ITHACA, N.Y. -- Dean Lee Taylor, a Cornell University professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and a leading researcher and educator in computer-aided design (CAD), died at home in Ithaca July 31. He was 48 years of age.
Taylor joined the faculty of Cornell's Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in 1976 and served as the school's associate director from 1991 to 1996, leading a major curriculum review and revision. He was elected as a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) in 1995 and was honored with the Cornell College of Engineering's Excellence in Teaching Award (1989).
He will be remembered as an innovative researcher and educator in the fields of system dynamics, computer-aided design, design theory, micromechanical machines and concurrent engineering, according to Donald L. Bartel, the professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering who collaborated with Taylor in designing bone-implant systems. The associate director of the Sibley School, Bartel credited Taylor with developing important laboratories for research and education, including the Integrated Mechanical Analysis Project Laboratory and its successor, the Biomechanics Computing Laboratory, which are used extensively for the analysis and design of orthopedic implants.
Whereas early CAD systems concentrated on the design of individual components, Taylor sought to expand the capabilities of computer-aided design to represent collections of interacting parts and their function. His textbook, Computer-Aided Design, (Addison-Wesley, 1992) presented a new approach to using the computer for design and analysis.
In addition to teaching in the College of Engineering, Taylor contributed to the continuing education of industrial executives through short courses taught in the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell. He also was active in the Realization Consortium, a national engineering educational effort, and the Cornell Manufacturing Enterprise.
Taylor was born in 1949 in Clinton, Okla., the son of Annabelle Rae Taylor and the late Daryl Taylor, and earned a B.S. (1971) from Oklahoma State University and an M.S. (1972) and Ph.D. (1975) from Stanford University. He was a visiting research fellow at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, in 1981 and a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley in 1990.
In addition to his mother living in Oklahoma City, he is survived by his wife, Kathleen, and daughter, Lauren, at home; a brother, Ralph Taylor; a sister, Jean Simpson; and his maternal grandmother, Martha Rowland, all of Clinton, Okla. Memorial donations may be made to WSKG Public Television and Radio, P.O. Box 3000, Binghamton, N.Y. 13902.