Ben Zinn

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Ben Zinn
Personal information
Full name Ben Tzion Cynowicz
Date of birth (1937-04-21) 21 April 1937 (age 82)
Place of birth Tel Aviv, Palestine
Playing position 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
National team
1959 United States 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Ben T. Zinn (born 21 April 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 Georgia Tech.[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 USA, 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 28 May 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 Israeli 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 the Israeli Institute of Technology, Zinn moved to New York City to attend the New York University. After spending four years at NYU, Zinn attended Stanford – where he earned his MS degree – before moving onto Princeton to earn his doctorate, graduating in 1965.[7] He began his forty-year association with Georgia Tech in 1965. Zinn is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.[8] Zinn was awarded the George Westinghouse Gold Medal by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 2006.[9] Zinn also holds thirteen patents.[10] Georgia Tech's combustion laboratory is named after Zinn.[3]


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