Thursday, October 10, 2013
JPL, von Karman Auditorium
Theodore von Karman Lecture
Theodore von Karman and Rocketry at Caltech
Erik Conway, Historian, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
The year 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of Theodore Von Karman's death. Born in Budapest, Austria-Hungary in 1881, Von Karman emigrated to the United States in 1930, joining the faculty of the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory at Caltech, where he remained until 1944. He then gradually moved to Washington, DC., to head the Air Force's Scientific Advisory Group.
He was ultimately awarded the first Medal of Science by President Kennedy in 1963. Von Karman was also the first director of JPL.
This talk will tell the story of Von Karman's role in founding rocketry at Caltech, and Caltech's role in developing rocket weapons for the U.S. Military during World War II.