Robert L. Norton Biography

Robert L. Norton earned undergraduate degrees in both mechanical engineering and industrial technology at Northeastern University, an MS in engineering design at Tufts University, and was awarded a Doctor of Engineering (h.c.) from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). He is a registered professional engineer in Massachusetts and Florida.

He has over 50 years experience in engineering design and manufacturing and over 40 years experience teaching mechanical engineering, engineering design, computer science, and related subjects at Northeastern University, Tufts University, and WPI. Norton was on the faculty of WPI since 1981, and is currently the Milton P. Higgins II Distinguished Professor Emeritus. He is also the founder and president of Norton Associates LLC, engineering consultants since 1971.

At Polaroid Corporation for 10 years, he designed cameras, related mechanisms, and high-speed automated machinery. He spent three years at Jet Spray Cooler Inc., designing food-handling machinery and products. For five years he helped develop artificial-heart and noninvasive assisted-circulation devices at the Tufts New England Medical Center and Boston City Hospital. Since leaving industry to join academia in 1974, he has continued as an independent consultant on engineering projects ranging from disposable medical products to high-speed production machinery. He holds thirteen U.S. patents.

He is the author of numerous technical papers and journal articles covering kinematics, dynamics of machinery, cam design and manufacturing, computers in education, engineering education, and of the texts Design of Machinery, Kinematics and Dynamics of Machinery, Machine Design: An Integrated Approach, and the Cam Design and Manufacturing Handbook. He is a Fellow and Life Member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers. In 2007, he was selected as a U. S. Professor of the Year by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, who jointly present the only national awards for teaching excellence given in the United States of America.