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?

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.

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.

Elmer Sperry, a Cornell engineering student from 1878 to 1879, invented many navigation and stabilization devices for ships and airplanes—all using the gyroscope. His compasses and stabilizers were adopted by the US Navy and used in both world wars.

Jim S. Thorp (Ph.D., 1962; M.S., 1961; B.S., 1959, electrical engineering) co-invented the phasor measurement unit (PMU) for which he was elected to the National Association of Engineering and won the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Electrical Engineering. These PMU units are now ubiquitous in utility systems worldwide and have played a key role in diminishing the frequency and impact of blackouts.

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).