Ben Zinn

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Ben Zinn
Personal information
Full name Ben Tzion Cynowicz
Date of birth (1937-04-21) April 21, 1937 (age 87)
Place of birth Tel Aviv, Palestine
Position(s) Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1955–1957 Hapoel Tel Aviv
1957–1961 NYU Violets
1959 New York Hakoah
1961–1962 Stanford Cardinal
1962–1965 Princeton University
International career
1959 United States 1 (0)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Ben T. Zinn (born April 21, 1937) is an American academic in engineering and former international soccer player. He is currently the David S. Lewis Jr., Chair and Regents' Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology.[1]


Ben T. Zinn was born as Ben Tzion Cynowicz in Tel Aviv in 1937; his parents had moved there from Poland in 1936.[2] Zinn's grandparents and twelve uncles and aunts all died in Nazi concentration camps.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Zinn has two children from a previous marriage to the daughter of Erno Schwarcz - daughter Leslie Zinn and son Edward Zinn, both of whom attended Georgia Tech.[2]


Zinn's Polish surname was "Cynowicz", which in Hebrew was spelled as "Tzinovitz". To conform with Israeli government policy, it was shortened to "Tzinn", which was the name he used to travel with the Israeli All Star team. When he came to America he used both "Cinovitz" and "Cinowitz", with the latter being the name he used in his national team career. He later reverted to his official Hebrew surname of "Tzinn", which was then shortened to "Zinn".


Soccer career[edit]

Playing with league champions Hapoel Tel Aviv and an Israeli "All Star" side which toured Europe and the US, Zinn began his soccer career in Israel.[3] Zinn played soccer for New York University where he averaged 3.2 goals per game,[3] and where he eventually became club captain.[4] He also played part-time for New York Hakoah in the American Soccer League. Zinn made one official appearance on May 28, 1959, for the United States men's national soccer team, in an 8–1 defeat to England.[5][6] Zinn was also a member of the national team squad for unofficial games on a number of other occasions. When Zinn became a professor at Georgia Tech in 1965, he turned down an invitation to join the Israel national side, professional soccer contract in the NASL from the Atlanta Chiefs, and an invitation to try out as a field kicker for the Atlanta Falcons.[3]

Academic career[edit]

After missing an entrance exam for Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Zinn moved to New York City to attend the New York University. After spending four years at NYU, Zinn attended Stanford University and earned his M.S. degree. He then pursued graduate studies at Princeton University, where he received his Ph.D. in mechanical and aerospace engineering in 1966 after completing a doctoral dissertation titled "A theoretical study of nonlinear transverse combustion instability in liquid propellant rocket motors."[7][8] He began his forty-year association with Georgia Tech in 1965. Zinn is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.[9] Zinn was awarded the George Westinghouse Gold Medal by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 2006.[10] Zinn also holds thirteen patents.[11] Georgia Tech's combustion laboratory is named after Zinn.[3]


  1. ^ "Professor Ben T. Zinn". Georgia Institute of Technology. Retrieved March 23, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c Sam Heys. "Getting Kicks in Academics". GTA Alumni. Archived from the original on March 18, 2005. Retrieved March 23, 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d G. Wayne Clough (May 18, 2006). "Dedication of the Ben T. Zinn Combustion Lab" (PDF). Georgia Institute of Technology. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 18, 2011. Retrieved March 23, 2009.
  4. ^ "N. Y. U. WINS IN SOCCER; Overpowers Pratt, 13 to 0, as Cinovitz Gets 4 Goals". New York Times. October 11, 1958. Retrieved March 20, 2009.
  5. ^ "U.S. MNT: 1916-1959". National Soccer Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved March 29, 2009.
  6. ^ "USA 1 - England 8 (Match summary)". May 28, 1959. Retrieved March 29, 2009.
  7. ^ Zinn, Ben T. (1966). A theoretical study of nonlinear transverse combustion instability in liquid propellant rocket motors.
  8. ^ "Professor Ben T. Zinn - Education". Georgia Institute of Technology. Retrieved March 23, 2009.
  9. ^ "Dr. Ben T. Zinn". National Academy of Engineering. Retrieved March 23, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "ASME Honors Ben T. Zinn for Research in Combustion Technology". American Society of Mechanical Engineers. April 11, 2006. Retrieved March 23, 2009.
  11. ^ "Ben T. Zinn". Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering. Archived from the original on May 22, 2008. Retrieved March 23, 2009.