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Former President, Carnegie Mellon University
Former Head, National Science Foundation
H. Guyford Stever, an engineer, scientist, educator, and administrator has served universities, industry, and government. He received his B.A. degree in 1938 from Colgate University with a major in physics and minors in mathematics and chemistry. In 1941 he earned his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology with a major in physics and a minor in mathematics. He holds honorary degrees from eighteen universities, including Colgate, Northwestern, and Notre Dame.
Dr. Stever rose to a prominent position in the scientific and engineering community through his contributions in aeronautical, missile, and spacecraft engineering; cosmic rays; electronics and radar; gas discharge and gas dynamics; compressible aerodynamics and two phase flow; science and engineering education; and science and technology policy.
After wartime service in radar and guided missiles with OSRD in London and Europe, Stever’s academic career began at MIT where from 1946 to 1965 he served in a number of positions on the faculty, as associate dean of engineering, and as chair of the department of mechanical engineering. His presidency of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) from 1965 to 1972 was marked by significant change and growth in the institution, including the merger of Carnegie Institute of Technology and Mellon Institute to form CMU.
Stever’s involvement in industry is extensive. By 1950, he was acting as a technical advisor to Goodyear Tire and United Aircraft, and later served on their board of directors, providing technical advice on aerospace projects. He later served similarly with Schering-Plough and TRW, and as a consultant to Caterpillar and Bethlehem Steel.
Throughout his almost 60-year career, Stever has provided the government with scientific and technical advice at several different levels. In 1947 he became a member, and later chairman, of the U.S. Air Force Science Advisory Board; from 1955 to 1956 he served as chief scientist of the Air Force. He advised the House of Representatives Committee on Science and Astronautics from 1959 to 1972; and he was a member of the Defense Science Board from 1961 to 1969.
In 1972, as director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), Stever strengthened NSF’s highest priority mission as supporter of basic research, primarily conducted in universities by peer-reviewed principal investigators. As director of NSF, he also served as science advisor to Presidents Nixon and Ford. Stever’s work with the Executive Office, Congress, and the Office of Management and Budget helped create the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where he served as director from 1976 to 1977.
Stever was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1965 and served as its foreign secretary from 1984 to 1988. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1973. Among his other honors Stever received the National Medal of Science in 1991 and the NSF Vannevar Bush Award in 1997.. He is also the recipient of the President’s Certificate of Merit (1948); the Distinguished Public Service Medal from the Department of Defense (1968); and the Distinguished Public Service Medal from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (1988).
The Arthur M. Bueche Award was established in 1982 and recognizes "statesmanship in the field of technology," as well as active involvement in determining science and technology policy, promoting technological development, and contributing to industry-government-university relationships.
Read H. Guyford Stever' acceptance remarks.