J. Kim Vandiver

Project Manus director, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Ocean Engineering


Professor Kim Vandiver is the Director of MIT Project Manus and the MIT Edgerton Center.

As a grad student Professor, Kim worked with Doc Edgerton in the 1970’s in the “Strobe Project Lab” publishing beautiful high speed images of bubbles, shock waves and projectiles [see Schlieren Images]. Edgerton’s powerful role model as a mentor inspired Kim to create the Edgerton Center in 1992, to provide resources for MIT students to engage in hands-on personal passion projects. As a professor in mechanical engineering, Kim teaches vibration and dynamics with lots of hands-on experiences for the students. His research focuses on the dynamics of offshore structures and flow-induced vibration.

Kim chaired MIT’s faculty from 1991 until 1993. In 1998 he was the recipient of the MIT President’s Award for Community Service for the Edgerton Center’s work with the Cambridge Public Schools. In 2001 he was honored as a MacVicar Fellow for excellence in teaching. In 2011, Kim was awarded the Arthur C. Smith Award for his contributions to undergraduate student life, and in 2012 the Gordon Y. Billard Award for special service of outstanding merit performed for the Institute.

Kim received his bachelor’s degree in engineering from Harvey Mudd College, his master’s degree in ocean engineering from MIT, and a Ph.D. in oceanographic engineering from the MIT and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program. He is a Registered Mechanical Engineer in the state of Massachusetts and is a certified flight instructor for gliders.