More About the Author
Robert L. Norton earned undergraduate degrees in both mechanical engineering and industrial technology at Northeastern University and an MS in engineering design at Tufts University. He was also granted an honorary Doctorate of Engineering from WPI. He is a registered professional engineer in Massachusetts and Florida. He has extensive industrial experience in engineering design and manufacturing and many years' experience teaching mechanical engineering, engineering design, computer science, and related subjects at Northeastern University, Tufts University, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
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, he has continued as an independent consultant on engineering projects ranging from disposable medical products to high-speed production machinery. He holds 13 U.S. patents.
Norton has been on the faculty of Worcester Polytechnic Institute since 1981 and is now Milton Prince Higgins II Distinguished Professor Emeritus. He taught undergraduate and graduate courses in mechanical engineering with emphasis on design, kinematics, vibrations, and dynamics of machinery for 31 years there.
He is the author of numerous technical papers and journal articles covering kinematics, dynamics of machinery, cam design and manufacturing, computers in education, and engineering education and of the texts Design of Machinery, 5ed, Machine Design: An Integrated Approach, 4ed, Kinematics and Dynamics of Machinery, 2ed, and the Cam Design and Manufacturing Handbook, 2ed. Several of these books have been translated into numerous languages. 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 chosen 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.
His latest book is not a textbook. It is called Automotive Milestones: A History of the Technological Development of the Automobile. It is aimed at an audience of teens to adults with an interest in cars, how they work, and how they developed over the years. He explains how the major systems of the automobile work, when they were first invented, and how they evolved, without using any mathematics. This book is the result of a lifelong interest in automobiles as a certified "car nut."