Mechanical Engineering Hero: JW Gibbs


Josiah Willard Gibbs (1839-1903): “an American scientist who made important theoretical contributions to physics, chemistry, and mathematics. His work on the applications of thermodynamics was instrumental in transforming physical chemistry into a rigorous deductive science.”

He earned the first American PhD in engineering; his dissertation was entitled “On the Form of the Teeth of Wheels in Spur Gearing”…that’s right folks, classical component design!

Einstein called him: “the greatest mind in American history”

Among his many contributions: chemical thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, vector calculus and physical optics.

So, don’t ever let anyone tell you that mechanical engineers don’t do chemistry!

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