Sterling Beckwith


From GHN

Revision as of 18:47, 7 June 2012 by Lthurner (Talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search


Sterling Beckwith was born in Carthage, MO, on October 29, 1905. After graduation from Stanford University in March of 1927 with a degree in engineering, he entered the Westinghouse Graduate Training Course and design School and was design engineer on large generators. During this time, he obtained a MS in electrical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and did additional work towards a PhD in physics. From 1931 to 1933 he was a part-time teaching assistant at the California Institute of Technology and at the same time completed his PhD at that school. From 1933-35, Dr. Beckwith was assistant engineer with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California evaluating the stability of their large pumping system. From 1935 until 1952, he worked for Allis-Chalmers in Milwaukee where he was design engineer and later engineer-in-charge of alternating current generators. During this period, he worked on many new developments, including the thrust type hydrogen shaft seal, synchronous condensers for arc furnace loads, the largest two-pole short circuit test generator, a static excitation system using magnetic amplifiers, the “tube type” cooling for large motors, the largest explosion-proof motor, the Manhattan Project, a special analog computer for magnetic circuits, and the first super-charged (direct cooled) generators.

In 1952 he left Westinghouse to work as an industry consultant. By the end of his life, Dr. Beckwith held more than 40 patents and authored a dozen technical articles. He was co-author of the Synchronous Machine Section of the Standard Handbook for Electrical Engineers. He was a fellow of the IEEE], and a member of the Conference Internationale des Grandes reseaux Electriques, Sigma XI, Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu, and the Milwaukee Engineer’s Society.

Sterling Beckwith died in 1992.