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.
Did you know?
Charles Ward Hall (B.S., 1895) pioneered aluminum manufacturing procedures and tools in building aircraft. He developed the idea and tools to join duralumin – aircraft aluminum alloy skin – using cold-set rivets. This quickly revolutionized the manufacturing process and helped reduce drag.
Charles Manly (M.S., 1898) invented and built the first gasoline engine used for aviation. He also piloted an early experimental aircraft called the Great Aerodrome, built in collaboration with the secretary of the Smithsonian Institution (Samuel Langley), but the early experiments were not successful and Manly crashed it into the Potomac River.
George Biddle Kelley (BS, Civil Engineering 1908), was one of the seven founders of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity at Cornell University in 1906, and Alpha chapter’s first President. At the start of the 20th century, black students at American universities were often excluded from fraternal organizations enjoyed by the predominantly white student population. During the 1905–06 school year, black students at Cornell organized the first Greek letter fraternity with the aim to provide an opportunity for association and mutual support among African-American students.
George Burr Upton (Mechanical Engineering, B.S., 1904; M.S., 1905) co-invented (with George Lewis) the Upton-Lewis Fatigue Testing Machine to quantify the stress experienced by automobile axles in the early days of automobiles. Prof. Upton was responsible for many advances and developments in the technique of testing materials and in the improvement of the physical and mechanical properties of materials.
In 2006, Cornell's Global Positioning System Laboratory cracked the so-called pseudo random number (PRNs) codes of Europe's first global navigation satellite. This gave free access for consumers who use navigation devices -- including handheld receivers and systems installed in vehicles -- that need PRNs to listen to satellites.