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.

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Did you know?

NYC’s Grand Central Terminal was conceived and designed in 1902 by William Wilgus, who completed correspondence courses from Cornell Engineering in 1883-1885. He coined the term "taking wealth from the air" from his idea to lease the area above the Park Avenue Tunnel in order to help finance the station.

Professor Robert K. Finn (B.S., Chemical Engineering, 1942) patented a process for treating wastes low in nitrogen with bacteria that fix nitrogen from the atmosphere. The process is still used today to treat certain types of food waste without creating any type of sludge and therefore without environmental damage.

Meredith Charles (Flash) Gourdine, (Applied and Engineering Physics, B.S.,1953) pioneered research in electrogasdynamics. The Cornell track and field star and silver medalist in the Helsinki Olympics, also invented Inceraid used to remove smoke from burning buildings and later paved the way for future allergen-reducing technologies.

First retractable landing gear for military planes was developed in 1932 by Leroy Grumman, (Mechanical Engineering, 1916). Designed at the request of the US Navy to replace hand-cranked landing gearing, it was first installed on the Grumman FF-1 biplane fighter.

In 1946, all incoming College freshmen were required to enroll in a five-year engineering degree program. Former Dean S.C. Hollister (1937-1959) said implementing this five-year program was his “crowning achievement” for the College.