Department History



Aerospace Education and Research at Princeton University 1942 - 1975 

by Alexander J. Smits and Courtland D. Perkins

A brief account is given of the history of aerospace education and research at Princeton University for the period 1942 to 1975.  This period covers the initial establishment of the Aeronautical Engineering in 1942, its move to Forrestal Campus, and the eventual return to Main Campus.


Seymour M. Bogdonoff and the The Princeton Gasdynamics Laboratory

by Alexander J. Smits and Richard B. Miles
The Princeton Gasdynamics Laboratory was founded in about 1950 by Lester Lees and Seymour Bogdonoff. Bogdonoff became its Director in 1953, and remained in that post until 1989. Under his direction the Laboratory became a national powerhouse in aeronautical research. At its peak, the laboratory employed about six or seven faculty, maybe 50 graduate students, and 10 or 12 research associates and technicians, all working with a large range of wind tunnels designed by Bogdonoff, often aided by his close associate Irwin Vas. Here, we review some of the history and accomplishments of the Gasdynamics Laboratory."


Forrestal Airfield and Research

This site talks alot about the Forrestal Airfield and the MAE's aviation work at Forrestal. Many photos of aircraft and the airfield.


The Crocco Colloquium

The CROCCO Seminar is named for Luigi Crocco (1906-1986), a Princeton professor who was among the first in his generation to seriously devote efforts on numerical techniques for solving practical and complex fluid flows. He was a world-renowned expert on jet propulsion and supersonic aerodynamics. Crocco joined Princeton's Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department as the first Goddard Professor of Jet Propulsion in September of 1949. He made seminal and classic contributions to various branches of aerodynamics, and enriched the experience of generations of students and colleagues with his teaching, vision, and scientific acumen.  His work in combustion theory along with Martin Summerfield's studies of solid propellants had a profound effect upon rocket engine development during the next decade.  Crocco was the son of a renowned aeronautical scientist, General Gaetano Arturo Crocco, who was internationally known for his work in theoretical dynamics.

The Crocco Colloquium, like the Batejer Colloquium, has traditionally been recognized by many people in the community as a prestigious event in which a leading scholar gives two outstanding lectures at Princeton about exciting leading-edge research in fields related to mechanical and aerospace engineering.

See this year's Crocco Colloquium speaker under our Seminar page.


Princeton University Library: Engineering Library: Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Technical Reports: Finding Aid Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Technical Reports: Finding Aid

Creator: Princeton University. Dept. of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

Title and Dates: Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Reports, 1947-1998

Abstract: Consists of technical reports created by the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering  Department at Princeton University from 1947 to 1998.


A Critical History of Electric Propulsion: The First Fifty Years (1906-1956) By Edgar Y. Choureiri