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Tales

H H H H H H H H H HH H H H

from the

“Greatest Generation”

During the Second World War, College of Science and Engineering alumni enlisted in military service with a sense of purpose. Written by Kermit Pattison photos by Richard g. Anderson

W

e all know of people who lived during World War II—parents, grandparents, and College of Science and Engineering alumni. Yet, we may have never heard their stories. These remarkable people—who grew up during the Depression, came of age during this time of unrest and participated in the post-war boom—created a lasting legacy that continues to shape us all. In this story, we meet four College of Science and Engineering alumni who were profoundly shaped by World War II and exemplify what broadcast journalist Tom Brokaw has hailed as the “Greatest Generation.”

18 INVENTING TOMORROW fall 2012

One infantryman-turned-engineer came back from the war and pioneered sensor technology for jet aircraft. Another overcame the indignity of being interned in a relocation camp for Japanese-Americans and rose to become one of the government’s most trusted Cold War scientists. Another civil engineer helped rebuild battleravaged Okinawa and went on to found a leading civil engineering firm. Yet another served as a Navy aircraft mechanic in the Pacific and came home determined to finish his education, allowing him to launch a successful company that helped lay public infrastructure in the post-war boom. All their educations were interrupted, or accelerated, by the war. They grew up fast, came home with a sense of purpose, finished their education, and leveraged their degrees into successful post-war careers in engineering and technology. Here are just a few of their stories.

Inventing Tomorrow, Fall/Winter 2012 (vol 37 no 1)  

University students mentor First robotics team. Faculty are transforming the college classroom. The "Greatest Generation" share tales of WWI...

Inventing Tomorrow, Fall/Winter 2012 (vol 37 no 1)  

University students mentor First robotics team. Faculty are transforming the college classroom. The "Greatest Generation" share tales of WWI...