Harry Kwatny Honored for Years of Service

Every year, Drexel University honors its faculty and staff celebrating work anniversaries (in increments of five years) with a service recognition luncheon. This year’s celebratory event, which was held on Dec. 3, continued the tradition of thanking those 674 employees for contributing to the University’s success.

“In this audience, there is such a wealth of talent, continuity, experience, humanity, leadership and institutional memory,” said President John Fry, who spoke at the event to thank its attendees.

Similar to last year, an alumnus and College of Engineering faculty member was highlighted for his more than 50-year service to Drexel.

55 years: 1 Dragon

Harry G. Kwatny, PhD, the S. Herbert Raynes Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the College of Engineering, celebrated 55 years of working at Drexel in 2018. That comes over 60 years after he first came to the University, which was then called the Drexel Institute of Technology, as a freshman in February of 1957. He has published two books (with a third in process), authored over 200 papers and created software and a consulting company that provides research and expertise in various industries.

Harry G. Kwatny, PhD, the S. Herbert Raynes Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the College of Engineering, spoke at the event.
Harry G. Kwatny, PhD, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, spoke at the event.

Kwatny enrolled at Drexel because of the strength of its co-op program, and he was a co-op student at the Naval Boiler and Turbine Laboratory. After graduating from Drexel in 1961 with a BSME, he received an SM degree in aeronautics and astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1962. Then, he worked at the U.S. Navy’s Aeronautical Computer Lab for 18 months while the Mercury 7, the country’s first group of astronauts, received training on the Lab’s centrifuge.

In the fall of 1963, he returned to Drexel as an instructor for some time before he took a leave of absence after one year to pursue a PhD in electrical engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, which he received in 1967. He returned to Drexel as an assistant professor in mechanical engineering, and has taught in the department and college ever since.

Initially, Kwatny studied power plant control, power system generation control and fuel optimal distribution of electric generation. Over the years, he has studied power network stability, the analysis and prevention of power system blackouts and safety and security in complex systems like power systems, naval ships and aircrafts, contributing to software, theory and programs that are still in practice or widely used today. In 1980, he cofounded Techno-Sciences, Inc. (TSi) which provides consulting and other engineering services to government and industry. TSi created the first software program for satellite search and rescue and eventually became a major supplier of ground-stations for the international SARSAT system.