Why Cornell Engineering?
"Scientists study the world as it is; engineers create the world that never has been." Theodore von Karman
Cornell engineers challenge the status quo by breaking the rules to do great things. Steeped in an environment of questioning, and with a focus on innovation, Cornell Engineering pursues excellence in all areas. Its faculty, students, and alumni design, build, and test products, improve the world of medicine, inform and shape our laws, create and drive businesses, become research luminaries, and overcome real and perceived barriers to achieve scientific breakthroughs that advance the quality of life on our planet.
We invite you to learn more about Cornell Engineering and its programs.
William Durand, a mechanical engineering professor from 1891 to 1904, was instrumental in forming the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) in 1915, which was the forerunner of NASA. Durand helped to plan the committee’s first laboratory at Langley Field.
In 1933 Ralph Mosser Barnes was awarded the first PhD worldwide in Industrial Engineering for his dissertation “Practical and Theoretical Aspects of Micromotion Study” . It was retooled into the 1937 text, Motion and Time: Design and Measurement in Work, that sold 300,000 copies:, forming a quantitative basis for analyzing the industrial production process, including such applications as movements required for typing and the commercial folding of napkins .
Robert Thurston, the first director of the Sibley College of Engineering in 1885, held two patents: an autographic recording testing machine for material in torsion and a machine for testing lubricants. In 1875, he also developed the three-coordinate solid diagram for testing iron, steel and other metals. As College Director, he reorganized mechanical engineering and increased the program from 63 to 885 degree candidates.
Assistant Professor Paul Hartman (Physics, Ph.D., 1938) was one of the first to investigate the use of X-rays generated as a byproduct of high-energy electron accelerators. This go on to inform the X-ray diffraction studies at facilities such as Cornell’s High-Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS).
The Electric Wave Form Tracer was created by Harris J. Ryan, (Electrical Engineering, B.S., 1887). His new technology was applied to versatile monitors for modern cathode-ray oscilloscopes, television sets, radar and computers.