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 and 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?

The namesake of the Pew Engineering Quad, Joseph N. Pew, Jr. (Mechanical Engineering, B.S., 1908) and later Vice President of Sun Oil Company developed, in 1926, a gyroscopic instrument with a high-speed camera and timing device for preventing the drilling of crooked holes in oil wells. He also founded Pew Charitable Trusts in 1948-independent nonprofit committed to improving public policy, informing the public on issues and invigorating civic life by encouraging democratic participation and strong communities.

Watt Webb, Professor of Applied Physics since 1965, and Malcolm Beasley (Applied and Engineering Physics, M.S., 1962; Physics, Ph.D., 1968) designed the first intrinsically stable superconducting magnet, which is still used today in magnetic resonance imaging. Watt W. Webb is known for his co-invention (with Winfried Denk and Jim Strickler) of Multiphoton microscopy in 1990.

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 .

In 1975, OR students Edward Ignall and Warren Walker along with co-authors publish their paradigm-shifting paper, “Improving the Deployment of New York City Fire Companies”. Later awarded the INFORMS Lanchester Prize, it sets a new scope of directions for applications of OR in the public sector.

In 1903, Cornell electrical engineering students sent out some of the first radio signals of what would eventually become WHCU, one of the oldest radio stations in North America.