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Memorial Tributes: Volume 10 (2002)

Chapter:Burgess H. Jennings

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Suggested Citation:"Burgess H. Jennings." National Academy of Engineering. 2002. Memorial Tributes: Volume 10. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10403.
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Suggested Citation:"Burgess H. Jennings." National Academy of Engineering. 2002. Memorial Tributes: Volume 10. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10403.
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BURGESS H. JENNINGS

1903–1996

BY MORRIS E. FINE AND HERBERT S. CHENG

BURGESS HILL JENNINGS, professor emeritus of mechanical engineering at Northwestern University, passed away June 6, 1996, at Raleigh, North Carolina, where he moved after a long and distinguished career in academic research, teaching, and administration. His specialty was environmental engineering, particularly, heating, cooling, and ventilating.

Burgess was born September 12, 1903, in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Henry Hill and Martha Burgess Jennings. Educated at the Johns Hopkins University and Lehigh University, where he was also a faculty member, he joined the faculty of the new Northwestern Technological Institute in 1940 as professor of mechanical engineering, and in 1943 became chairman of the department. He took leave in 1957 as director of research for the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers. He resumed his faculty position at Northwestern University in 1960, taking on the added duties of associate dean of the Technological Institute for Research and Graduate Studies, a position he held until his retirement in 1970. He continued his engineering activities at Northwestern for many years after retirement, consulting for U. S. government agencies, universities, and corporations on energy use, power, environment control, and education.

Suggested Citation:"Burgess H. Jennings." National Academy of Engineering. 2002. Memorial Tributes: Volume 10. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10403.
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The outstanding engineering accomplishments of Professor Jennings are evidenced by his authorship of many textbooks not only in heating and air conditioning, refrigeration, and environmental engineering, but also in other areas including steam and gas engineering, internal combustion engines, gas turbines, and gas dynamics. They have made a substantial impact on mechanical engineering education because they have been and are still widely used by engineers and students around the world. A large number of his students are leaders of industry; responsible engineering educators, and administrators. His research and papers on absorption (heat-operated) refrigeration were significant in advancing this type of cooling at a time when compression refrigeration was predominant.

Among many contributions made by Professor Jennings to engineering was the extended consultation service he provided to the kitchens of Sara Lee from 1961 to 1972 in energy use and refrigeration. These efforts led to the development of the technology and practice now associated with the wide distribution of frozen bakery products.

Professor Jennings was extremely active in professional society activities. He served as treasurer, vice-president, president, and director of research of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). He was a founder and also served as secretary and then vice-president of the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (formerly known as American Society of Lubrication Engineers).

Professor Jennings was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1977. He was cited for distinguished contributions to engineering education, research, and practice, and energy use to improve man’s welfare and environment. Burgess received many other awards. He was a fellow and honorary member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). He won the Richards Memorial Award from ASME in 1950 as “the most outstanding mechanical engineer twenty-five years after graduation”; the Worcester Reed Warner Medal of ASME in 1972 for “significant contributions to permanent literature in engineering”; and the F. Paul Anderson Medal of ASHRAE in 1981 “for contributions to energy usage and human welfare. ”

Suggested Citation:"Burgess H. Jennings." National Academy of Engineering. 2002. Memorial Tributes: Volume 10. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10403.
×

His research contributions were primarily in refrigeration and solar energy as an alternative energy source for cooling as well as heating. He is author or coauthor of more than 100 papers and articles.

Suggested Citation:"Burgess H. Jennings." National Academy of Engineering. 2002. Memorial Tributes: Volume 10. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10403.
×
Page154
Suggested Citation:"Burgess H. Jennings." National Academy of Engineering. 2002. Memorial Tributes: Volume 10. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10403.
×
Page155
Suggested Citation:"Burgess H. Jennings." National Academy of Engineering. 2002. Memorial Tributes: Volume 10. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10403.
×
Page156
Suggested Citation:"Burgess H. Jennings." National Academy of Engineering. 2002. Memorial Tributes: Volume 10. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10403.
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Page157
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This is the 10th Volume in the series Memorial Tributes compiled by the National Academy of Engineering as a personal remembrance of the lives and outstanding achievements of its members and foreign associates. These volumes are intended to stand as an enduring record of the many contributions of engineers and engineering to the benefit of humankind. In most cases, the authors of the tributes are contemporaries or colleagues who had personal knowledge of the interests and the engineering accomplishments of the deceased. Through its members and foreign associates, the Academy carries out the responsibilities for which it was established in 1964.

Under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering was formed as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. Members are elected on the basis of significant contributions to engineering theory and practice and to the literature of engineering or on the basis of demonstrated unusual accomplishments in the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology. The National Academies share a responsibility to advise the federal government on matters of science and technology. The expertise and credibility that the National Academy of Engineering brings to that task stem directly from the abilities, interests, and achievements of our members and foreign associates, our colleagues and friends, whose special gifts we remember in this book.

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