BY DANIEL C. DRUCKER
JOSEPH KESTIN, professor of engineering at Brown University, died on March 16, 1993, of acute leukemia. Founder and first director of the university's Center for Energy Studies, he continued his high level of activity and productivity in research until the very end. Throughout his long and distinguished academic career, in which both experimental and theoretical research played so important a role, Professor Kestin was a superb teacher of undergraduate students. They, along with the host of other readers of his texts on thermodynamics, appreciated greatly his fundamental and challenging approach to the understanding as well as the use of thermodynamic principles.
Born on September 18, 1913, in Warsaw, Poland, Professor Kestin received his Dipl. Ing. degree from the Technical University there in 1937 and then began graduate study at Kings College, London. Soon after his return to Warsaw for a visit in late summer 1939, he was sent to a Russian prisoner-of-war camp and was not released to serve with the Allies until 1941. He was then able to resume his graduate studies at Imperial College, London, and completed his doctoral thesis on ''High Speed Flow of Gases Through Channels'' under the direction of Sir Owen Saunders.
Following World War II the Polish University College, as a transient arrangement to permit the many expatriate Poles to complete their education, became a unit of the University of