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John R. Callister

  • John R. Callister
  • Dept: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • Title: Senior Lecturer and Harvey Kinzelberg Director of Entrepreneurship in Engineering
  • Address: 473 Upson Hall
  • Phone: 607 255-5545
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John Callister is a Senior Lecturer with a joint appointment in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the School of Operations Research and Industrial Engineering, and is the Harvey Kinzelberg Director of Entrepreneurship in Engineering at Cornell University, where he has been since January 1999. 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. John is a co-owner of Virginia Plastics Inc., a blown-film polymer manufacturer. 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 has been the faculty co-advisor for the Cornell 100+ MPG team since 2007, and has been the faculty advisor to the Cornell Entrepreneurship Organization since 2007.

Service Interests

Advising students with starting their own businesses, 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

  • Greek Association Teaching Award (Cornell University) 2004
  • College of Engineering Excellence in Teaching Award (Cornell University) 2004


  • BS (Mechanical Engineering), University of Minnesota, 1984
  • MS (Mechanical Engineering), Cornell University, 1992
  • MBA (Finance), University of Chicago, 1993
  • Ph D (Mechanical Engineering), Cornell University, 1996