photo of John Callister

John Richard Callister

Senior Lecturer
Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Upson Hall, Room 473


John Callister is a Senior Lecturer. From 1985 to 1993, he worked as an automotive engineer for General Motors, working in aerodynamics, engine cooling, air conditioning, and wind noise on car programs including the 1989 Pontiac Turbo Trans Am, the 1991 Chevrolet Caprice, the 1990 Active Suspension Corvette, the 1993 Camaro/Firebird, and the GM EV-1 electric car. From 1996 through 1998, he taught engineering and business classes at Tri-State University. He joined the Cornell University faculty in January 1999. He has a B.M.E. from Minnesota, an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from Cornell University. His graduate research was in automobile aeroacoustics and was sponsored by PPG Industries Inc. He and PPG developed windows with enhanced acoustic properties for both automobiles (e.g., Saturn Aura) and aircraft (e.g., Boeing 747). Callister was the faculty advisor for the Cornell Hybrid Electric Vehicle team from 2001 to 2004. He was the faculty co-advisor for the Cornell 100+ MPG team from 2007 to 2010, and has been the faculty advisor to the Cornell Formula SAE Racing team from 2012-2013 and since 2015.

Research Interests

Teaching Interests

Automotive engineering

Service Interests

Advising student project teams.

Selected Publications

  • Timmons, Michael B., Rhett L. Weiss, Daniel P. Loucks, John R. Callister, James E. Timmons. 2013. The Entrepreneurial Engineer. Cambridge.
  • Callister, John R., A R. George, G E Freeman. 1999. "An Empirical Scheme to Predict the Sound Transmission Loss of Single-Thickness Panels." Journal of Sound and Vibration 222: 145-151.
  • George, A R., John R. Callister. 1996. "A Survey of Automobile Wind Noise." Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 99: 2507(A).

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Canaan Family Award for Excellence in Academic Advising (Cornell University) 2021
  • Greek Association Teaching Award (Cornell University) 2004
  • College of Engineering Excellence in Teaching Award (Cornell University) 2004


  • B.S. (Mechanical Engineering), University of Minnesota, 1984
  • M.S. (Mechanical Engineering), Cornell University, 1992
  • M.B.A. (Finance), University of Chicago, 1993
  • Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering), Cornell University, 1996