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Niles, Donald E. (ed.) / The Wisconsin engineer
Volume 48, Number 3 (November 1943)

May, Harold
Profs in who's who,   pp. 24-27

Page 24

                       by Harold May, m'44
  Jesse B. Kommers, professor of
Mechanics at the University, came
into this world on March 11, 1884.
A native of Wisconsin, he gives his
home as Sheboygan.
  He received his college education
here at the University of Wisconsin,
receiving his Bachelor of Science in
E.E. in 1906.
  He later received his professional
degree in M.E. from Wisconsin
while on the instructional staff here
in 192.]. In the meantime, he had
gained membership in Tau Beta Pi
and Sigma Xi. He was married
three years after graduation and
has two children, Robert and Wil-
  Upon graduation in 1906, he
went to work for the Chicago Tele-
phone Company, but Wisconsin
wouldn't let him stay away for long
and in 1907 he came back as an in-
structor in Mechanics. In 1920 he
was given a I l2 year leave of ab-
sence from his position as assistant
professor to go to the University of
Illinois as associate professor of En-
gineering Materials and Engineer of
tests on joint Investigation of fa-
tigue of Metals.
  He returned to Wisconsin in 1921
as associate professor in Mechanics
and has continued on the staff to
date, being promoted to the posi-
tion of professor in 1927.
  Prof. Kommers has carried on re-
search work similar to that started
at Illinois for over 30 years, pub-
lishing numerous articles and bulle-
tins on his work during that time.
His most recent article was written
for the annual convention of the
A.S.T.M. in 1943, the subject: "The
Effect of Over-stressing and Under-
stressing in Fatigue." He has co-
authored two books. The first, pub-
lished in 1927, has since been trans-
lated into Russian, and the second,
published in 1929 and recently in
its third edition, has received recog-
nition as a text book. In speaking
of Prof. Kommers' many research
papers and publications, let me
quote Dr. H. J. Gough, British
authority on the fatigue of metals,
who when speaking of Prof. Kom-
mers' experiments at Illinois, made
this statement, we quote: "Admit-
tedly one of the most valuable sets
of experiments ever made." I think
such a compliment explains fully
why Prof. Kommers is recognized
as an authority on the fatigue of
  He is probably better known to
the Engineer staff as chairman of
the board of directors, having been
on the board since 1931 and chair-
man since 1940.
  I hope you haven't decided that
Prof. Kommers spends all of his
time in research work, teaching and
writing (although I don't see where
he would have any more time), be-
cause he really enjoys playing con-
tract bridge, besides doing some
non-technical reading of history,
biography and fiction. Before the
war he did a great deal of country
driving, but he says that he has
pretty well given this up "for the
  Adam Vauce Millar, assistant
Dean of our College of Engineer-
ing and professor of Drawing and
Descriptive Geometry, was born at
Mattoon, Illinois, on September 18,
1873. He received his college edu-
cation at the University of Illinois,
receiving his Bachelor of Science in
1897 and his M.S. in 1901. In the
meantime he became a member of
Chi Phi, Tau Beta Pi, Theta Tau,
Pi Tau Sigma and Phi Eta Sigma.
(He must be weighted down with
keys.) He didn't, however, spend
all of his time with the fraternity,
having been secretary of the Y. M.
C. A., and a member of the Del-
phic Literary Society (debate soci-
  After graduating in 1897 he went
ety) while a student.
      (turn to page 26 please)

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