John W. Cipolla, Ph.D., College of Engineering distinguished professor emeritus at Northeastern University, is honored for distinguished contributions to the mechanical engineering profession, particularly for expanding the scientific knowledge of thermofluids, with an emphasis on mathematics-based education. He is also being recognized for enhancing the value of ASME through dedicated service to the Center of Education.
Dr. Cipolla received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Drexel University, and his master’s degree and Ph.D. from Brown University. Following a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Milan, Dr. Cipolla spent a postdoctoral year at the Max-Planck-Institut für Strömungsforschung in Göttingen, Germany, before joining the faculty of mechanical engineering at Northeastern in 1971. His research has been in the kinetic theory of gases and plasmas, radiative transfer and aerosol mechanics.
Dr. Cipolla was appointed chair of the department of mechanical engineering at Northeastern in 1991. He implemented the merger with industrial engineering in 1995 and served as chair of the combined department until 2003. Dr. Cipolla was appointed vice provost for graduate education and, in 2004, he returned to teaching mechanical engineering full time. He retired in December 2016.
An ASME Fellow, Dr. Cipolla has long been active in the Society. He was a student member at Drexel and later served as faculty advisor to the Student Section at Northeastern. He has served on various committees including as chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department Heads Committee, the Committee on Engineering Accreditation, the General Awards Committee and the Committee on Honors. He received a Dedicated Service Award in 2011 and the Edwin F. Church Medal in 2014.
Dr. Cipolla was an ABET mechanical engineering program evaluator and served on the organization’s Engineering Accreditation Commission and board of directors.
Video profile produced and written by Roger Torda, ASME Public Information.
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