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Cecil F. Warner papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSF 498

Scope and Contents

The Cecil F. Warner papers (1921-2007; 1.85 cubic feet) document his teaching and research career dedicated to the areas of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, gas turbines, rocket propulsion and air pollution. The papers also reflect his involvement within the community and countless volunteer hours committed to Boy Scouts, Habitat for Humanity, Kiwanis, First United Methodist Church and Home Hospital. Types of materials include: artifacts, audiovisual materials, booklets, books, CD-ROMs, clippings, correspondence, electronic media, miscellaneous materials, publications, report cards, scrapbook (scanned), and textbooks. The papers are organized into six series and material is arranged chronologically within each. Please see pdf finding aid for detailed listing.


  • 1921-2007
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1940s-2000s
  • Other: Date acquired: 04/04/2008


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Purdue University per deed of gift.

Biographical / Historical

Cecil F. Warner was born June 13, 1915 in Parker, Indiana. He attended Tri-State College in Angola, Indiana, earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University in 1939, a Master of Science from Lehigh University in 1942, Bethlehem, PA, and a Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1945. In 1942 Professor Warner joined the Purdue University School of Mechanical Engineering and retired after nearly 40 years as Professor of M.E. in 1981, but he continued part time until 1996. He was instrumental in developing the Purdue Jet Propulsion Laboratory and pioneered research in liquid fueled rocket engines. Warner initiated courses in rocket propulsion, air pollution, thermodynamics and the internal combustion engine laboratory. Many of his students have made major contributions to industry and the space effort of not only our country but of the world. During two stints at Aerojet General Corporation, he was Project Engineer for Nuclear Rocket and Liquid Rocket Divisions. Warner was a team member instrumental in developing the fuels used in the space shuttle. He authored five texts and numerous articles in his area of expertise. He was active in the American Institute of Astronautics and Aeronautics, and was a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Sigma Xi, Pi Tau Sigma, and Tau Beta Pi. Warner was active in the Boy Scouts of America, Kiwanis, Masonic Lodge, Habitat for Humanity, and Home Hospital Thrift Shop. He received numerous civic awards including Scouting’s Silver Beaver, The Golden Deed and Good Neighbor Awards during his retirement career of volunteering.

Source: Memorial booklet, and material among papers


1.85 Cubic Feet

4 mss boxes, 1 small flat box other_unmapped


The papers include artifacts, audiovisual materials, booklets, books, CD-ROMs, clippings, correspondence, electronic media, publications, report cards, a scrapbook (scanned), textbooks, and miscellaneous materials documenting the professional career of Cecil F. Warner, along with many items from his volunteer activities.

Arrangement Note

1.  Report Cards and Teaching Contracts, 1921-1939 (0.1 cubic feet).  This series contains all of Warner’s reports cards from grade 1 – through his Purdue University Bachelor of Science degree. Also included are his first teaching contracts from Lehigh University, 1940-1941. Warner’s diplomas, certificates of membership and various awards can be seen within the scanned scrapbook located in the e-Archives. 2.  Correspondence, circa 1935-2007 (0.3 cubic feet).  The correspondence is comprised of letters written and received by Warner during his time as a Mechanical Engineering professor at Purdue, letters he received from his son, Jim, and a poem written for Warner by his father. Among the correspondence are letters received from Warner’s former students, including astronaut Jerry Ross. Additional correspondence that was in the scrapbook and scanned can be found in the e-Archives.  3.  Clippings, Booklets, and Miscellaneous Documents, 1946-2007 (0.4 cubic feet).  The clippings, booklets and additional items provide information on Warner’s contributions to Purdue University and the Lafayette community. There is also historical information on the Purdue School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue Thermal Sciences and Propulsion Center, and Aeronautical Engineering at Purdue, and related information. 4.  Books and Publications, 1940-1998 (0.4 cubic feet).  This series reflects Warner’s research in the areas of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, gas turbines, rocket propulsion, and air pollution. Included is his dissertation, “Heat Transfer Characteristics of Several Liquids;” authored textbook, Thermodynamic Fundamentals for Engineers/with problems and solutions (2 editions); two books he co-authored on air pollution; a history of the “Thermal Sciences and Propulsion Center, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana;” and two personal reflections. 5.  Audio Visual Material, 1939-2006 (0.2 cubic feet).  The audio visual material includes a printed image of the STS-27 crew, inscribed to Cecil & Melda Warner, and signed by the crew (includes his former student, Jerry Ross). There is also a printed image of Warner receiving the Kiwanis Tablet of Honor Award. There are five CD-ROMs that have been electronically processed (consult archivist for use), or the material can be viewed in the “Cecil Warner scrapbook,” 1939-2006 in the e-Archives. The electronic media includes; “AIAA Historic Aerospace Site Dedication – First Plant of the Aerojet Engineering Corporation,” November 15, 2000; “Cecil F. Warner Conference Room,” dedication and 90th birthday celebration; “Maurice J. Zucrow Laboratories, Archival & Alumni Photos,” circa 1998-2006; and “Cecil Univ. Photog.” 6. Artifacts, 1938-2006 (0.45 cubic feet). Included among the artifacts are pins from various professional organizations and from organizations for which Warner volunteered; his Purdue senior class ring; academic hood; and two plaques, “In Memory of Scouter Dr. Cecil F. Warner, 1915-2005,” for outdoor Boy Scouts structure (The Learning Center) at Cary Camp, Lafayette, Indiana, and the second plaque which documents Dr. Warner’s hours of volunteer service to Home Hospital, Greater Lafayette Health Services (7500 hours).

Source of Acquisition

Donated by Melda Warner (wife of Cecil F. Warner), April 16, 2007, and James B. Warner (son of Cecil F. Warner), April 25, 2007

Accruals and Additions


Existence and Location of Originals

multi-part note content

Related Materials

e-Archives Cecil Warner scrapbook: Maurice J. Zucrow papers: [url=][/url] Jerry L. Ross Papers: [url=][/url]

Processing Information

All materials have been housed in polyester sleeves, acid-free folders, and acid-free boxes.  All newsprint has been photocopied or scanned and originals retained for display purposes, with photocopies made available for research. The items are in chronological order within each series. The CD-ROMs have undergone digital processing.
Cecil F. Warner papers
Mary A. Sego
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 W. State Street
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States