Meet ASME's Federal Government Fellows

2019-2020 ASME Federal Government Fellows

Asha Balakrishnan 2019-2020 ASME Congressional Fellow – Manufacturing
Asha Balakrishnan is a Research Staff Member at the Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI), a Federally-Funded Research and Development Center that provides rigorous and objective analysis of science and technology policy issues for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. She brings engineering expertise to STPI work in the areas of space technologies, program evaluation, advanced manufacturing and STEM education and workforce training. Recently, she has collaborated with colleagues on a number reports on small satellite technologies and space situational awareness. Her work supported the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) Advanced Manufacturing reports and initiatives from 2011 to 2014. In addition, she has conducted a number of program evaluations for Federal R&D and STEM education programs. Some of her previous research focused on developing experimentation techniques and biomechanical models of the brain to understand traumatic brain injury. Prior to her PhD, Dr. Balakrishnan worked as a design engineer in the semiconductor and auto industries. She has previously held an adjunct faculty position in the mechanical engineering department teaching the capstone design course at George Washington University. Dr. Balakrishnan has a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois. Both her MS and PhD are in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Kevin Jurrens 2019-2020 ASME Congressional Fellow – Manufacturing
Kevin Jurrens is a 2019-2020 ASME Congressional Fellow and will begin his fellowship on October 1, 2019. Kevin is the Deputy Chief of the Intelligent Systems Division in the Engineering Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). He is a mechanical engineer with 30+ years dedicated to advanced manufacturing. At NIST, Kevin has served in a variety of technical and management roles for federal manufacturing programs, including as researcher, technical project leader, program manager, and division chief. In his current position, Kevin provides management and leadership for the staff and manufacturing research programs of the Intelligent Systems Division and is responsible for much of the division's day-to-day operations. Kevin’s current technical focus at NIST is advancement of measurement science and standards for the additive manufacturing industry, where he provides leadership in standards development and coordination, creation of industry roadmaps, and engagement with industry consortiums and federal agencies. Kevin received degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nebraska and the University of Kansas. As a member of ASME and ASTM, he has authored many technical publications on manufacturing applications and manufacturing system integration. Kevin has twice received the U.S. Department of Commerce Bronze Medal Award for Superior Federal Service and was recently awarded the Distinguished Service Award by ASTM International.

Emily Beagle 2019-2020 ASME Congressional Fellow - Energy
Dr. Emily Beagle is the 2019 – 2020 ASME Congressional Fellow (Energy) and will begin her fellowship on January 1, 2020. Currently, she is the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Postdoctoral Fellow in Data Curation for Energy Economics at the University of Texas at Austin. In this role, she works jointly with UT Libraries and the Webber Energy Group in Mechanical Engineering to integrate and manage large, multicomponent datasets for energy systems. Her research interests include renewable energy deployment and integration with the electrical grid, and energy policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change. Previously, Dr. Beagle worked in the Belmont Energy Research Group at the University of Wyoming on experimental combustion research, specifically examining the co-utilization of woody biomass for energy sector emission reductions. She has also assessed the feasibility of bioenergy and other renewable energy projects using techno-economic assessment and life cycle analysis. She served as an ASME Washington Internships for Students of Engineering (WISE) intern in 2013. Dr. Beagle holds bachelor of science degrees in Energy Systems Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wyoming. 

Andrew Bremer 2019-2020 ASME Congressional Fellow – Bioengineering
Andrew Bremer is a 2019-2020 ASME Congressional Fellow starting his fellowship in Fall 2019. He completed his Ph.D. at UC Berkeley & UC San Francisco in the joint Graduate Program in Bioengineering, with a research focus in the field of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine. His work has centered on understanding adult neural stem cell behavior in response to complex biomolecular signaling with implications for therapeutic interventions, and for elucidating cell behavior in the contexts of aging, injury, and disease. His work also includes the development and application of advanced in vitro cell culture platforms. Beyond his research, Andrew has served in several departmental and cross-campus leadership positions. In these roles, his efforts have included building initiatives to increase civic engagement among engineers and scientists, to expand opportunities for STEM professionals to connect their work with wide audiences, and to increase educational outreach, particularly to students from historically underrepresented groups within STEM. Andrew holds a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has previously taught high school chemistry and physics.

2018-2019 ASME Federal Government Fellows

Dr. Laurel Kuxhaus 2018- 2019 ASME Congressional Fellow
Dr. Laurel Kuxhaus began her federal fellowship on October 2, 2018 with the Honorable Daniel Lipinski. She has been a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering at Clarkson University since 2009, and she is currently on sabbatical as an Associate Professor. Her research expertise is in the arena of orthopaedic biomechanics with over 20 peer-reviewed publications and a consistent track record of engagement with the bioengineering community at national and international conferences. The work performed in her laboratory is primarily focused on the study of injury biomechanics (such as meniscal tears or vertebral fractures), and the design of both orthopaedic and assistive technology devices. As a teacher-scholar, she also works to improve biomechanics education with innovative active learning techniques, blending research into the college classroom. Within the Bioengineering Division of ASME, Dr. Kuxhaus has served as Chair of the Education Committee and as a member of the Executive Committee. She is a Fellow of ASME, and holds a B.S. in Engineering Mechanics and a B.A. in Music from Michigan State University, a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Pittsburgh.

Mr. Marc Santo 2018-2019 ASME Congressional Fellow
Mr. Marc Santos began his Congressional fellowship in January 2019 in the office of Senator Christopher Coons. Previously he was an Associate at Hazen and Sawyer serving as the Southwest Water Practice Lead, Corpus Christi Operations Manager, and subject matter expert in emergency preparedness and response. His work focuses on research, planning, design, construction, and operations solutions for drinking water and wastewater treatment and transmission systems. Mr. Santos is a licensed professional Engineer in California and Texas and serves as the Engineer of Record to deliver projects for municipal clients. Marc Santos previously served as the 2008 ASME Washington Internship for Students of Engineering (WISE) Intern, WISE Subcommittee Chair on the ASME Committee on Government Relations, and as an Executive Committee member for the ASME Volunteer Orientation and Leadership Training (VOLT) Academy. Mr. Santos holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Master of Engineering in Environmental Engineering from Manhattan College.

KC Morris 2018-2019 ASME Congressional Fellow
KC Morris is a 2018-2019 ASME Congressional Fellow and serving in the office of the Honorable Tom Reed, and she will begin her fellowship on Oct 1, 2018. KC leads the Information, Modeling and Testing Group in the Engineering Lab at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). For 30 years KC has contributed her expertise in computing and engineering information systems to the standards that form the basis for today's digital manufacturing capabilities. Her current work focuses on infusing smart technologies into the manufacturing sector while ensuring that new practices lead to more competitive and sustainable manufacturing. This includes identifying and developing techniques for designing, testing, and evaluating smart manufacturing systems and standards. The research has resulted in new standards within ASTM International where she serves on the executive committee of E60 Committee on Sustainability and is vice-chair of ASTM E60.13 on Sustainable Manufacturing. The standards are also driving new research directions for defining reusable abstractions of manufacturing processes highlighted through a competition at the MSEC/NAMRC conferences--ASME's Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference (MSEC) and SME's North American Manufacturing Research Conference (NAMRC). KC has over 75 publications and graduated from the University of Chicago with a BA in Political Science and from Illinois Institute of Technology with an MS in Computer Science.

Dr. Hong Liang 2018-2019 ASME Foundation Swanson Fellow
Dr. Hong Liang is a 2018-2019 ASME Foundation Swanson Fellow serving at Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology located at Gaithersburg, Maryland. Dr. Liang will begin her fellowship on Dec. 1, 2018. Dr. Liang is Oscar S. Wyatt Jr. Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University. Her research areas are advanced materials, structures, and nanomanufacturing focusing on surface science, interface engineering, and tribology. Her services to the communities include being an editor of Tribology International; regional editor (North America) of Surface Topography: Metrology and Properties; associate editor of Friction; and member of editorial broad of a few others. She served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE) from 2007 to 2013. In 2007, she was the STLE Annual Meeting Program Committee (AMPC) chair after being an AMPC committee member for 9 years. Dr. Liang is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and a Fellow of the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE). Dr. Liang received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology.