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The father of the modern engineering field of heat and mass transfer

Ernst R. G. Eckert was internationally known for his work with the early development of jet engines and for discovering methods to increase rocket efficiency.

Born in Prague, in what is now the Czech Republic, Eckert graduated from the German Institute of Technology in Prague in 1927 and received his doctorate in 1931. Eckert worked as a rocket and jet engine scientist at the Aeronautical Research Institute in Germany during World War II. After the war, he worked on jet propulsion research at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base as part of "Operation Paperclip," a program that enlisted German scientists to work on the United States' behalf during the Cold War.

In 1951, Eckert joined the University of Minnesota's department of mechanical engineering, where he remained until his retirement in 1973. Eckert was among the first group of Regents' Professors at the University, and published more than 550 scientific papers and books. The "Eckert number" in fluid dynamics was named after him. He died in St. Paul just two months before his 100th birthday.