Texas Tech University

Distinguished Engineer Citations

Distinguished Engineer Photo: Allen P. Penton III
Allen P. Penton III

Allen P. Penton III

Distinguished Engineer



Chemical Engineering – 1957



At Time of Nomination in 1990

Born July 17,1935, in Gainesville, Texas, Allen P. Penton III graduated from Texas Tech University in 1957 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. He also has a B.A. in Engineering from Abilene Christian University and an M.S. in Nuclear Engineering from Southern Methodist University.

Mr. Penton has held a variety of engineering and management positions within the aerospace industry, including positions at Ford Aerospace and General Dynamics. For the past 18 years, he has been at McDonnell Douglas Space Systems Company, where he has held the positions of Chief Technology Engineer of Materials and Processes Engineering and Director of Development Operations. He currently is Director of Production Engineering and Definition and is responsible for all industrial and manufacturing functions in support of the Delta Space Launch Vehicle, Space Station, Titan Launch Vehicle, High Endoatmosphere Defense Interceptor, and other advanced space systems. He is personally involved in the development of new approaches to enhancing product definition effectiveness, such as concurrent engineering, and participating in corporate production engineering planning activities.

Over the past 32 years, Mr. Penton has made many technical contributions in the development of advanced synthetic structural materials for aerospace applications. In 1965, he was involved in the initial development of graphite fiber composites, which have evolved to widespread use in military aircraft as well as commercial and recreational use. He also has made many contributions in the development of high performance protective systems to improve the survivability of nuclear re–entry weapons. He holds several patents.

Mr. Penton has published 15 technical papers. In 1970, the Society of Automotive Engineers awarded his paper as one of the best ten papers of that year. In 1984, he was recognized as a Fellow of the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering and has been a member of that organization’s Journal Editorial Review Board for 15 years. Currently, he is a member of the Aviation Week Research Advisory Panel. He also has been a member of the National Academy of Science, National Materials Advisory Board Committee on Science Base for Materials Processing, and the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics Committees on Materials Technology and on Military Space Systems Technology.

Mr. Penton is responsible for a major machine tool gift to the Texas Tech Department of Chemical Engineering in 1983. He and his wife, June, are active members of the Crossroads Christian Church in Corona, California, where he is a member of the board of elders. He also plays the clarinet and saxophone with the Corona Community Concert Band. He and his wife have a daughter, Lisa.

It is a genuine pleasure to name Allen P. Penton III a DISTINGUISHED ENGINEER.

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