R. Byron Pipes biography

R. Byron Pipes

Male, Person

1941 –


Who is R. Byron Pipes?

Robert Byron Pipes is an educator, researcher in polymer sciences and was the seventeenth president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

He was born on August 14, 1941 in Shreveport, Louisiana. He and his wife Ruth Ellen had two children: Christopher and Mark.

He received a B.S. in civil engineering from Louisiana Polytechnic Institute in 1964, an M.S. in engineering from Princeton University in 1969 and a P.h.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1972. From 1972-1974, he was an assistant professor in mechanical engineering at Drexel University. In 1974, he joined the University of Delaware as associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, rising to professor of mechanical engineering in 1980, dean of the College of Engineering in 1985 and provost and vice-president for academic affairs in 1991. From 1978-1985, he was director of the Center for Composite Materials at the University of Delaware and from 1989–1993, he was Robert L. Spencer Professor of Engineering. In 1993, he was elected president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. However, he had a difficult relationship with the faculty, which felt that it did not have a voice in how faculty and administrator openings were filled. The faculty senate decided on April 1, 1998 to hold a faculty-wide no-confidence vote. The following day, he announced that he was resigning effective July 1, 1998.


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Aug 14, 1941
  • Princeton University

on July 23, 2013

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