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The Rensselaer Alumni Hall of Fame

Class of 2009 honorees include pioneers in hydraulic engineering, metallurgy, and rotorcraft technology

The Rensselaer Alumni Hall of Fame Selection Committee has announced the Hall of Fame inductees for 2009. They are Hiram F. Mills, Class of 1856, Robert G. Loewy ’47, and Matthew A. Hunter ’49 (Hon.).

Hiram Mills, Class of 1856, (inset left), was a pioneer in the field of sanitary engineering in America. He conducted the nation’s first experiments on water and sewage. His development of a filtration system for the elimination of bacteria marked the dawn of a new era in municipal engineering.

Robert Loewy ’47, is an expert in vertical flight. He has gained international prominence for his contributions to aircraft dynamics, particularly for rotary wing aircraft. In industry, government, and academia, he has had wide influence on aerospace standards and the aviation industry.

2009 Rensselaer Alumni Hall of Fame inductee Robert Loewy ’47 was on campus in April for the Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering 100th anniversary celebration.

Matthew Hunter ’49 (Hon.), (inset right), was the first to produce pure titanium, discovering a variety of desirable properties that have made it the metal of choice in many industries. As dean of faculty at Rensselaer, he led the Institute’s dramatic academic growth after World War II.

“This year’s inductees embody Rensselaer’s spirit of bold exploration,” says Jeff Schanz, assistant vice president for alumni relations. “Today’s students walk in the footsteps of these pioneers, and share their creative spirit.”

The Rensselaer Alumni Hall of Fame was created in 1995 to promote Rensselaer by preserving, celebrating, and widely communicating its long and exceptional heritage. The achievements of Rensselaer alumni throughout the years have had important and far-reaching effect. From the bridge builders of the 19th century to the engineers and scientists of space exploration, from the innovators of the Industrial Revolution to the entrepreneurs of computer and information systems, Rensselaer alumni have helped shape our world.

This year’s class will be formally inducted during Reunion & Homecoming weekend, Oct. 2-4, on the Troy campus. To learn more about this year’s honorees, or to read more about past inductees, visit

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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. ©2009 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.