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Did You Know?

Lehigh Engineering: Our proud heritage

The many and varied accomplishments of Lehigh engineers run the gamut from autos to artificial hearts. Here are a few examples:

1885 Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honorary society, is founded at Lehigh by mining engineering professor Edward H. Williams. Today, there are TBP chapters at 230 universities in the U.S.
1899 James Ward Packard, a member of Lehigh's class of 1884, and his brother, William, build the first Packard car. The one-cylinder, 12-hp machine contains a new H-pattern gear slot, which earns James Packard one of the more than 40 patents he will garner during his life.
1937 Howard McClintic and Charles Marshall of Lehigh's Class of 1888 watch as San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge opens for vehicular traffic - ahead of schedule and under budget. The bridge is today recognized as one of the "Seven Wonders of the Modern World." The McClintic-Marshall Construction Co. oversaw its construction.
1964 Under the guidance of Lee Iacocca, Ford Motor Co. introduces the Ford Mustang, which has the most successful first-year sales of any car in history. Iacocca, who earned a B.S. in industrial engineering from Lehigh in 1946, later becomes president of Ford and chairman of Chrysler Corp.
1967 Peter C. Rossin founds Dynamet Inc., which becomes one of the world's leading producers of titanium- and nickel-based alloy products, such as the artificial joint shown here. In 1998, Rossin and his wife, Ada, give a $25-million gift to Lehigh's engineering college, which is renamed in his honor. Rossin earned a B.S. in metallurgical engineering from Lehigh in 1948.
1980 William S. Pierce and James H. Donachy receive a U.S. patent for the Pierce-Donachy Ventricular Assist Device, one of only two air-driven, temporary artificial heart designs approved for use in humans by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The pump's seam-free surface limits the risk of blood-clotting. Pierce earned a B.S. in chemical engineering from Lehigh in 1958.
1892 Jesse Reno patents an "inclined elevator" or moving stairs. He uses the device as an amusement ride at Coney Island in 1895. In 1899, Charles Seeberger and the Otis Elevator Co. expand Reno's invention into the world's first commercial escalator in Yonkers, N.Y. Reno earned a B.S. in engineering from Lehigh in 1883.

Heritage Initiative

The Lehigh Engineering Heritage Initiative is a community supported project that recognizes the accomplishments that reflect Lehigh’s undeniable influence on the field of engineering.