Kenneth Scott ’48, ’54 (MS ME) made an indelible mark on Worcester Polytechnic Institute during his decades-long tenure as a professor of mechanical engineering. He established the Instructional Media Center and the Computer-aided Design Laboratory. He was instrumental in developing individually paced instruction and was recognized with awards for excellence. In 1971, Professor Scott was the first faculty member to be named the George I. Alden Professor of Engineering at WPI. But for at least four WPI alumni, Scott’s most consequential contribution was engineering the introduction between his son, Kenneth Scott Jr. ’76, and Jayne (Franciose) Scott ’78, ’80 (MS BE), ’93 (ME BE). The couple married in 1990—their two children, David Scott ’15, ’16 (MS FPE) and Julia Scott ’17, earned their degrees at WPI as well.
The family’s first link to WPI was forged in the early 1940s, when Ken Sr. enrolled as a mechanical engineering student. He stayed until his retirement in 1999, leaving only to serve a two-year stint in Europe during World War II. He passed away in 2008.
Ken Jr. grew up at WPI, exploring its nooks and crannies, playing with analog computer parts, and helping his father in the lab on weekends. It was a given that he would study there. “WPI has always been like home to me,” says Ken, who later earned an MBA from RPI. He was active in the WPI organization Lens and Lights but somehow never crossed paths with Jayne, despite her being a fellow mechanical engineering major who performed in theatre productions.
Jayne arrived at WPI straight from her junior year in high school. Her plan was to study for a year then transfer elsewhere to pursue music. She ended up staying, earning her undergraduate degree in three years. She was a founding member of WPI’s Women’s Chorale; she played on the fencing team and was active in the student-led theatre organization Masque. She worked for Professor Scott while pursuing her master’s degree in biomedical engineering.