Biography of Andrey Abraham Potter

Andrey Abraham Potter. Genius knows no race nor land. Watered by opportunity it flowers in any clime and under all conditions. Among the notably efficient men who make up the faculty of the Kansas State Agricultural College, at Manhattan, particular attention may be directed to Prof. Andrey Abraham Potter because of the achievements which already crown his comparatively short life. As dean of the division of engineering and director of the engineering experiment station, of the Kansas State Agricultural College, he qualifies as an expert in his profession, his recognized standing in which has been signally pronounced upon by his appointment on important national boards and committees.

Andrey Abraham Potter was born at Vilna, Russia, August 5, 1882, and is a son of Gregor and Rivza (Pelonsky) Potter. At the age of fifteen years he came to the United States and in this country secured all his technical training. From the Massachusetts Institute of Technology he received his degree of S. B., in 1903, and in the summer session of 1908 he took a post graduate course in Columbia University. From 1903 to 1905 his activities gave him practical experience in steam turbine construction while in the employ of the General Electric Company at Schenectady, New York. Further practical engineering experience was gained with the General Electric Company at Lynn, and in consulting work in connection with the gas and natural oil fields, oil engines, power plant economies, municipal and private steam-electric and gas-electric power plants, continuing from 1905 to 1915. Additionally, from 1905 to 1910, Professor Potter was assistant professor in mechanical engineering and from 1910 to 1913 professor of mechanical engineering in the Kansas State Agricultural College, after which, until April, 1914, he was acting dean of the division of engineering and acting director of the engineering experiment station, since then he has been dean of the engineering division, director of the engineering experiment station and professor of steam and gas engineering. Hence, for eleven years he has been identified with this institution, working faithfully for its progress and rejoicing in every advance made.

Professor Potter is a man of versatile talent. His studies have been mainly directed along the line which natural talents indicated but he is thoroughly educated in other directions than the one he has found most congenial. As an author in the line of his profession, he has to his credit some fifty signed articles which have been published in such standard journals as Power, the Electrical World and the Coal Age, and other published articles on such subjects as: fuels, gas producers, steam and gas engines, steam turbines, power plant auxiliaries and power plant economics. He is responsible for about twelve bulletins on various phases of engineering research, all these papers being seasonable and scientific and demonstrating the thoroughness of his knowledge and the enthusiasm with which he has grappled with this difficult subject. Mr. Potter is also the author of a book, “Form Motors,” which deals in the main with heat engines, concerning which it is a liberal education. On many occasions he has read and presented papers at meetings of the Land Grant College Engineering Association, the Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education (of which organization he is a member of the council, being secretary also of the former), the National Association of Stationary Engineers (of which he is an honorary member), the Kansas Local Engineering and Scientific Societies (of which he is a member), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and other professional and scientific organizations. He has issued a valuable bulletin on boiler room economics in connection with Kansas State Agricultural College Engineering Experiment Station. These bulletins, scientific as they are, are invaluable to the profession and add much to the sum of general knowledge. Thirty-four years seems a very short period in which to have accumulated the positive knowledge that these and other writings of Professor Potter make manifest.

In 1906 Mr. Potter was united in marriage with Miss Eva Burtner, who was born in Kansas, and they have two children: James Gregor and Helen, aged respectively nine and five years. Mr. Potter is identified with the Masonic fraternity and belongs to several college honorary fraternities, including the Sigma Tau Engineering fraternity and the Phi Kappa Phi.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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