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Fontaine, William E.



  • Existence: May 5, 1906 - February 26, 1993

Biographical Information

William "Bill" Ellsworth Fontaine was a professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Ray Herrick Laboratories at Purdue University. Fontaine began his career at Purdue in 1937 as an instructor in practical mechanics, teaching geometry and engineering drawing. He received his degree im mechanical engineering from Purdue in 1942 and master's degree in mechanical engineering in 1944. Fontaine worked at Purdue during World War II in ordnance research.

In May 1945 Fontaine was hired as an assistant professor in general engineering and soon moved into mechanical engineering; he became a full professor in 1955. Fontaine was appointed director for engineering research at the Herrick Laboratories in 1958 and became director of Herrick Labs in 1964; in total, Fontaine is recognized as the first director of Herrick Labs, serving in that role from until his retirement June 30, 1972.

Fontaine was named to the Distinguished Professorship of Herrick Professor of Engineering in 1967.


William E. Fontaine Interview. MSO 2, Purdue University Office of Publications Oral History collection, Purdue University Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries.

UA 58, Purdue University Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes, Purdue University Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Fontaine, William E., July 27, 1970

 Sub-Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSO 2, Series 1, Sub-Series 10
Scope and Contents One oral history interview with William E. Fontaine by Robert B. Eckles.
Dates: July 27, 1970