Mechanical Engineering – 1969
Roy Battles was born and raised in West Texas. He graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1969, entered the U. S. Navy, and attained the rank of Lieutenant jg. In 1972, Mr. Battles received an honorable discharge from the Navy and began his 31–year career in Engineering at Bell Helicopter, performing design and analysis for gears and bearings. Since then, he has contributed to numerous programs, including the 412 HP commercial helicopter, the XV–15 tilt rotor for NASA, the AB–609 tilt rotor, the H–1 Upgrade for the U. S. Marine Corps, and the multi–service V–22 tilt rotor.
Mr. Battles’ talent as a team leader has been demonstrated many times. He led the team to re–design the Drive System Bench Test Lab, resulting in twice the testing capacity with half the staff. He partnered with suppliers and others within Bell to implement continuous improvement that reduced the life cycle cost of Bell rotorcraft drive systems.
Roy Battles has achieved steady growth in management responsibility for both people and processes. His first supervisory position was as Group Engineer, Drive System Analysis in 1979. He progressed to Chief, Drive System Design in 1983, and to Director, Dynamic Component Design in 1998. Battles was named Vice President, Engineering, for Aircraft Systems in early 2002, and then Sr. Vice President, Research & Engineering in late 2002. In this capacity, he leads 1,600 engineers at facilities in Texas (Fort Worth and Amarillo), Canada, and several offsite customer locations.
Roy Battles is responsible for all processes associated with design, development, qualification, and certification of Bell Helicopter military and commercial aircraft. He plans and executes the application of new technology to emerging programs and products. Mr. Battles enthusiastically assumes a leadership role in the ongoing training and development of his staff, with the goal that Bell engineers personally experience the satisfaction of being the best in their fields in the pursuit of technical excellence.
What distinguishes Roy Battles is his leadership commitment to implementing the Integrated Product Team approach for product development. He understands the design process and how to transition from development to production and then to follow–on support. At Bell, he advocates placement of design engineers on integrated teams and in manufacturing areas. Through this exposure, Bell engineers gain a better understanding of the needs of manufacturing which results in better product quality and lower costs.
Battles is well regarded in the aerospace industry for his knowledge and integrity. He is a long–time member of the American Helicopter Society and has contributed numerous technical papers both nationally and internationally. Throughout his career, Mr. Battles has interacted with military and commercial customers, suppliers, teammates, and associates who value him as a leading technical expert in helicopter technology and operations.
He has 2 sons, Greg and Brandon.
Texas Tech University is honored and proud to name Roy A. Battles as DISTINGUISHED ENGINEER.