Arguably the nation’s preeminent biological and agricultural engineer, Norman R. Scott has shaped Cornell’s biology-based engineering curriculum for more than a generation. This approach currently taught at Cornell had its genesis with several of Scott’s courses in the 1960s and 1970s. His early research, most notably his NIH-funded work in the 1960s on thermo-regulation in animals, was crucial in defining the broad set of biological engineering topics that remain important today.
Scott has served the university for over 40 years, dedicating 14 years as a CALS and Cornell administrator, while remaining a leading national researcher in biological engineering. His career has ranged from assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural Engineering to director for research at Cornell’s Agricultural Experiment Station to an appointment as the university’s vice president for research and advanced studies. In his various administrative positions, Scott has helped to significantly broaden Cornell’s land grant mission. He also provided leadership to establish three fundamental research areas—Genomics and Integrated Molecular Biology, Advanced Materials, and Information Sciences—that remain the basis for future directions for Cornell.
A respected researcher, administrator, and educator, Scott has received numerous national and local awards and has been elected as a fellow to a number of very prestigious organizations. In 1990, he was among the first faculty member of the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering to be elected to the National Academy of Engineering. He also received the Cornell Cooperative Extension Award in 1995 and the SUNY Outstanding Faculty Award in 2007.
He and his wife, Sharon, live in Trumansburg, N.Y., and are parents to Robin, Nanette Sue ’88, and Shirlene.