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Ray L. Sweigert Papers

Ray L. Sweigert Papers

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Descriptive Summary

Title: Ray L. Sweigert Papers
Identification: MS453
Date: 1934-1968 (bulk dates 1934-1963)
Size/Quantity: 2.0 linear feet (two document cases, one half-size document case, and one oversize case)
Language: This collection is written in English.
Creator: Sweigert, Ray L., (Ray Leslie), 1898-1978
Repository: Archives & Records Management, Library, Georgia Institute of Technology
Abstract:This collection includes correspondence, academic papers, book manuscripts, department reports, personal research, and campus publications pertaining to Ray L. Sweigert's research, and to his work as Dean of Graduate Studies at Georgia Tech.

Biographical/Historical Note

Ray Leslie Sweigert, from Illinois, was born on November 24, 1898 to parents Milton and Evelyn Sweigert. He was a faculty member at the Georgia Institute of Technology (formerly the Georgia School of Technology) from 1929 until June of 1961, when he retired.

Sweigert received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois. Later, he went on to earn his Masters of Arts in Education and Engineering, as well as his Ph.D. in Engineering and Education, from the University of Iowa. His research interests were primarily in thermodynamics and engines.

Sweigert was a member of several honor societies, including Pi Tau Sigma, Tau Beta Pi, Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Kappa Delta, the Society of Automotive Engineers, the Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education (later known as the American Society for Engineering Education), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

During Sweigert’s long career at Georgia Tech, he held various positions. He was the Head of General Engineering before the program was phased out, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and, for most of his career, Dean of Graduate Studies. While serving as the Dean of Graduate Studies, Sweigert actively tried to expand the size of the graduate student population, and several new graduate degrees were added during his tenure. He was able to expand the graduate program from 50 students to more than 600.

Ray Sweigert was married to Edna Sweigert (1897-1982) and together they had two children, Ray Leslie Jr. (1930-2010), who became a journalist and educator, and Milton Edward (1934-2009), who graduated from Georgia Tech and became an architect and professor at Southern Polytechnic State University.

Sweigert died on January 29, 1978, at the age of 79.

Scope and Content Note

Series 1 of this collection contains papers relating to Sweigert's professional activities at Georgia Tech. Most of these documents relate to the expansion of the Graduate programs. There are also numerous pamphlets put out by the graduate schools of other universities around the nation. Several documents are publications pertaining to administration at Georgia Tech.

Series 2 of this collection contains Sweigert's personal research and correspondence. These include manuscripts for two books, including Diesel and Gas Engines and Thermodynamics; two short essays; correspondence about a second edition of the thermodynamics textbook; personal notes about thermodynamics; his thesis; an early resumé; and personal letters to Sweigert regarding his retirement.


This collection is divided into two small series:

SERIES 1. Professional papers

SERIES 2. Personal papers

Index Terms

Engineering--Study and teaching.
Georgia Institute of Technology. Administration.
Georgia Institute of Technology. Faculty.
Georgia Institute of Technology. Graduate Division.
Sweigert, Ray L., (Ray Leslie), 1898-1978

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Please cite Ray L. Sweigert Papers (MS453), Archives, Library and Information Center, Georgia Institute of Technology.


This collection of personal papers was donated in 2012; accession no. 2012.045.

Processing Information

Christine de Catanzaro and Sierra Harrison processed this collection in September 2013.


Restrictions: Access


Restrictions: Use

Permission to publish materials from this collection must be obtained from the Head of Archives and Special Collections.

Separated Material

Two copies of Sweigert's textbook, Thermodynamics, have been separated and will be cataloged.

Other Finding Aids

A print copy of this finding aid is available on request in the Georgia Tech Archives reading room.

Container List

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SERIES 1: Professional Papers, 1938-1968



11Aims and Objectives of the Georgia Institute of Technology, 1954



41 Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Georgia Tech 75th Anniversary Issue, September 15, 1963
42 The Atlanta Journal and Atlanta Constitution (article), September 15, 1963
12Barron's Profile of Georgia Institute of Technology, 1968
13Distribution of Grades, Fall 1958 and Fall 1960
43Georgia Tech's "A Bold Future", March 1965
14Graduate Programs (1 of 2), 1949-1960
15Graduate Programs (2 of 2), 1950-1960
16Pamphlets about Graduate Study, 1948-1962
17Work-Faculty Programs-Doctorate (1 of 2), 1948-1963
18Work-Faculty Programs-Doctorate (2 of 2), 1938-1953

SERIES 2: Personal Papers, 1934-1967



21 "A True American Political System", 1967
22Book Manuscript - Diesel and Gas Engines, 1936
23Book Manuscript - Thermodynamics, 1950
24Correspondence regarding 2nd edition of Thermodynamics textbook, 1958-1959
25 "Economic Balance", 1967
26 "History and Exposition of the Laws of Thermodynamics", 1947
27Letters to Sweigert about his retirement, 1961-1964
28Personal notes on Thermodynamics, 1934



31Ph.D. Convocation, July 1935
32Resume, ca. 1934
33Thesis - "A Thermodynamic Study of the Effects of Volume Distribution of the Combustion Chamber on Engine Performance", July 1935