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Zucrow, Maurice J. (1899-1975) | Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections

Name: Zucrow, Maurice J. (1899-1975)
Fuller Form: Maurice Joseph Zucrow

Historical Note:

Maurice Zucrow received Purdue University’s first Ph.D. in 1928.  He earned that degree from the School of Mechanical Engineering with a thesis titled, Discharge Characteristics of Submerged Jets. Zucrow joined  the faculty of Purdue in 1946. Prior to that he was a chief engineer of the Aerojet Company, a leader in the design and production of jet-powered units.

Since power plants had always played an important role in the Mechanical Engineering curriculum, the School of Mechanical Engineering proposed to hire Zucrow to take the lead in developing the jet propulsion field at Purdue. Since the knowledge of jet-propelled engines was essential for Aeronautical Engineering graduates at the time, Professor Bruhn proposed that Professor Zucrow be a member of both the Mechanical Engineering and Aero facilities, and that jet propulsion education and research be a cooperative program between the two schools. The proposal was accepted by the administration.

In 1947 Professor Zucrow’s main efforts were devoted to developing the undergraduate and graduate courses in gas turbines and jet propulsion, and he prepared the initial sets of notes for these courses, with the exception of the laboratory course.  By 1950 Zucrow and his associates from both the Aero and M.E. Schools had completed the first and second units of the rocket engine laboratory which was located near the west boundary of the Purdue Airport, and graduate study and research was well underway. Professor Zucrow’s efforts led to one of the most complete university laboratory’s in the United States. Professor Zucrow continued to make many valuable contributions to the School of Aeronautics, until he decided to join the Purdue Mechanical Engineering faculty full time in 1953.

At the time of his retirement from Purdue University in 1968, Professor Zucrow was responsible for the education of many students who have contributed much to rocket propulsion technology.

Zucrow passed away in 1975.

Sources: Grandt, A.F.; Gustafson, W.A.; Cargnino, L.T. (1995). One small step: The history of aerospace engineering at Purdue University. Purdue University: West Lafayette, IN.

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