Dartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of EngineeringDartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of Engineering

In Memoriam: Professor Emeritus Arthur Kantrowitz

Professor Kantrowitz, left, with Rob Wills Th'83
Professor Kantrowitz, left, with Rob Wills Th'83. Photograph by Nancy Wasserman.

Thayer School Professor of Engineering, Emeritus, Arthur Kantrowitz died of heart failure on Saturday, November 29, 2008, in New York City. He was 95.

Kantrowitz came to Thayer as professor and senior lecturer in 1978. Previously he taught aeronautical engineering and engineering physics at Cornell and founded Avco Everett Research Laboratory. He earned his Ph.D. in physics at Columbia; held 21 patents; served on advisory boards to the Ford White House, the Department of Commerce, NASA, the General Accounting Office, and the National Science Foundation; was a member of numerous scientific organizations; and was a recipient of the Roosevelt Medal of Honor for Distinguished Service in Science.

Kantrowitz’s wide-ranging research included one of the first attempts at controlled nuclear fusion in 1938, magnetohydrodynamic generators, rocket nose cones able to withstand the heat of re-entry into the atmosphere, and the intra-aortic balloon pump [see Inventions] that has been used in hundreds of thousands of patients.

He was passionate about the roles of academia and the scientific community in the public perception of technology. He advocated for a “science court” to provide reliable information about the scope and limitations of scientific knowledge.

An obituary in The New York Times noted that he “never lost his faith in science and in humanity’s ability to solve its problems.”

He is survived by his wife, Lee Stuart of Hanover; three daughters, Barbara, Lore, and Andrea; and six grandchildren.

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Categories: The Great Hall, In Memoriam

Tags: faculty, patent

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