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William F. Durand

AKA William Frederick Durand

Born: 5-Mar-1859
Birthplace: Beacon Falls, CT
Died: 9-Aug-1958
Location of death: Brooklyn, NY
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Engineer, Educator

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics

Military service: US Navy (1877-87)

William F. Durand studied the theory and operation of propeller hydraulics, and, later, propeller aerodynamics, and taught mechanical engineering at Cornell and Stanford. Among the nation's most respected academics of his time, Durand was a founding member and served for decades on the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, forerunner of the present-day NASA. After his 1924 retirement from Stanford he oversaw the a comprehensive series of monographs on aerodynamics that was widely used as a resource in scientific circles, and wrote three of the papers himself. In his 80s, at the special request of Vannevar Bush, he chaired NACA's Special Committee on Jet Propulsion.

Father: William Leavenworth Durand (farmer, b. 2-Sep-1814, d. 2-May-1898)
Mother: Ruth Coe Durand (b. 1816, m. 7-Oct-1838)
Sister: Cynthia Durand
Brother: David Durand
Sister: Mary Durand
Wife: Charlotte Kneen Durand (m. 23-Oct-1883)
Son: William Leavenworth Durand

    High School: Derby High School, Derby, CT (1877)
    University: BS, US Naval Academy (1880)
    University: PhD Engineering, Lafayette College (1888)
    Teacher: Mathematics and Steam Engineering, Lafayette College (1883-85)
    Teacher: Mechnics and Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (1887)
    Professor: Mechanics, Michigan State University (1887-91)
    Professor: Marine Engineering & Naval Architecture, Cornell University (1891-1904)
    Professor: Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University (1904-24)

    ASME Medal 1945
    Benjamin Franklin Medal 1938 (by the Franklin Institute)
    American Society of Mechanical Engineers
    Carnegie Institution for Science Grant
    National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics Chairman (1915-16)
    National Research Council
    National Academy of Sciences
    National Academy of Engineering
    English Ancestry (maternal)
    French Ancestry (paternal)
    Huguenot Ancestry (paternal)

Author of books:
The Resistance and Propulsion of Ships (1898)
Practical Marine Engineering for Marine Engineers and Students (1901)
Aerodynamic Theory (1935, editor)


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