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Engineering College names Distinguished Graduates

     Five alumni were selected as 1998 Distinguished Graduates by The University of Texas at Austin's Engineering Foundation Advisory Council. The Council's annual selections are based on outstanding professional records, public service, support of education, and other significant achievements. The five were honored during the College of Engineering graduation ceremony May 23 at Gregory Gym.

The 1998 Distinguished Graduates are:

  • Kenneth B. Ford, B.S.P.E, 1940
  • George C. Love, B.S.Ar.E., 1951
  • S.A. Garza, B.S.E., 1952; B.S.C.E., 1955
  • George H. Fancher Jr., B.S.P.E., 1961; M.S.P.E., 1962
  • Dr. Kenneth J. Cox, B.S.E.E., 1953; M.S.E.E., 1956.

     Since the first distinguished graduate was named in 1957, 185 people have been honored during the College of Engineering's spring ceremonies.


Mr. Kenneth B. Ford, P.E.
B.S.P.E., 1940
Director, Miller and Lents, Ltd.

     Mr. Kenneth B. Ford earned his bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering in 1940 from UT Austin. As an undergraduate he was a member of two honorary engineering fraternities, Tau Beta Pi and Pi Epsilon. After graduation from UT, he worked for J.S. Abercrombie Co., an independent oil and gas operator, and remained there until 1943. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1944 and served as an engineering officer on a tanker in the Pacific during World War II. After being discharged from the Navy in 1946, he returned to Abercrombie. He was employed by the international oil and gas consulting firm J.R. Butler and Company the day it was formed in 1948. This firm became Miller and Lents, Ltd. and he has remained active with this organization for 50 years. He served as president and director from 1970 until 1987. He remains a director of the firm, and is also a general partner in three oil and gas limited partnerships.

     His professional service includes membership on the Board of Arbitration for Prudhoe Bay Oil Field, Alaska, the largest oil field in the United States.

     He is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and has served as chairman of the Gulf Coast section, chairman of its Lester C. Uren Award Committee and as a member of its Public Service Award Committee.

     He is a charter member and past chairman of the administrative board of St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Houston and is a past chairman of the finance committee of the Blue Bird Circle Clinic for Pediatric Neurology. His service to UT Austin includes membership on the Chancellor's Council, the President's Associates, the Longhorn Foundation, and the Ex-Students' Association. He is a Friend of Alec.


Mr. George C. Love, P.E.
B.S.Ar.E., 1951
Vice President, HBC Engineering Inc.

     Mr. George C. Love earned his bachelor's degree in architectural engineering in 1951 from UT Austin.

     He gained his first professional experience with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as an instructor at its engineering school. In 1953 he joined Bovay Engineers as a design engineer and in 1965 he became vice president. While with Bovay he was a chief engineer for a U.S. Atomic Energy project in Washington and project manager for four Johnson Space Center facilities designed by his company. He joined Limbaugh Engineer Inc., in Albuquerque in 1965 as vice president and chief engineer. At Limbaugh he was project engineer on the Very Large Array site selection project for National Radio Astronomy.

     In 1968 he returned to Bovay Engineers and was project manager for Engineers of the Southwest for the preparation of the airport master plan for Houston Intercontinental Airport. Love became senior vice president and a director of Southwestern Laboratories, Inc., in 1981. He was principal in charge for all material testing and inspection services for the construction of Houston's Transco Tower, as well as the Hardy Street Toll Road. Since 1994 he has been vice president of HBC Engineering Inc. in Houston and is one of the firm's founding principals. HBC provides professional services in environmental, geotechnical and construction materials engineering.  He was selected as the 1997 Engineer of the Year by the Texas Society of Professional Engineers.

     The Texas Engineering Foundation named him the Distinguished Engineer of the Year in 1995. He is a past president of the Houston Engineering and Scientific Society, and the Texas Society of Professional Engineers (TSPE). He was selected TSPE Region IV Engineer of the Year in 1997. He was also a national director for the National Society of Professional Engineers from 1993 through 1995.


Mr. Severiano A. Garza, P.E.
B.S.E., 1952; B.S.C.E., 1955
International Consultant

     Mr. S. A. Garza earned two bachelor's degrees from UT Austin one in education in 1952 and the other in civil engineering in 1955. He started his engineering career as a sanitary engineer with the Texas Health Department in 1953. He later became a junior design engineer and superintendent of the City of Austin Wastewater Division. He founded S.A. Garza Consulting Engineers in 1963 and because of rapid growth the firm was incorporated as S.A. Garza Engineers Inc., with branches in San Antonio, Edinburg, Laredo and Corpus Christi.

     Garza was a consultant to the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Division for Water Supply and Pollution Control and performed field investigations in several Central American countries. He was also a consultant to Public Health Service for Pan American Health Organizations. He is a diplomate of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers. Garza is a member and past national director of the Water Environment Federation (WEF). He also served as chairman of the International Affairs Committee of the American Waterworks Association.

     Garza was honored with the President Ronald Reagan Citation for Private Sector Initiatives in 1987 for his efforts as a founder of the Austin Public Schools Science Academy. In 1993 he became an honorary member of the Republic of Mexico Congress of Civil Engineers. In 1995 he was presented with the International Activities Service Award for significant contributions to the improvement of activities of WEF in the international field.  He has served as a trustee at St. Edward's University from 1981 until 1990. His service to the UT System includes membership on the Executive Committee of the Chancellor's Council. He has also been active with the UT Austin Engineering Foundation Advisory Council and the President's Association. He is past president of the Dad's Association and is a Friend of Alec.


Mr. George H. Fancher, Jr.
B.S.P.E., 1961; M.S.P.E., 1962
Owner, Fancher Oil Company

     Mr. George H. Fancher Jr. earned both his bachelor's degree in 1961 and master's degree in 1962 in petroleum engineering from UT Austin. After graduating he was employed by The California Company (now Chevron) as a petroleum engineer in Wyoming and Colorado. In 1966, he joined Ball Brothers Research Corporation in Boulder, Colo., followed by two years with an independent oil company. He formed Smith-Fancher in 1969, which was an independent oil producer in the Rocky Mountain and mid-continent regions. In 1980 he formed Fancher Oil Company and has operated as sole proprietor since that time.

     Fancher has been a director of the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), the Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States (IPAMS), Rocky Mountain Oil and Gas Association, and is a member of the Wyoming Independent Petroleum Association. He has served on the board of directors of the Petroleum Technology Transfer Council (PTTC) and is the past chairman of the Rocky Mountain Producers Advisory Group of the PTTC. He is a registered petroleum engineer in Texas and a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. He was recipient of the Denver Petroleum Club's 1994 Man of the Year Award, and the 1995 Desk and Derrick Club of Denver's Oil Recognition Award for outstanding service in promoting the petroleum industry. He was presented the IPAMS' Wildcatter-of-the-Year Award in 1996.

     In 1982 he and R.B. Trull established the George H. Fancher Professorship in Petroleum Engineering and the George H. Fancher Centennial Teaching Fellowship in Petroleum Engineering, in honor of his father, a former chairman of the Department of Petroleum Engineering at UT Austin. He is also a member of the Chancellor's Council and the Littlefield Society at The University.


Dr. Kenneth J. Cox
B.S.E.E., 1953; M.S.E.E., 1956
Assistant to the Director, Engineering Directorate, NASA Johnson Space Center

     Dr. Kenneth J. Cox earned both his bachelor's degree in 1953 and his master's degree in 1956 in electrical engineering from UT Austin. He also served as an instructor in the Department of Electrical Engineering from 1955 to 1958.

     He began his professional career in aerospace at TEMCO in Dallas in 1958 developing control systems for missiles and airplanes. In 1960, he moved to the Martin Co. in Denver where he initiated and developed the first advanced digital avionics design for the Titan III.

     Beginning in 1963, he joined the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston and became the technical manager for the Apollo digital control systems including the lunar module and the command service module. He earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Rice University in 1966. He also served as Space Shuttle technical manager for integrated guidance, navigation, and control systems involving first generation digital design development in 1974. He was promoted to chief of the Avionics Systems Division in 1987.

     He has been a national director and board member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) for the past six years. He received the AIAA Mechanics and Control of Flight Award in 1971, the NASA Medal for Exceptional Engineering Achievement Award in 1981, and the AIAA Digital Avionics Award in 1986.

     Dr. Cox was a member of the Electrical Engineering Visiting Committee at UT Austin from 1975 to 1981, and supported the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in evaluating advanced technology programs. He is a Friend of Alec.