Elected in 1975
“For pioneering in research on energy conservation through climate control, on solar energy, and national and international leadership in engineering education.”
BY RICHARD J. GOLDSTEIN, BENJAMIN Y.H. LIU, AND DEANE MORRISON
RICHARD C. JORDAN, former head of the University of Minnesota Department of Mechanical Engineering, died of natural causes in Rio Verde, Arizona, on June 14, 2002, at the age of 93.
Jordan was born in Minneapolis on April 16, 1909. As a youngster interested in mechanics and electricity, he was the first in his Minneapolis neighborhood to build a radio and receive transmissions from across the country. Fascinated by advances in the mechanical sciences at the beginning of the century, he decided at an early age to become an engineer. He attended West High School in Minneapolis and continued his education at the University of Minnesota, where he received a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering in 1931 and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1933. In 1940, as a specialist in the science of heating and refrigeration, with minors in mathematics and physical metallurgy, he earned the first doctorate in mechanical engineering at the University of Minnesota.
The university was also the beneficiary of Jordan’s teaching talents. He began his career at the university Engineering Experiment Station and rose to become a full professor and, in 1949, head of the Mechanical Engineering Department. He continued to hold that post until his retirement in 1977.