Index of Memorial Resolutions and Biographical Sketches

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Associate Professor Emeritus Howard E. Brown was born in Anaheim, California, to Ruth Harriet Brown and Charles Ashbal Brown on November 1, 1916, and passed away on March 20, 2007, at North Austin Medical Center. He received his early education in California, graduating from Anaheim Union High School in 1934, from Fullerton District Junior College with an Associate of Arts degree in 1936, and from the University of California at Berkeley with a B.S. in mechanical engineering in 1939.

In the fall of 1939, he was awarded a research assistantship at The University of Texas by Dean W. R. Woolrich to work with him in the Bureau of Engineering Research. He and Luis H. Bartlett developed an apparatus for quick-freezing foodstuffs, which they patented in 1941.

Brown received an appointment as instructor of mechanical engineering for the spring semester of 1941. That same year, he married Nina Faye Bennett of Lamesa, Texas. He continued to work part time at the Bureau of Engineering Research from 1941-45.

From 1945 until 1950, he worked part time for the University’s Defense Research Laboratory on ramjet propulsion systems. He continued graduate work on a part time basis, along with his teaching and research, earning a M.S. in mechanical engineering in 1949 and a Ph.D. in 1956, both from The University of Texas. His dissertation was entitled The Transfer of Heat and Momentum in a Turbulent Stream of Mercury.

A special opportunity in 1960 provided a year (1960-61) at the National Science Foundation (NSF) at Washington, D.C., where he worked at the NSF headquarters reviewing grant proposals. He moved his family to Falls Church, Virginia, for that year.

During his long tenure in mechanical engineering (ME), Dr. Brown was rated among the top teachers in the department by his students. Even senior Professor Bryon E. Short, never one to lavish praise, rated him “among the top faculty in intellectual ability.” During his long tenure at UT, he taught 29 different courses, which included nearly all of the undergraduate fluid mechanics and thermal science courses. For many semesters, he carried the largest teaching load in the ME department, including the design of the experiments in the fluid dynamics laboratory for ME 146 and 246. Brown was promoted to assistant professor in 1945 and to associate professor in 1952.

In his early years at UT, Professor Brown worked in research part time for The Bureau of Engineering Research and the Defense Research Laboratory along with teaching full time and going to graduate school. He developed a heart condition that limited his research time in his later years, but he continued some research and published over 15 papers in the thermo-science field. He was elected into Sigma Xi and Pi Tau Sigma and was listed in Who’s Who and American Men of Science (now American Men and Women of Science).

Professor Brown was always working on some committee. A few of the committees included: Students Use of English, Engineering Publications Awards and Scholarships, College of Engineering Catalog, Final Announcement of Courses, Laboratory Development, Course and Room Scheduling, Degrees and Courses, Affirmative Action, and Teaching Effectiveness.

After his retirement from teaching in 1980, he bought a bass boat and spent time fishing on Lake Travis and other nearby lakes. He always like to fish and had many good stories to tell along with pictures. He and Nina also took many camping trips through the Rocky Mountain states, the Northern Plains, and into Saskatchewan and Alberta while he pursued his hoppy of wildlife and scenic photography.

Professor Brown’s wife, Nina, died on April 15, 2000. He is survived by his son, Kenneth Martin Brown, who lives in Austin.

Associate Professor Howard E. Brown was appointed associate professor emeritus on September 1, 1980.


William Powers Jr., President
The University of Texas at Austin


Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The General Faculty

This memorial resolution was prepared by a special committee consisting of Professors Henry G. Rylander (chair), Jamie P. Lamb, and Gary C. Vliet.