Joseph Henry Keenan (1900-1977), an American engineer, is considered one of the pioneers in the research and teaching of engineering thermodynamics. In 1922, Keenan graduated from Massachusetts’s Institute of Technology (MIT) with a BS in naval architecture and marine engineering. He then spent the following six years as an engineer for General Electric Company. He later returned to MIT as an Assistant Professor of mechanical engineering where he eventually became head of the department in 1958. Keenan's Thermodynamics (1941) remains a classic book on the subject. He is co-author of Thermodynamic Properties of Steam (1936), a fundamental source of data for design of power and process machinery, which has been very influential in the steam-power industry. He was a founding developer of steam tables, the systematic, quantitative characterization of the thermodynamic properties of water under various conditions. Keenan's texts on the thermodynamic properties of air and gases have been used extensively in design and engineering work related to gas turbines, jet-propulsion machinery, and internal combustion engines.
Professor Joseph H. Keenan Profile (Massachusetts Institute of Technology Museum)