011, at his home.
He was born Aug. 24, 1927, in Kansas City, Mo., the son of James Elmer and Catherine Knaack Mesler. He was a graduate of Paseo High School in Kansas City, Mo.
He then served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
Following the war, he received his Bachelor of Science in engineering from Kansas University in 1949. He studied at the Oak Ridge School of Reactor Technology in Tennessee. He received his Master of Science and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1955.
He was a professor emeritus in chemical and petroleum engineering at Kansas University and a professional engineer. While teaching, he was designated as the Warren S. Bellows Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering. He came to KU in 1957 from Ann Arbor, Mich.
In addition to doing research work in heat transfer focusing on boiling in thin liquid films, he helped to develop and teach courses in nuclear engineering. He pioneered experimental measurement techniques that have contributed to the understanding of the phenomena of nucleate boiling. He used high-speed photography to obtain some amazing “movies” of the boiling phenomenon.
He supervised the construction and operation of the KU nuclear reactor. The nuclear operation was commissioned in 1961 and continued for almost 25 years before it was terminated. During his career, he had two sabbaticals to Berkeley Nuclear Laboratory in England and traveled in Europe presenting research papers, many of which were published in the The American Institute of Chemical Engineers Journal. He retired in 1992.
He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Lawrence, the American Society of Chemical and Petroleum Engineers, the American Nuclear Society for more than 50 years and the Tau Beta Pi Honorary Engineering Society. He had also received numerous National Science Foundation research grants.
He married Jenny-Lea McGowan on June 9, 1951, in Lawrence. She preceded him in death Dec. 4, 2005.
Survivors include two daughters, Diane Mailen, Pomona, and Sandra Mesler, Berlin; two sons, Scott, Lawrence, and Doug, Tampa, Fla.; seven grandchildren and one great-grandson.
The family will greet friends from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at Warren-McElwain Mortuary.
The family suggests memorials to Lawrence Audio Reader, KCUR public radio or KCPT public television, sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th St., Lawrence, KS 66044.
Online condolences may be sent at warrenmcelwain.com.