National Academy of Engineering Memorial Tributes: National Academy of Engineering, Volume 10
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Memorial Tributes: National Academy of Engineering, Volume 10

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             BURGESS H.JENNINGS                                       155
                          BURGESS H.JENNINGS
                        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.
             BURGESS H.JENNINGS                                       156
                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
                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.”
             BURGESS H.JENNINGS                                       157
                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.
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