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Jerome Cohen (1933-2000)

[Jerome Cohen]Jerome B. Cohen, past president of the ACA, spearheaded a transformation of the engineering school at Northwestern University, revamping the curriculum, recruiting top-flight faculty members and presiding over an ambitious building plan. A graduate of the Massachusetts Inst. of Technology, Jerry Cohen came to Northwestern in 1959 as an assistant professor of materials science and engineering. He became dean in 1986. Cohen oversaw a $125 million renovation of the university's Technological Inst. and the $45 million construction of a Materials and Life Sciences Building. It was his innovations in undergraduate course work for which he was most noted, transforming the methodology of teaching engineering at the college level. Rather than limiting theoretical and applied science courses to higher-level learning, he saw the benefit of introducing students to real-life problem-solving situations early in their academic careers. He encouraged engineering students to participate in joint studies in medicine, music, law, journalism, education and management, believing they could use their talents in applying math and logic to become leaders in any field. Mr. Cohen continued to carry out important research in the use of X-ray diffraction in understanding the nature of materials. He performed work at Argonne National Laboratory under funding from Dow Chemical and the DuPont Corp. and has several patents attributed to him, including one for a method of making beryllium alloy.

Megan O. Matz, Chicago Tribune