Established in 1970 by the George I. Alden Trust, this chair is awarded to a WPI faculty member in recognition and support of outstanding teaching in the field of engineering. George Alden graduated from Harvard’s Lawrence Scientific School in 1868 and was appointed WPI’s first professor of mechanical engineering. As head of the Mechanical Engineering Department, he helped shape the school’s founding principle of merging theory with application. He also earned a far-ranging reputation for his pioneering work in hydraulics, establishing what became known as Alden Hydraulics Laboratory in nearby Holden, which is today an internationally known research center. Alden twice served as acting president of WPI and was a trustee for 14 years. In 1896 he resigned from the Institute to devote his energies full time to running Norton Company, which he had helped found in 1885, eventually becoming president and chairman. During his lifetime, he established a trust to continue his support for education and for WPI after his death. Today, with more than $19 million in commitments, the George I. Alden Trust is recognized as WPI’s greatest benefactor.
Current Recipient: Jamal Yagoobi