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Alten F. Grandt, Jr. papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSF 528

Scope and Contents

The papers consist of research files on the history of aerospace engineering (AAE) at Purdue University, photographs, annual reports, annual research reports, curricula, student lists, AAE faculty and staff information, pamphlets, news clippings (some related to Purdue astronaut alumni), and copies of the book, One Small Step: the History of Aerospace Engineering at Purdue, by Grandt, Gustafson, and Carigino. There is also a copy of “Aeronautical Engineering at Purdue University from 1950 to 1960,” by L.T. Cargnino, Professor Emeritus, School of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Many of these materials were gathered and used during the writing of the book, One Small Step: the History of Aerospace Engineering at Purdue, and some were gathered later for the 2010 revision. Also included in this collection are some of Professor Grandt's lecture notes, including “The Fractured Times: A Collection of Structural Failure and Success Stories,” compiled Grandt and used in one of his classes, along with presentations and various correspondence. Lastly, there is a DVD with photographs from his retirement ceremony in 2016.


  • 1902 - 2016


Access Information

The collection is open for research.

Copyright and Use Information

Copyright held by Purdue University.

Biographical Information

Alten "Skip" F. Grandt was born in 1945 to Alten F. "Al" Grandt Sr. and Ruth Brauer Grandt. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois in 1968. He continued on at the University of Illinois to obtain his Masters in 1969 and his Ph.D. in 1971.

Grandt’s first job was with the United States Air Force, where he worked in the Materials Laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. It was during this time that he became interested in aeronautics, specifically the fatigue and fracture of aircraft structures. As a teaching assistant at the University of Illinois, he realized how much he enjoyed teaching statics and strength of materials, and also enjoyed advising students. These things led to his becoming a faculty member at Purdue University.

Grandt was a part of the Purdue Aeronautics and Astronautics faculty from 1979 – 2016, and had the designation of the Raisbeck Engineering Distinguished Professor of Engineering and Technology Integration. He served as Head of the School from 1985 – 1992.

Per a Purdue University School of Aeronautics and Astronautics faculty brochure, his advice for undergraduates passed down from not only him but his father and grandfather, “Work hard, develop a reputation of working hard, and consistently do your best.”

Grandt retired as a Purdue faculty member in 2016.


4.20 Cubic Feet (Five letter-size manuscript boxes, four half-size letter-size manuscript boxes, one cubic foot box, and one legal-size manuscript box)

Language of Materials



The papers are arranged into three series.
  1. Teaching
  2. Writings and Research
  3. School of Aeronautics and Astronautics Printed Material

Technical Access Information

Optical disks are included in this collection. Contact Purdue University Archives and Special Collections if interested in using this material.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Alten F. Grandt, Jr., June 15, 2016.

Processing Information

Whenever possible, original order of the materials has been retained. All materials have been housed in acid-free folders, and acid-free boxes. Photographs have been placed in polyester sleeves. Post-its with notations were removed from the actual photographs and retained on the outside sleeve of each respective photograph.



Alten F. Grandt, Jr. papers
Mary A. Sego
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Edition statement
First edition.

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 Mitch Daniels Boulevard
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States