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Robert Martello, Ph.D.

Robert Martello

Associate Dean for Curriculum & Academic Programs
Professor of the History of Science and Technology

Milas Hall 355


Ph.D., History and Social Study of Science and Technology, MIT
M.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, MIT
B.S., Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Science, MIT

Select Courses Taught

The "Stuff" of History
Paradigms, Predictions, and Joules
Six Books that Changed the World
Science Fiction and Historical Context

Areas Of Interest

Paul Revere: manufacturing, entrepreneurship, and America's transition from crafts to industry
Benjamin Franklin: printer
Educational research: intrinsic motivation, project-based learning & interdisciplinary integration


Dr. Robert Martello received his Ph.D. from MIT's Program in the History and Social Study of Science and Technology, following his completion of a Master of Science degree in civil and environmental engineering and Bachelor of Science degree in earth, atmospheric, and planetary science from MIT. Prior to joining the Olin College faculty in 2001 during Olin’s “partner” year, Dr. Martello lectured in MIT’s history of technology program and served as the Producer for the “Digital History” component of Inventing America, an American history textbook. Dr. Martello's Ph.D. dissertation and ensuing research use Paul Revere's many manufacturing and entrepreneurial endeavors to tell the story of America's transition from craft practices to industrial capitalism. He published his first book, Midnight Ride, Industrial Dawn: Paul Revere and the Growth of American Enterprise, in the fall of 2010, and is currently researching his next book project, a study of Benjamin Franklin’s innovative printing career and identity as an artisan. Dr. Martello frequently offers public history talks on the subjects of Paul Revere’s groundbreaking manufacturing career or Benjamin Franklin’s adventures as a printer, and enjoys collaborating with the Paul Revere Memorial Association on different educational initiatives. At Olin, Dr. Martello frequently co-chairs the Arts, Humanities, and Social Science committee and helps students cross disciplinary lines and apply their communication and contextual analysis skills to global challenges. He is the co-principal investigator on three National Science Foundation grants studying the integration of humanities and technical pedagogies, the development and deployment of lifelong learning skills, and the importance of intrinsic motivation. Dr. Martello has also delivered numerous talks and has facilitated many workshops for fellow educators interested in student motivation, interdisciplinary education, and project-based teaching.

Select Publications

Martello, Robert, Midnight Ride, Industrial Dawn: Paul Revere and the Rise of American Enterprise