The inaugural class of Academy honorees includes 71 Texas ChE alumni, all of whom have been recognized as Distinguished Engineering Graduates by the Cockrell School of Engineering. Honorees are organized by decade of their earliest graduation year, then alphabetically by last name. (*deceased)
Z. David Bonner* (B.S. ’41)
Z. David Bonner was president of Gulf Oil Chemicals Co., a division of Gulf Oil Corp. in Pittsburgh. Joining Gulf after service in the Navy during WWII, Bonner filled increasingly responsible positions with Gulf and its affiliates in Pittsburgh, Washington, D. C., Port Arthur, Tokyo, London, and Cleveland.
Bob R. Dorsey* (B.S. ’40)
Bob Rawls Dorsey was senior vice president of Gulf Oil Corp. In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With Gulf since 1940, he served as manager of the Venezuelan Gulf Refining Co., supervisor of schedule and cost control in the manufacturing department, coordinator of the manufacturing department and administrative vice president. He was the board chairman of Colonial Pipeline Co., a director of Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh and was listed in Who’s Who and World’s Who’s Who in commerce and industry.
A. Ray Dudley, Jr. (B.S. ’48)
Arthur Ray Dudley, Jr. was senior vice president of Tenneco Oil Company. A veteran of World War II, Dudley was a bomber pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps and served in the European Theatre from 1943 to 1945. He received an air medal with four oak leaf clusters and the purple heart.
In 1948, Dudley was employed by Humble Oil and Refining Company in Baytown, Texas. He stayed with the Humble facility in Baytown until 1959, progressing from junior engineer to assistant chemical engineer, to chemical engineer, to senior chemical engineer, and finally to section head of the lubricant section.
In 1949, Tenneco Oil Company hired Dudley as a senior process engineer. After a year in Houston, he was transferred to the Tenneco facility in Chalmette, Louisiana, where he was promoted to chief refinery engineering in 1961. Returning to Houston in 1963, he was named director of refining. In 1964, he was appointed vice president, and in 1968, senior vice president of the company.
Dudley is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the American Petroleum Institute, and the national Petroleum Refiners Association. Dudley showed continuing commitment to UT Austin, particularly through participation on the Engineering Foundation Advisory Council of the College of Engineering.
Charles Shults Faulkner* (B.S. ’43)
Charles Shults Faulkner spent his 46-year career in the petroleum refining, chemical, petrochemical, and natural gas processing industry. He was president of C.S. Faulkner, Inc., a consulting engineers firm. After 10 years with oil and natural gas companies following graduation, Faulkner founded PONA Engineers Inc. in 1953 with $6,500 of his personal savings. Earlier in his career he had designed, constructed and started-up the first totally skid mounted, modular, fully integrated process plants ever built. In 1974, Faulkner sold the company which had grown to a multimillion dollar business.
In 1988, Faulkner was the leader in establishing the Chemical Engineering Class of 1943 Undergraduate Unit Operations Laboratory Endowment. He kept a close relationship with the department and the Cockrell School of Engineering through membership and involvement in Friends of Alec.
John T. Files* (B.S. ’41, M.S. ’42)
John T. Files was the founder and chairman of Merichem Company, a manufacturer of chemical intermediates from recycling of refinery wastes. Formerly with Dow Chemical Company, he pioneered processes for recovery of magnesium from sea water and chlorinated hydrocarbons. He was a founding member of the Texas Air Control Board in 1966, and was director of the Chemical Manufacturers Association, Texas Chemical Council, National Petroleum Refiners Association, Southwest Research Institute, Keystone Center Foundation and Texas Engineering Foundation. Files was also chairman of the Engineering Foundation Advisory Council.
Louis Garbrecht* (B.S. ’44, M.S. ’48)
Louis Garbrecht, Jr., was the general manager in charge of the Engineering Department of Texaco, Inc. Garbrecht joined Texaco in 1944 as a chemical engineer in the U.S. Refining Department in Texas, and then served 18 months in the U.S. Army assigned to the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos, New Mexico.
After returning to Texaco, he held chemical engineering positions at Tulsa and El Paso until 1958, when he became a chief process engineer at Texaco’s Casper, Wyoming plant. In 1965, he was appointed assistant plant manager at the Puget Sound Plant in Anacortes, Washington, and in 1967, he became manager of the process division for Texaco Development Corporation, the patent licensing subsidiary of Texaco, Inc.
In 1972, Garbrecht was appointed as assistant to the general manager in the Refining Department-International of Texaco. In 1974, he was appointed assistant general manager of Refining in the Petroleum Products Department-Europe. He was named deputy general manager of the Engineering Department in 1979
In 1983 and 1984, Garbrecht served as chairman of the executive committee of the Board of Advisors of the Construction Industry Institute, a research center in the Cockrell School of Engineering. He was on Texas ChE’s former Engineering Visiting Committee from 1981 to 1984, and was named “Man-of-the-Year” by The Engineering News Record in 1985.
Melvin H. Gertz* (B.S. ’43, M.S. ’44)
Melvin H. Gertz was employed by Humble Oil in 1944, and left the company in 1947 to join Robert L. Purvin in their consulting firm, Purvin & Gertz, becoming its president in 1957. The company has opened offices worldwide throughout the last 50 years.
In 1965, he founded Guam Oil & Refining Company and was the company’s president and CEO. They became a pioneer in business in the Western Pacific, providing fuel to U.S. Military strategic bases in Guam and around the world.
Gertz was a registered professional engineer, and a member of national chemical, gas and petroleum societies. He participated in numerous civic and benevolent activities, including director of the Dallas Civic Opera and was a member of the Public Health Committee of the Dallas Chamber of Commerce.
While at UT Austin, he was a member of Tau Beta Pi, Phi Lambda Upsilon, and Omega Chi Upsilon honor societies, the Student Assembly and the Cowboys service organization. Gertz was listed as a Who’s Who in Commerce and Industry and was proud to serve as the Cockrell School of Engineering Chairman of the Foundation Advisory Council. He was honored in 1969 as a Cockrell School Distinguished Engineering Graduate, and the Melvin H. Gertz Regents Chair in Chemical Engineering was established in 2007 by his friends and colleagues.
E. Henry Groppe (B.S. ’46)
Henry Groppe has spent 70 years working in the petrochemical and petroleum industries. He held various management and technical positions with Dow, Texaco, Aramco in Saudi Arabia and Monsanto before founding the industry consulting firm Groppe, Long and Littell in Houston in 1955.
He is a Distinguished Graduate of the Cockrell School of Engineering, a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and in 1978 established the Carol and Henry Groppe Professiorship in Engineering at UT Austin.
Groppe is a former chairman and current member of the EAB and a founder of the Energy Institute at UT. He was chair of the Chemical Engineering Visiting Committee and founder of the UT Chemical Engineering Alumni Club used as a model for other Engineering Departments.
He served as a director of Transco Energy Company, Tom Brown, Inc. and Space Industries and co-founded the Southwest Chemical Group of companies.
He is a founder of two pioneering preventive medicine research organizations, the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in San Francisco and Houston based Southwest Health Technology Foundation.
Fred I. Harmon* (B.S. ’46)
Fred Harmon was president and owner of Southwestern Engineering and Equipment Company in Dallas, Texas. His professional career began in 1946 as a process design engineer with Celanese Chemical Corporation in corpus Christi. From 1947 to 1948, he was a sales engineer for Puffer-Sweiven Company, and from 1948 to 1949, he was chief engineer, and later, manager of Dallas Operations for Gulf Engineers, Inc.
Harmon and three partners founded Southwestern Engineering and Equipment Company in 1949. He was made president of the firm in 1958 and, in 1964, became its sole owner.
He was a member of the Instrument Society of America, the Institute of Environmental Sciences, the Society of Applied Spectroscopy, and the Texas and National Society of Professional Engineers. He was a member of the Advisory Councils of the Skyline Technical Center in Dallas, Texas, the UT Austin Engineering Foundation, and a lifelong member of Texas Exes.
Dr. J. William Haun* (B.S. ’46, Ph.D ’50)
James William Haun was vice president for engineering policy with General Mills, Inc. He was a director of the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, D.C., and chairman of the board of Center for Parish Development in Chicago, Illinois. He was a member of the Environmental Engineering Committee, Science Advisory Board and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Dr. Haun was a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, a member of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States Committee on the Environment and a member of the Board of Directors of the World Environment Center.
Dr. L. Roberts Hellwig* (B.S. ’49, M.S. ’51, Ph.D. ’55)
L. Roberts Hellwig was executive vice president of Cities Service Company and president of the Chemicals Group in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He joined Cities Service Company in 1960 as manager for planning for Cities Service Research and Development Company. In 1963, he became director of the Chemical and Plastics Research Development, Technology and Planning Davison of Columbian Carbon Company. He was named vice president and manager of Research for Cities Service Research and Development in 1967. He also served the company as vice president of the Planning and Economics Division for four years and as manager of Planning and Acquisitions for the Research and Corporate Planning Group for three years.
T. Brockett Hudson* (B.S. ’47, M.S. ’49)
T. Brockett Hudson’s education at UT Austin was interrupted by World War II, during which he served his country in the U.S. Navy.
He began his career in the research labs of Texaco’s Port Arthur Refinery. In 1952, he moved to Houston where he helped form Index Chemical Company and eventually became a vice president.
In 1960, Hudson helped form Southwest Chemical and Plastics Company where he served as president and chair of the board from its inception. The company was engaged in providing custom compounding and dispersion services to plastics manufacturers. In 1970, the company began producing specialty chemicals. In 1973, Southwest Chemical expanded its services to include the fabrication and sale of wire screen filters for use in plastics extruding equipment. In 1976, the company began formulating, blending and selling industrial and automotive lubricants, and in 1978, Thiokol purchased Southwest Chemical.
Hudson remained as president of Southwest until March of 1979. For the remainder of 1979 Southwest retained Mr. Hudson on a consulting basis. Hudson was involved in private investments. After the sale of Southwest Chemical, Hudson and his wife Dottie established the T. Brockett Hudson Professorship in Chemical Engineering at Texas ChE. He was active in the Texas Chemical Council, was a director of the Texas Commerce Medical Bank, and served as a director of several other smaller companies.
Curtis M. Klaerner* (B.S. ’42)
Daniel M. Krausse (B.S. ’47)
Dan M. Krausse was the president of the Krausse Company. He was a founder, president, and chief executive officer of Earth Resources Company, Dallas, before its merger into MAPCO Inc., in 1981. Krausse was president of Champlin Petroleum Company, group vice president and director of Dresser Industries, Inc., and senior vice president of Cosden Petroleum Corporation. He was chairman of the Centennial Endowment Committee, president of Texas Exes and chairman of the University’s Department Board. Krausse was also a director of Spring Industries, Inc., of Fort Mill, South Caroline, Baker International, Orange, California, and Roy M. Huffington, Inc.
Ernest E. Ludwig* (B.S. ’41)
Joseph Magliolo Jr.* (B.S. ’48)
Dr. Guy T. McBride Jr.* (B.S. ’40)
William W. McLean* (B.S. ’40)
George H. Meason* (B.S. ’40)
Robert J. Phillips* (B.S. ’48)
Dr. Howard F. Rase* (B.S. ’42)
Howard F. Rase was the W.A Cunningham Professor in Engineering and former chair of Texas ChE.
Rase was the fourth of four brothers to attend UT Austin, receiving a bachelor’s from Texas ChE in 1942. After graduating, Rase worked for Dow Chemical, Eastern States Petroleum Co. and Foster Wheeler Corp. He left Foster Wheeler in 1949 to pursue his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Wisconsin. He returned to Texas ChE in 1952 as assistant professor.
Dr. Rase’s teaching and research interests included applied kinetics and catalyst development, catalyst deactivation, pesticide detoxification, enzyme catalysis, product and process development. His research publications and patents were related to catalysts, and his books were written for practicing process engineers.
He was listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in Education, American Men of Science, Who’s Who in Engineering and the National Register of Prominent Americans. In 1957, he won a Fulbright Professorship to teach chemical engineering at the University of Denmark in Copenhagen.
Dr. Rase originated the Freshman Engineering Honors Program, the Engineering Honors/Plan II Liberal-Arts Dual Degree Program and the Chemical Engineering Tutorial program. His teaching innovations in both graduate and undergraduate programs were an effort to improve the professional content of the curriculum.
Dr. Rase received the General Dynamics Award of Excellence in Teaching in 1961, the Outstanding Graduate Professor Award in 1980 and the Engineering Foundation Advisory Council Faculty Award in 1985. He was a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and member of the American Chemical Society.
Dr. Rase married in 1954. He and his wife had two children, Victoria and Howard Jr., both of whom work in medicine.
Dr. Arch C. Scurlock* (B.S. ’41)
Dr. John W. Sheehan* (Ph.D. ’48)
Mr. Arthur L. Smalley Jr.* (B.S. ’42)
Dr. Robert V. West Jr.* (B.S. ’42, M.S. ’43, Ph.D. ’49)
Between pursuing his masters and doctoral degrees, Dr. Robert West Jr. worked for Humble Oil & Refining Co. He was a successful petroleum engineer, production manager, and ultimately, president of Slick Secondary Recovery Corp. Dr. West later became vice president and director of Texstar Corp., and president of Texstar Petroleum Corp.
In 1964, Dr. West formed Tesoro Petroleum Corp. as president, then chair of the board and CEO. As a registered professional engineer in Texas, he was active in the Society of Petroleum Engineers. He was a director of Independent Petroleum Association of America, Texas Mid-Continent Oil & Gas Association, Frost National Bank and the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. Dr. West also provided outstanding services as a member and vice chairman of the Engineering Foundation.
He served on the boards of Continental Telecom Inc., Commonwealth Oil Refining Company, Inc., the Frost National Bank of San Antonio and Trinidad-Tesoro Petroleum Company Limited. He was a director of the American Petroleum Institute, the Independent Petroleum Association of America, Texas Mid-Continent Oil & Gas Association, and the San Antonio/Austin Chapter of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Dr. West was also a member of the national Petroleum Council, a trustee of Southwest Research Institute and chairman of the San Antonio Economic Development Corporation.
Dr. West’s business interests were balanced by his educational, religious and civic activities in a rewarding career.