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Franklin Moore, engineering professor emeritus, dies at 94


Franklin Kingston Moore ’44, Ph.D. ’49, the Joseph C. Ford Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering who in 1985 received national recognition from NASA, died Nov. 21 in Ithaca. A professor at Cornell for 28 years until his retirement in 1992, Moore was 94.

Born in 1922 in Milton, Massachusetts, Moore grew up in New Jersey and enrolled at Cornell in 1940, earning a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering in 1944. After graduation, he served two years in the U.S. Army before returning to Ithaca with his wife, Nancy (Smyth) Moore.

Moore earned his doctorate in aeronautical engineering at Cornell in 1949, then went to work as an aeronautical research scientist at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, which in 1958 became NASA. In 1955, he became director of the Aerosciences Division at the Cornell Aeronautics Laboratory in Buffalo, New York, then returned to Ithaca in 1965 as Cornell’s newly established chair of the Department of Thermal Engineering.

In 1984, Moore was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering. A year later, he was awarded NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for “numerous scientific contributions to the understanding of the fluid mechanics of aeronautics and space propulsion systems.”

Moore’s research interests included fluid mechanics, turbomachinery and heat transfer, as well as flow disturbances in compressor inlets and diffusers.

A member of the Cornell cross country team as an undergraduate in the 1940s, Moore rediscovered running in the early 1960s after quitting smoking and was a longtime member of the Ithaca-based Finger Lakes Runners Club. He completed the Boston Marathon in 1971, 1972 and 1977, and in 2002 at age 80 was the second-ranked runner in the nation in the 80-84 age group.

Moore also cycled competitively; in 1979, he placed first in the Grand Master age division at the U.S. Cycling Federation National Championship time trial.

Moore is survived by his wife of 70 years, along with five children, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Funeral services were held Nov. 26 in Trumansburg, New York. A memorial service is being planned for a later date at Kendal at Ithaca, where Moore and his wife lived.

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Melissa Osgood