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The Twenty Greatest Engineering Achievements of the Twentieth Century

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Title: The Twenty Greatest Engineering Achievements of the Twentieth Century


1
The Twenty Greatest Engineering Achievements of
the Twentieth Century
  • Book Website
  • National Academy of Engineering
  • 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
  • Washington, DC 20418
  • www.nae.edu
  • Power Point Presentation
  • by
  • Bob Koerner of Drexel University

2
Selection of Achievements
  • inquiries from the consortium of 27 professional
    engineering societies
  • they polled their membership and came up with
    their own nominations
  • NAE Committee then narrowed and prioritized the
    nominations
  • twenty achievements, in the following order, were
    eventually selected

3
1. Electrification
  • 1882 - first power plant by Edison in NYC
  • 1903 - first steam turbine generator
  • 1917 - first high voltage transmission line
    major controversy between DC AC current
  • 1935 - Rural Electrification Program

4
Methods of Generating Power for Electricity
Production
  • fossil fuels (coal, oil, and/or gas)
  • hydroelectric
  • nuclear
  • wind
  • solar
  • degradation of organic matter

5
2. Automobile
  • 1901 - Olds produced 425 cars
  • 1908 - Ford produced 10,660 cars
  • 1913 - Fords moving assembly line

6
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7
Automobiles Critical Role
  • growth of the suburbs
  • malls, factories, schools, etc., followed
  • ___________
  • Ford said, Everybody wants to be somewhere he
    aint, and as soon as he gets there he wants to
    go right back.

8
3. Airplane
  • 1903 - Wright Bros. at Kitty Hawk many legal
    battles with Glenn Curtis
  • 1914-17 - advancements during World War I
  • 1927 - Lindbergh crosses the Atlantic
  • 1938-45 - World War II advancements

9
Orville Wright at controls with Wilbur looking on
at Kitty Hawk, NC on December 17, 1903 for the
first sustained, powered and piloted flight.
10
Recent Advancements
  • 1937 - jet engines by Whittle and Ohain
  • 1939 - Sikorsky developed first helicopter
  • 1947 - Yeager breaks the sound barrier
  • 1990s - all composite flying wing that cannot
    be detected by radar

11
4. Water Supply and Distribution The Quality
Issues
  • dysentery, diarrhea, typhoid and cholera were
    deadly especially in 19th Century
  • polluted water was found to be the cause
  • Jersey City in 1908 used chlorination
  • coagulation, sedimentation, filtration and
    chemical disinfection are used today

12
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13
Water Supply and Distribution The Quantity
Issues
  • 1913 - Los Angeles Aqueduct
  • 1915 - Catskill Aqueduct
  • 1935 - Hoover Dam constructed
  • 1937 - Delaware Aqueduct System
  • 1938 - Colorado River Diversion
  • 1960s - Kuwait uses seawater desalination
    technology... many follow

14
5. Electronics
  • 1904 - Marconi Co. develops an oscillation
    valve in a vacuum bulb
  • 1907 - DeForest develops vacuum triode
  • 1947 - Bardeen, Brattain, Shockley (Bell Labs)
    build the transistor received Nobel Prize
  • 1967 - Texas Inst. develops the hand-held
    calculator no more slide rule !!!

15
Vacuum Tube-to-Transistor
Intels 1971 Microprocessor (60,000
operations/second)
16
More Recent Developments
  • 1965 - Battelle develops CD-ROM
  • 1971 - Intel develops computer-on-a-chip
  • 1972 - Magnavox develops video games
  • 1998 - Bell Labs develops printed plastic
    transistors resulting in flexible computer
    screens, smart cards, etc.

17
6. Radio and Television
  • 1900 - Tesla patented an electrical transmitter
  • 1901 - Marconi transmits across the Atlantic
  • 1904 - Fleming develops a radio receiver
  • 1906 - Fessenden transmits the voice of music
  • 1912 - Armstrong of Columbia develops AM radio
  • 1920 - Station KDKA in Pittsburgh broadcasts
  • 1953 - Sarnoff of RCA-Camden goes commercial

18
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19
And Then Came Television
  • 1929 - Zworykin and Farnsworth independently
    develop the cathode ray tube
  • 1947 - transistor aids TV development greatly
  • 1954 - Rose Bowl transmitted in color
  • 1962 - Bell Labs develops satellite transmission
  • 1990 - high definition TV (HDTV)
  • 1996 - digital HDTV follows

20
7. Agricultural Mechanization
  • 1900 - 38 of workforce were farmers by 2000 3
    of workforce were farmers
  • 1902 - first internal combustion engine powers a
    farm tractor
  • 1904 - first crawler tractor
  • 1921 - crop dusting begins

21
- 1920 -
- 1900 -
- 1940 -
22
Advances Beyond Machinery
  • 1935 - conservation tillage begins
  • 1935 - FDRs rural electrification program
  • 1948 - Zybachs center pivot irrigation
  • 1956 - Gyrals pneumatic seeding
  • 1966 - electronic monitoring devices
  • 1994 - precision agriculture begins (water,
    fertilizer, pesticide all together)

23
8. Computers
  • 1936 - Shannon develops digital circuit
  • 1939 - ABC System combines binary arithmetic and
    electronic switching
  • 1945 - Von Neumann suggests method for storing
    data and writing programs
  • 1946 - Mauchly and Eckert develop EINAC

24
Penns EINAC weighing 40 tons with 18,000 vacuum
tubes, 6,000 switches and 1,500 relays for
ballistic and projectile calculations
25
Companies are Formed!
  • 1951 - Eckert Mauchly formed company
  • 1957 - FORTRAN developed by IBM
  • 1964 - BASIC developed at Dartmouth
  • 1975 - Altair 8800 developed by Micro Systems
  • 1975 - B. Gates and P. Allen write BASIC for a
    new computer then formed Microsoft, Inc.
  • 1977 - S. Jobs and S. Wozniak form Apple Computer
  • 1981 - IBM Personal Computer introduced
  • 1985 - Microsoft releases Windows I
  • 1991 - World Wide Web available to public

26
9. Telephony
  • 1876 - Bells invention of the telephone
  • 1900 - inductors used to reduce attenuation
  • 1904 - DeForest amplifies signals
  • 1915 - transcontinental call from Bell to Watson
  • 1929 - coaxial cable first used by ATT
  • 1949 - ringer and handset introduced
  • 1951 - calls made without an operator

27
The telephone, wrote Alexander Graham Bell in
an 1877 prospectus drumming up support for his
new invention, may be briefly described as an
electrical contrivance for reproducing in distant
places the tones and articulations of a speakers
voice.
28
Space and Cell Phones
  • 1962 - Telstar I transmits from space
  • 1963 - touch-tone telephone introduced
  • 1973 - first portable cell phone call
  • 1995 - voice-over internet protocols
  • 2000 - growth to 100M cell phones

29
10. Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
  • 1904 - refrigerants are developed
  • 1907 - Dew Point Control patented
  • 1910s - department stores air conditioned
  • 1914 - Wolff focuses on large buildings
  • 1928 - CFC refrigerants developed
  • 1930s - Carrier, Kelvinator, General Electric,
    York Frigidaire are formed

30
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31
Related Advances
  • 1916 - Birdseye develops quick-freezing
  • 1923 - ice cream dipping cabinet made by
    Frigidaire now, thats really useful !
  • 1931 - heat pump air conditioning used
  • 1936 - refrigerant R-134a replaces CFCs
  • 1987 - energy efficiency rules mandated

32
11. Highways
  • 1910 - asphalt, a oil-refining byproduct, was
    mixed with sand and gravel for highway pavements
  • 1913 - first concrete paved highway
  • 1919 - Highway Research Board formed
  • 1927 - Holland Tunnel in NYC
  • 1932 - Germanys first Autobahn
  • 1940 - 470 mile Pennsylvania Turnpike

33
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34
The Interstate System
  • 1944 - city connections are built randomly
  • 1956 - President Eisenhowers actions
  • Major Eisenhower led convoy across country in
    1930s took 3-months
  • He recognized troop mobility of German Autobahns
    during WWII
  • signed Federal Aid Highway Act in 1956
  • 1962 - AASHTO formalized
  • 1964 - Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel
  • 1990s - Bostons Big Dig most expensive to date

35
12. Spacecraft
  • 1903 - Tsiolkovsky experiments with liquid fuels
  • 1926 - Robert Goddard launches first rocket
  • 1942 - von Braun launches V-2 rockets
  • 1957 - Russians launch Sputnik I
  • 1958 - USA launches Explorer I
  • 1961 - Russian Yuri Gagarin becomes first
    astronaut completing one orbit of earth
  • 1963 - first communications satellites launched

36
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37
Space Exploration
  • 1969 - Neil Armstrong walks on the Moon
  • 1971 - Soviets launch first space station
  • 1975 - NASA launches first Mars space probe with
    orbiter and lander
  • 1986 - Space shuttle Challenger is destroyed
    during launch
  • 1990 - Hubble Space Telescope in orbit
  • 1998 - International Space Station joined














38
13. Internet
  • 1962 - Kleinrock works with queuing theory
  • 1964 - Baran of RAND divides messages into
    independent segments
  • 1966 - MIT gains ARPANET project
  • 1969 - ARPANET has four nodes in Western U.S.
  • 1969 - ARPANET grows at one new node per month
    also interactive graphics begins
  • 1972 - first e-mail by Tomlinson (_at_-sign begins)





































39
In 1969 ARPENET linked four nodestime-sharing
computer at Stanford, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, and
University of Utahand packets began flowing on
leased telephone lines. By 1977 the network was
a maze of linked computers all over the country
and even across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii.
40
Internet-to-World Wide Web
  • 1973 - Kahn and Cerf publish basic design of
    internet and open architecture
  • 1981 - NSF and DARPA establish nodes
  • 1987 - high-speed national network
  • 1998 - Dept. Commerce gives private sector the
    task of Internet coordination

41
14. Imaging
  • 1895 - Roentgen discovers X-Rays
  • 1913 - Coolidge invents cathode ray tube
  • 1915 - Langevin develops radar
  • 1931 - Rusha builds electron microscope
  • 1950s - Franklin uses X-Rays to reveal DNA
  • 1958 - Anger develops medical imaging
  • 1960 - Brookhaven does nuclear imaging
  • 1972 - Hounsfield Cormack develop CAT-scan

42
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43
Meanwhile In Space
  • 1960 s - Apollo 7 traces earths topography
  • 1973 - Skylab does Landsat imagery
  • 1990 - NASAs Hubble space Telescope launched
    into Earth orbit
  • 1990s - NASA launches robotic spacecraft to
    investigate distant planets

44
15. Household Appliances
  • 1901 - Booth patents vacuum cleaner
  • 1903 - Richardson introduces lightweight iron
  • 1907 - Spangler invents suction sweeper
  • 1913 - Wolf invents refrigerator
  • 1913 - Walker Bros. electric dishwasher
  • 1919 - Strite invents pop-up toaster
  • 1927 - Hammus develops garbage disposal
  • 1935 - Chamberlain invents dishwasher
  • 1935 - Moore creates first clothes dryer





45
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46
After World War II
  • 1952 - Hobbs invents automatic coffeepot
  • 1962 - Sunbeam modernizes irons
  • 1963 - General Electric self-cleaning oven
  • 1972 - Sunbeams Mr. Coffee introduced
  • 1978 - Singers electronic sewing machine
  • 1997 - Electroluxs robotic vacuum cleaners

47
16. Health Technologies
  • 1895 - Roentgen discovers X-Rays
  • 1903 - Einthoven develops electrocardiographs
  • 1927 - Drinker devises the iron lung
  • 1930s - Hyman invents artificial pacemaker
  • 1933 - electroshock therapy at John Hopkins
  • 1945 - Kolff invents kidney dialysis machine
  • 1952 - Zoll develops cardiac pacemaker

48
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49
Machines plus Surgery
  • 1954 - human kidney transplant
  • 1958 - artificial hip placement
  • 1972 - computerized axial tomography (CAT)
  • 1970s - fiber optics used in surgery
  • 1981 - first MRI developed
  • 1982 - first permanent artificial heart
  • 1985 - implantable defibrillator developed
  • 1987 - laser eye surgery
  • 1990 - Human Genome Project ? DNA !

50
17. Petroleum and Petrochemical Technologies
  • 1859 - Drake strikes oil in Titusville, PA (used
    as kerosene for home lighting)
  • 1901 - first oil gusher in Spindletop, Texas
  • 1913 - Standard Oil patents thermal cracking
  • 1921 - Kettering adds lead to gasoline no more
    engine knocking
  • 1936 - Houdry introduces catalytic cracking

51
This heavy work-class subsea robot performs
intricate tasks in water depths down to 10,000
feet or more.
52
After World War II
  • 1955 - jack-up oil drilling rig introduced
  • 1960s - synthetic oils developed for lubrication
  • 1970s - digital seismology for oil exploration
  • 1980s - hydraulic fracturing developed
  • 2000 - 63,000 ton drilling platform 4,000 feet
    deep operates in Gulf of Mexico

53
18. Lasers and Fiber Optics
  • 1954 - maser developed at Columbia
  • 1958 - laser by Townes and Schawlow
  • 1960 - Bell Labs invent the gas laser
  • 1962 - gallium arsenide laser developed

54
Fiber optic cable manufacturing and cable laying
across the Atlantic Ocean
Laser Telescope
55
Lasers and Fiber Optics
  • 1966 - optical fibers transmit laser signals
  • 1970 - Corning Glass transmit via pure glass
  • 1977 - telephone companies use fiber-optics
  • 1987 - Payne dopes fibers with erbium
  • 1988 - first transatlantic fiber-optic
  • 1991 - optical amplification developed
  • 1996 - optical-fiber cable across the Pacific

56
19. Nuclear Technologies
  • 1905 - Einstein introduces E mc2
  • 1919 - Rutherford demonstrates protons
  • 1932 - Chadwick discovers the neutron
  • 1932 - Cockcroft and Walton split the atom
  • 1937 - Van de Graff generator
  • 1939 - Hahn and Strassman split uranium atoms
  • 1939 - Manhattan Project of the U.S. Army
  • 1942 - Fermis U. of Chicago low powered reactor
  • 1945 - Oppenheimers team develop atomic bomb

57
Nuclear fission experiment in 1938 by Hahn and
Strassman
USS Nautilus, the first nuclear-powered
submarine, enters New York Harbor during routine
training operations.
58
Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy
  • 1948 - Argonne Lab begins commercialization
  • 1951 - Breeder Reactor produces nuclear energy
  • 1954 - Atomic Energy Act licenses private use
  • 1957 - International Atomic Energy Agency formed
    with 18 countries (now 130)
  • 1979 - Three Mile Island failure in Pennsylvania
  • 1986 - Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine
  • 2000 - 100 nuclear power plants in USA

59
20. High Performance Materials
  • 1907 - Baekeland creates Bakelite
  • 1915 - Littleton develops Pyrex
  • 1930 - Crothers develops Neoprene
  • 1930s - glass companies develop fiberglass
  • 1934 - DuPonts Crothers develops Nylon
  • 1936 - Rohm and Haas develop Plexiglas
  • 1938 - Plunkett discovers Teflon

60
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61
More Modern Materials
  • 1945-52 - ceramics developed
  • 1953 - Zeigler develops high density polyethylene
  • 1954 - General Electric synthesizes diamonds
  • 1955 - Natta develops polypropylene
  • 1964 - acrylic (water-based) paints developed
  • 1964 - Phillips makes carbon fibers
  • 1977 - electrically conducting polymers (LEDs)
  • 1986 - synthetic skin developed
  • 1990s - nanotechnology begins...

62
Epilog
  • What-a-Century of Achievements !!!
  • never had any before even approached it
  • but, Why the 20th Century ?

63
Possible Reasons for Why
  • (i) industrial revolution was established
  • (ii) many scientific fundamentals were already in
    place but not yet implemented by engineers
  • (iii) the time was ripe for implementation
  • (iv) furthermore, Necessity is the Mother of
    Invention
  • the wars (WWI, WWII, etc.)
  • exploding world population
  • quest for better life by everyone
  • capitalistic drive and incentive
  • (v) recognition that engineering R D is fun !

64
Prognosis for the 21st Century
  • complexities suggest team achievements
  • yet, creativity lies within each individual
  • major advances might lie within the very small,
    the very large, and the very ugly
  • whatever comes, lets all approach it with energy
    and optimism... Enjoy !!!
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