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Legacy of Distiction Legacy of Distiction Legacy of Distiction
Ebenezer Emmons William Pitt Mason John A.L. Waddell
Frank & Kenneth Osborn Hermann Haus Robert Widmer
This father-and-son combination directed a firm that remains one of Ohio’s and America’s great engineering companies. Frank Osborn founded Osborn Engineering in Cleveland in 1892. The company pioneered in the use of reinforced concrete and built municipal and industrial facilities throughout the country. When Kenneth joined the firm in 1911, he became the company’s key person in stadium design. Under Kenneth’s leadership the firm became the nation’s foremost designer of major-league, municipal, and collegiate stadiums and ballparks. The firm has designed more than 100 sports stadiums, including such famous parks as Fenway Park in Boston, Yankee Stadium in New York, and Tiger Stadium in Detroit. The firm also design- ed facilities for colleges and universities, including Michigan, Purdue, West Point, and Notre Dame. As public interest in sports grew, the Osborns’ experience in structural steel and concrete enabled major cities and colleges alike to provide modern, safe stadiums for a new era of professional and collegiate athletics.
Hermann Haus became one of the world’s foremost authorities on optical communications. A native of Slovenia, he earned degrees at Union College, Rensselaer, and MIT before joining the faculty at MIT, where he was a leader in research and teaching for nearly a half-century. His pathbreaking work in quantum optics ranged from fundamental investigations of quantum uncertainty as manifested in optical communications to the practical generation of ultra-short optical pulses. Ultra-short laser pulses find applications in eye surgery, medical imaging, and precision clocks, as well as in ultrafast instrumentation and fiber-optic communications. The fiber-optic undersea cables that provide rapid voice and data communications among the U.S., Europe, and Asia are the result of the pioneering investigations of Haus and fellow researchers at AT&T Bell Laboratories and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Research Laboratories.
A member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences, among many other honors, Haus was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1995.
Robert Widmer has been a significant contributor to the design of highly successful American military aircraft, from World War II until the end of the 20th century. Recipient of the Ricketts Award as the outstanding aeronautical engineer in his class at Rensselaer, he began his career as an aerodynamic engineer and rose through technical management positions to become vice president of science and engineering for all engineering activities at General Dynamics Corp. Widmer was involved with engineering work on flying boats and major bomber projects. He was the creator and designer of the B-58, the world’s first long-range aircraft capable of sustained supersonic flight, as well as the B-36, F-111, and F-16. A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Widmer has received numerous awards, including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ Spirit of St. Louis Medal. He has been a consultant to military and government agencies concerned with aeronautical matters, and adviser to engineering programs at the University of Texas and Southern Methodist University.
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Rensselaer (ISSN 0898-1442) is published in Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter by the Office of Strategic Communications and External Relations, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180-3590. Opinions expressed in these pages do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or the policies of the Institute. ©2007 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.