Famous American Mechanical Engineers

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 1 
Nikola Tesla
(Inventor, Engineer & Futurist, Who Obtained Over 300 Patents)
Nikola Tesla
0
Birthdate: July 10, 1856
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Smiljan, Croatia
Died: January 7, 1943

Inventor, engineer and futurist, Nikola Tesla, is best remembered for his contribution to the development of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system. A prolific inventor, he had around 300 patents for his inventions. Even though he earned a considerable amount of money, he had poor money management skills and died a poor man.

 2 
Bill Nye
(Best Known as the Host of the Science TV Show ‘Bill Nye the Science Guy’)
Bill Nye
6
Birthdate: November 27, 1955
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

Bill Nye is an American mechanical engineer, television presenter, and science communicator. He is known for hosting the live-action science program Bill Nye the Science Guy. He is credited with inventing a hydraulic resonance suppressor tube, which is used on the Boeing 747 airplanes. He also helped develop MarsDial, a sundial that became part of the Mars Exploration Rover missions.

 3 
Frederick Winslow Taylor
(American Mechanical Engineer Known for His Methods to Improve Industrial Efficiency)
Frederick Winslow Taylor
14
Birthdate: March 20, 1856
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: March 21, 1915

American inventor, mechanical engineer and an accomplished tennis and golf player, Frederick Winslow Taylor, regarded as the father of scientific management, sought to improve industrial efficiency. His approach on scientific management, referred to as Taylorism, has significantly influenced development of industrial engineering and production management. His monograph, The Principles of Scientific Management, laid out his views on principles of scientific management.

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 4 
Frederick McKinley Jones
(Inventor of 'Mobile Refrigeration Technology' for Transportation of Perishable Goods)
Frederick McKinley Jones
3
Birthdate: May 17, 1893
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Died: February 21, 1961

Best known for inventing an automatic refrigeration system used in long-haul trucks, Frederick McKinley Jones was orphaned at age 7. He quit school as a child and took up menial jobs. After briefly serving the army, he focused on inventing machine parts and ended up with over 60 patents.

 5 
Granville Woods
(Inventor)
Granville Woods
5
Birthdate: April 23, 1856
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio, United States
Died: January 30, 1910

Granville Woods was 10 when he began working at a machine shop, while continuing his studies at a night school. He grew up to become a steam locomotive engineer and earned the nickname the Black Edison for his countless inventions, most of which were related to electrical systems for railways.

 6 
Thomas Midgley, Jr.
(Mechanical and chemical engineer)
Thomas Midgley, Jr.
3
Birthdate: May 19, 1889
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: November 2, 1944

Thomas Midgley Jr. was an American chemical and mechanical engineer. Midgley played a key role in the development of leaded gasoline and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which were later banned due to their negative impact on the environment and human health. Thomas Midgley Jr. was granted over 100 patents during his lifetime.

 7 
Henry Gantt
(Engineer)
Henry Gantt
4
Birthdate: May 20, 1861
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Calvert County
Died: November 23, 1919

Best known for creating the Gantt Chart, a management tool used for scheduling tasks, mechanical engineer Henry Gantt had been a disciple and colleague of Frederick W. Taylor. He also prepared ground for the Human Relations School of management and spoke about the social responsibility of business.

 8 
Franklin Chang Díaz
(Former NASA Astronaut, Founder and CEO of ‘Ad Astra Rocket Company’)
Franklin Chang Díaz
5
Birthdate: April 5, 1950
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: San José, Costa Rica

Franklin Chang Díaz is a Costa Rican American physicist, mechanical engineer, and former NASA astronaut. He is credited with founding the Ad Astra Rocket Company where he currently serves as the CEO. On May 5, 2012, Franklin Chang Díaz was inducted into the NASA Astronaut Hall of Fame.

 9 
Eugene Stoner
(Designer)
Eugene Stoner
6
Birthdate: November 22, 1922
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Gosport, Indiana, United States
Died: April 24, 1997

Eugene Stoner is largely remembered for developing the ArmaLite AR-15 rifle, which was a forerunner of the M16 rifle used by the American military. Though he didn’t have any formal education beyond high school, Stoner, like his Russian counterpart, Mikhail T. Kalashnikov, revolutionized the arms industry with his inventions.

 10 
Willis Carrier
(Engineer, Inventor)
Willis Carrier
6
Birthdate: November 26, 1876
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Angola, New York, United States
Died: October 7, 1950
 11 
Michael Teutul
(American TV personality)
Michael Teutul
6
Birthdate: November 26, 1978
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Suffern, New York, United States

American television personality Michael Teutul started working at his family company Orange County Iron Works at age 14. He worked as assistant general manager of Orange County Choppers, founded by his father Paul Teutul Sr., but was eventually forced out. Michael is known for his features in TV shows like American Chopper and American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior.   

 12 
Roger Boisjoly
(Mechanical Engineer)
Roger Boisjoly
5
Birthdate: April 25, 1938
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lowell, Massachusetts, United States
Died: January 6, 2012

A miller’s son, Roger Boisjoly excelled in tennis while in school and eventually grew up to become a mechanical engineer and an aerodynamicist. As part of the Morton Thiokol team that designed the Space Shuttle Challenger, he correctly predicted that its faulty design could cause an explosion, but was ignored.

 13 
Bob Behnken
(Astronaut)
Bob Behnken
3
Birthdate: July 28, 1970
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Saint Ann, Missouri, United States

NASA astronaut Bob Behnken has also served as a colonel in the U.S. Air Force. He was the mission specialist on both the STS-123 and STS-130 space flights. The Air Force Achievement Medal winner is married to astronaut K. Megan McArthur. He also holds a radio license.

 14 
Ben Rich
(American engineer)
Ben Rich
3
Birthdate: June 18, 1925
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Manila, Philippines
Died: January 5, 1995

Known as "the father of stealth," Ben Rich made a significant contribution to the development of the F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter-bomber. Throughout his stint at Lockheed’s Skunk Works, he helped develop numerous military planes. The UCLA alumnus later received the Distinguished Service Cross for his work.

 15 
John Ericsson
(Inventor)
John Ericsson
3
Birthdate: July 31, 1803
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Långbanshyttan, Värmland, Sweden
Died: March 8, 1889

Swedish-born American naval engineer and inventor John Ericsson is most remembered for designing and building the first armoured turret warship and developing the screw propeller. The warship – USS Monitor – is credited for keeping the Union (North) Navy stay protected during the American Civil War. His other inventions include the torpedo technology and solar machine.

 16 
Joseph Engelberger
(American Physicist, Engineer and Entrepreneur Who Developed the First Industrial Robot in the United States)
Joseph Engelberger
2
Birthdate: July 26, 1925
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York City, United States
Died: December 1, 2015

Known as the Father of Robotics, Joseph Engelberger went down in history as the developer of the first industrial robot in the U.S., the Unimate, which was installed in a GM plant. His book Robotics in Practice is classic in the field of robotics and has been translated in multiple languages.

 17 
Avijit Roy
(Engineer, Blogger)
Avijit Roy
3
Birthdate: September 12, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bangladesh
Died: February 26, 2015
 18 
Gerald Carr
(American Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineer Who Commanded the 'Skylab 4 Mission')
Gerald Carr
2
Birthdate: August 22, 1932
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, United States
Died: August 26, 2020

Mechanical and aeronautical engineer Gerald Carr is best remembered for commanding the Skylab 4 mission, which proved that it was possible for humans to live in space for a long period of time. He and his crew also studied Comet Kohoutek. He later formed a company that assisted in space station designing.

 19 
Kevin Granata
(Engineer)
Kevin Granata
0
Birthdate: December 29, 1961
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Toledo, Ohio, United States
Died: April 16, 2007
 20 
Seth Lloyd
(Educator, Scientist)
Seth Lloyd
0
Birthdate: August 2, 1960
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: United States
 21 
Maxime Faget
(American Mechanical Engineer and Designer of the 'Mercury' Spacecraft)
Maxime Faget
8
Birthdate: August 26, 1921
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dangriga, Belize
Died: October 9, 2004

Recipient of the ASME Medal, Belizean-born American mechanical engineer Max Faget, considered an engineering genius, began research for human spaceflight during his time at the NACA. He was the principal designer of the Mercury spacecraft and also worked on the Gemini and Apollo vehicles and the Space Shuttle and retired from NASA as chief of engineering and operations.  

 22 
Elmer Ambrose Sperry
(American Inventor and Entrepreneur Who Invented 'Gyrocompass')
Elmer Ambrose Sperry
2
Birthdate: October 12, 1860
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cincinnatus, New York, United States
Died: June 16, 1930

Elmer Ambrose Sperry is best remembered for inventing gyroscopic compasses and stabilizers, which revolutionized navigation technology back in his time. His products had been of great use to the U.S. Navy. His illustrious career had witnessed him gain over 400 patents through his eight manufacturing companies.

 23 
Jacob Perkins
(American Inventor, Mechanical Engineer and Physicist Known for His Inventing of 'Refrigerator')
Jacob Perkins
2
Birthdate: July 9, 1766
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Newburyport, Massachusetts, United States
Died: July 30, 1849

Known as the father of the refrigerator, American inventor, mechanical engineer and physicist Jacob Perkins made several useful mechanical inventions. He created improved nail machines and some of the best steel plates for engraving, invented a bathometer, became the first person in Britain to use a uniflow steam engine, and most notably built the world’s first working vapor-compression refrigeration system.

 24 
Laurens Hammond
(American Engineer and Inventor Who Created the Electronic Keyboard Instrument Known as the 'Hammond Organ')
Laurens Hammond
2
Birthdate: January 11, 1895
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Evanston, Illinois, United States
Died: July 1, 1973

American engineer and inventor Laurens Hammond garnered the first of his 110 patents for a barometer, while still in his teens. He left the Gray Motor Company job after inventing a silent spring-driven clock. His inventions in the ensuing years include, most notably the Hammond organ, the Hammond clock, and Novachord, often regarded as the world's first commercial polyphonic synthesizer.

 25 
Frank Piasecki
(Engineer)
Frank Piasecki
2
Birthdate: October 24, 1919
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: February 11, 2008

Aeronautical engineer Frank Piasecki was the first American to get a helicopter pilot’s license. Remembered as the pioneer of the tandem rotor design of helicopters, also known as the Flying Banana model. The National Medal of Technology winner had also designed the first helicopter for the American navy.

 26 
Jim Cantrell
(Business People)
Jim Cantrell
2
Birthplace: United States

The CEO of Phantom Space Corporation, Jim Cantrell made headlines when he was hired as a consultant by Elon Musk for working on SpaceX. A qualified mechanical engineer, Cantrell specializes in space transportation technology. He is also an avid racer and had once launched a start-up for restoring vintage race cars.

 27 
Nathanael Greene Herreshoff
(American Naval Architect, Mechanical Engineer, and Yacht Design Innovator)
Nathanael Greene Herreshoff
2
Birthdate: March 18, 1848
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bristol, Rhode Island, United States
Died: June 2, 1938

Nathanael Greene Herreshoff was a distinguished naval architect and yacht designer, whose influence on boat building remains unrivaled to these days. Credited with producing the first modern multihull and the first successful fin-keel yacht, he used innovative ideas and lightest possible materials while building his boats. His boats defended the America’s Cup six times from 1893 to 1920.

 28 
Victor Scheinman
(American Pioneer in the Field of Robotics)
Victor Scheinman
2
Birthdate: December 28, 1942
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Augusta, Georgia, United States
Died: September 20, 2016

Victor Scheinman’s first experience with robots, while watching the sci-fi film The Day the Earth Stood Still, as a child was scary. He overcame the fear by building a wooden model. His pioneering works in the field of robotics includes designing the industrial robot Stanford arm with six degrees of freedom and developing the industrial robotic arm PUMA at Unimation.

 29 
Simon Lake
(American Mechanical Engineer and Naval Architect Known for Building the First Submarines for the 'United States Navy')
Simon Lake
2
Birthdate: September 4, 1866
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Pleasantville, New Jersey, United States
Died: June 23, 1945

Simon Lake was an American inventor who is credited with building the first submarines to operate extensively in the open sea. His first two submarines, Argonaut and Protector, were sold to Russia as US Congress refused to buy them. Later, he built many more submarines and obtainined over two hundred patents for advances in naval design.

 30 
Linus Yale Jr.
(Inventor)
Linus Yale Jr.
1
Birthdate: April 4, 1821
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Salisbury, New York, United States
Died: December 25, 1868

Best known for inventing the cylinder lock named after him, Linus Yale Jr. was a descendant of the benefactor of Yale University. While working in his father’s lock shop, Yale introduced many innovative designs for bank locks. He also put to use his painting skills in drawing lock designs.

 31 
Amos Whitney
(American Mechanical Engineer and Inventor Who Co-founded the 'Pratt & Whitney Company')
Amos Whitney
1
Birthdate: October 8, 1832
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Biddeford, Maine, United States
Died: August 5, 1920

Amos Whitney was in his early teens when he apprenticed at a machine company. He is best remembered for his manufacturing company Pratt & Whitney, which he set up with Francis A. Pratt. He had designed a number of innovative machine parts for sewing machines, guns, and typewriters.

 32 
David Crosthwait
2
Birthdate: May 27, 1898
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Died: February 25, 1976

Ventilation, heating system, and air conditioning pioneer David Crosthwait was one of the first African-American men to excel in science. Throughout his illustrious career, he managed to gain 80 international patents. He later taught at Purdue University and was presented with an honorary doctorate by the same university.

 33 
Kate Gleason
(Mechanical Engineer)
Kate Gleason
1
Birthdate: November 25, 1865
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Rochester
Died: January 9, 1933

Known as successful businesswoman, Catherine Anselm Gleason had many firsts to her credit. The first woman to study engineering at Cornell University, she later became the first female to become receiver of a bankrupt company and successfully restored it.  Later, she also became the first female president of a national bank, and member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

 34 
Francis A. Pratt
(American Mechanical Engineer, Inventor, and Co-founder of 'Pratt & Whitney')
Francis A. Pratt
1
Birthdate: February 15, 1827
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Peru, New York, United States
Died: February 10, 1902

Francis A. Pratt spent his early days as an apprentice at a machine shop. He later met Amos Whitney, with whom he set up the manufacturing firm Pratt & Whitney. Apart from developing the Lincoln miller, Pratt also contributed to inventing machine parts for sewing machines, guns, and other industries.

 35 
George Herman Babcock
(Inventor, Engineer)
George Herman Babcock
0
Birthdate: June 17, 1832
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Unadilla Forks, New York, United States
Died: December 16, 1893
 36 
John Fritz
(Pioneer)
John Fritz
1
Birthdate: August 21, 1822
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Londonderry Township, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: February 13, 1913

Associated with the Bethlehem Iron Works, the Father of the U.S. Steel Industry, John Fritz was one of the pioneers of the Bessemer process and had also introduced open-hearth furnaces and other innovative techniques. He was the first recipient of the John Fritz Medal, launched in his honor.

 37 
Greg Barton
(Canoeist, Engineer)
Greg Barton
0
Birthdate: December 2, 1959
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Jackson, Michigan, United States
 38 
David Wilkinson
(Engineer)
David Wilkinson
1
Birthdate: January 5, 1771
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Smithfield, Rhode Island, United States
Died: February 3, 1852

Born to a blacksmith, David Wilkinson grew up to be a skilled machine parts manufacturer. A mechanical engineer, he built a lathe for turning iron and brass, which helped the U.S. government manufacture firearms. He is also said to have built the first steamboat in the U.S.

 39 
William Sellers
(American Mechanical Engineer and Inventor Known for Proposing United States Standard System of Screws, Threads, and Nuts)
William Sellers
1
Birthdate: September 19, 1824
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: January 24, 1905

Mechanical engineer, manufacturer, entrepreneur and inventor William Sellers is best-remembered for developing the United States standard screw thread. Many of its details were given in his paper A System of Screw Threads and Nuts, presented to the Franklin Institute. He served as president of Franklin Institute and led the leading machine tool firm William Sellers & Co. for years.

 40 
George Henry Corliss
(American Mechanical Engineer and Inventor, Who Developed the 'Corliss Steam Engine')
George Henry Corliss
1
Birthdate: June 2, 1817
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Easton, New York, United States
Died: February 21, 1888

Inventor George Henry Corliss is remembered for developing the Corliss steam engine, thus introducing innovative features, such as the Corliss valve, to the existing steam engine models. Initially a general store owner, he had also developed various new types of sewing machines, before diverting his focus to steam engines.

 41 
Alexander Lyman Holley
(American Mechanical Engineer, Inventor, and Founding Member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME))
Alexander Lyman Holley
6
Birthdate: July 20, 1832
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lakeville, Salisbury, Connecticut, United States
Died: January 29, 1882

One of the founders of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Alexander Lyman Holley set up the first American steel plant using the Bessemer process technology, for Corning, Winslow & Company. Ten of his 15 American patents were related to the Bessemer process. He also received the Bessemer Gold Medal.

 42 
Russell Colley
(American Mechanical Engineer Who Played a Role in Creating the Spacesuits Worn by the 'Project Mercury' Astronauts)
Russell Colley
1
Birthdate: July 22, 1897
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Stoneham, Massachusetts, United States
Died: February 4, 1996

Dubbed as First Tailor of the Space Age and Father of the Spacesuit, US mechanical engineer Russell Colley designed the first pressure suit using his wife's sewing machine for American aviator Wiley Post. He then contributed in designing Goodrich XH-5 full-pressure suit for US Army Air Force, full-pressure suits for US Navy, and most notably spacesuits for Project Mercury astronauts.  

 43 
Arthur Claude Ruge
(Mechanical engineer)
Arthur Claude Ruge
0
Birthdate: July 28, 1905
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Tomah, Wisconsin, United States
Died: April 3, 2000
 44 
Harold E. Froehlich
0
Birthdate: July 13, 1922
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Died: May 19, 2007

Aeronautical and mechanical engineer Harold E. Froehlich was also a World War II Navy veteran. He had designed high-altitude balloons during his stint at GE. However, he is best remembered for inventing the Alvin, a deep-diving submarine that assisted in locating the wreckage of the Titanic and a lost hydrogen bomb.

 45 
Robert H. Roy
(Engineer, Lacrosse player)
Robert H. Roy
0
Birthdate: November 21, 1906
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Died: October 8, 2000
 46 
William D. Bond
(Inventor)
William D. Bond
0
Birthdate: January 2, 1931
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: United States

GE mechanical engineer William D. Bond is best remembered for his contribution to the development of three-wheeled cars and electric cars. He had also served as part of the National Guard during the Korean War. His vintage inventions now adorn the GM Heritage Center in Michigan.

 47 
Herbert Thacker Herr
(American Engineer and Inventor Who Made Important Improvements in Steam Turbines)
Herbert Thacker Herr
0
Birthdate: March 19, 1876
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, United States
Died: December 19, 1933

Herbert Thacker Herr is best remembered for his work on steam turbines. Initially a railroad machinist, he became well-known for his inventions related to train brakes. He later became the vice president and general manager of Westinghouse Machine Company. His inventions were used by the US Navy, too.

 48 
Robert Collins Truax
(Rocket scientist)
Robert Collins Truax
0
Birthdate: September 3, 1916
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Gary, Indiana, United States
Died: September 17, 2010

Robert Collins Truax was a pioneering rocket engineer and a Navy captain. Among his adventurous ventures was the supposed space tourism rocket named Volksrocket, which he had planned to build with Evel Knievel, but which eventually remained unused. He also founded Truax Engineering, which catered to sea launch missions.