Solomon Cady Hollister


Solomon Cady Hollister

Civil Engineer – Educator – Administrator – Consultant

Teaching – Structural Engineering – Welding

Thirty-first National Honor Member Nominated by the Cornell University Chapter

For over half a century, Dr. Solomon made important contributions to the development of the engineering profession through his extensive engagements as engineer, educator, researcher, consultant, and administrator.

From 1934 to his retirement in 1959, he guided the development of engineering education at Cornell University, first as director of the School of Civil Engineering, then as Dean of Engineering, and also as vice-president. His career as an educator and administrator is marked with bold innovation, widespread influence among educators in the United States and abroad, warm personal inspiration of students and associates towards scholarship and leadership, and the development of the closest correlation between the future requirements of the engineering profession and the advancement of engineering education. He advocated the establishment of the five-year professional curriculum, the strengthening of its scientific course content and the maintenance of a dynamic philosophy. In 1952, he received the American Society for Engineering Education’s Lamme Award. His achievements at Cornell include an educational program of high renown, a completely new plant and facility for the College of Engineering, and major growth in research and advanced studies. Hollister Hall of Civil Engineering was named in his honor and is inscribed: “For His Outstanding Service to the College of Engineering and Cornell University.”

As an engineer, researcher, and consultant, Dr. Hollister won distinction in his profession by sound and progressive work. In professional practice, as in education, he continually challenged the frontiers of knowledge. In his early career, he pioneered in the development of structural welding. His notable consulting assignments included the welded penstocks at Hoover Dam and numerous advanced bridge, boiler, and pressure vessel designs. His research in concrete technology, including transit-mixed concrete, and his advisory activities on production of concrete ships and development of standard specifications, helped evolve this important area of engineering from empiricism to structural science. In 1926, he was awarded the Wason Research Medal by the American Concrete Institute.

He was born in Crystal Falls, Michigan, in 1891, and received a bachelor of science in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin in 1916 and a civil engineer degree from the same university in 1932. He was the recipient of the following honorary degrees: Stevens Institute of Technology, D.Engg., 1942; University of Wisconsin, D.Sc., 1952; Purdue University, D.Engg., 1958; and Lehigh University, D.Engg., 1958.

He began his teaching career in 1916 as an instructor in mechanics at the University of Illinois and from that time until 1934, when he took over the guidance and development of engineering education at Cornell University, he was associated as a consultant with the concrete ship section of the U.S. Shipping Yard, Babcock and Wilcox on the Hoover Dam, and various other projects where he was recognized for his outstanding contribution as an engineer.

Dean Hollister has given generously of his talents to the nation by serving on numerous commissions, boards, and committees, including the Signal Corps Development and Research Council, the Second Hoover Dam Commission, the Board of Consultants for Isthmian Canal Studies (of which he served as chairman), the Steering Committee for the Study of Africa and as consultant to the Special Assistant to the President of Science and Technology.

He served his profession in many of its societies, councils, and committees. He was a past president and honorary member of the American Society of Engineering Education, has received its coveted Lamme Medal, and in 1968 was named to the 75th Anniversary Hall of Fame of this society. He was an honorary member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, of the American Institute of Architects, past president and honorary member of the American Concrete Institute, and a member of many other professional and technical societies. Dr. Hollister authored over 25 papers and publications and contributed to numerous handbooks, and is the originator of two patents, namely, Connections for Large Diameter Tubular Bridge Members, and High Pressure, High Temperature, High Capacity Heat Exchanges.

Dean Hollister was initiated as a Chapter Honor Member of Chi Epsilon Fraternity by the Purdue chapter, was nominated for National Honor Membership in the Fraternity by the Cornell chapter, and the Supreme Council has had the privilege of elevating Solomon Cady Hollister as the 31st National Honor Member of Chi Epsilon on June 25, 1969.

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