Walter Rautenstrauch (1880-1951) was an American mechanical and consulting engineer, and Professor at Columbia University's Department of Industrial Engineering in the 1930s. He coined the term break-even point, and developing the break-even chart together with Charles Edward Knoeppel.
Rautenstrauch was instrumental in the creation of Columbia University's Department of Industrial Engineering, which is said to be the first such department in the United States. One of his most important students and colleagues was Seymour Melman, who went on to be a professor in this department.
Rautenstrauch, together with Howard Scott, formed the Committee on Technocracy in 1932, which advocated a more rational and productive society headed by technical experts. In 1933, the Committee disbanded, largely because of different views held by the two men.
- Beverly H. Burris (1993). Technocracy at work State University of New York Press, pp. 28-30.
- Roger A. Lohmann, Nancy Lohmann (2013) Social Administration. p. 370
- Richard Mattessich (2007) Two Hundred Years of Accounting Research. p. 176
- Chris Smith (1984). Design Engineers and the Capitalist Firm University of Aston, p 40.
- William E. Akin (1977). Technocracy and the American Dream: The Technocrat Movement 1900-1941, University of California Press, pp. 88-93.