David P. Billington, Jr.

Education and Experience

2008- Independent Scholar
Resumed research and writing on the history of modern engineering.

2007-08 Preceptor, School of Engineering, Princeton University
Helped teach CEE 102 "Engineering in the Modern World," Fall Semester 2007-08.

1998-2007 Independent Scholar
Research and writing on the history of modern engineering.

1996-98 Visiting Researcher, School of Engineering, Princeton University
Provided research for multimedia content in support of CEE 102 "Engineering in the Modern World." Course presents an overview of major engineering innovations from the mid-18th century to the present.

1986-95 Ph.D. in Modern British/Commonwealth History, University of Texas at Austin
Research field: Modern Britain and Commonwealth. Other fields of study: Modern Europe, Modern Russia, History of Modern Engineering.

1985-86 Research Assistant GS-7 (History of Science), Smithsonian Institution
Assisted editor of the Papers of Joseph Henry, nineteenth century American physicist and first secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.

1982-85 M.A. in International Affairs, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University
Major areas: Western Europe and International Economics. Coursework also in Russia and the Non-Russian Republics, Middle East, and Japan.

1980-82 B.A. in Political Science and History, Regents College, Albany NY
New York State Board of Regents external examination degree. Double concentration in political science and history.


From Insight to Innovation: Engineering Ideas that Transformed America in the Twentieth Century (MIT Press, 2020).

Engineering the Golden Gate: The Interplay of Design and Experience (Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District, 2016).

Power Speed and Form: Engineers and the Making of the Twentieth Century (Princeton University Press, 2006), with David P. Billington, Sr.

Lothian: Philip Kerr and the Quest for World Order (Praeger Security International, 2006) (dissertation).

Articles and Book Chapters

"The Sources of Modern Engineering Innovation," in Andrew Robinson, ed., Exceptional Creativity in Science and Technology (Templeton Press, 2013), with David P. Billington, Sr.

"Lord Lothian and the Problem of Relative Decline," in Priscilla Roberts, ed., Lord Lothian and Anglo-American Relations, 1900-1940 (Republic of Letters Publishing, 2010).

"Engineering in the Modern World," World History Bulletin, Vol. 24, No. 2 (Fall 2008), pp. 22-24.

Public Lectures

"Revolutionary Advances in Engineering," Kern-Medina Seminar for Federal and State Judges, held annually in Princeton, June 2007 to June 2016 (seminar ended in 2016).

"The Roebling Contribution to the Golden Gate Bridge," Roebling Museum, Trenton NJ, September 29, 2012.