Walter Vincenti is professor emeritus of aeronautics and astronautics at Stanford University and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. He is an acknowledged authority on transonic, supersonic, and high-temperature gas flows, and on the history of technology, particularly the epistemology of engineering. Vincenti was instrumental in establishing an interdisciplinary program for engineering and nonengineering students at Stanford University. This program is devoted to historical, ethical, and social studies of technology and engineering. He is regarded by his colleagues as one of the wise men of engineering, a constant source of inspiration and support, and he is held in similar high regard by his peers around the world. His outlook on engineering and engineers is admirably demonstrated in his book, What Engineers Know and How They Know It (1990), "now the starting point for anyone trying to understand engineering, especially the character of engineering knowledge." (Jane Morley) For Vincenti, engineering design knowledge is generated through a varying process, sometimes scientific and theoretical in character, other times independent of science and rooted in experience and craft. Engineering knowledge and methods are thus partly indigenous, and their influence on society is enormous and must be exerted responsibly. In recent years, Vincenti has worked to further the history of engineering as an important subfield of the history of technology. Vincenti's awards include a Gold Medalist Pi-Tau-Sigma (1948), a Rockefeller Public Service Award (1956), a Guggenheim Fellowship (1963), and an Usher Prize (1984).