University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering


Former Chairman of Mechanical Engineering Passes Away


Lindsay Lewis

Douglas F. Muster, Brown & Root Professor Emeritus and former chairman of the UH Department of Mechanical Engineering, passed away September 7, 2007. He was 88.

Muster earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering from Marquette University in Wisconsin and his Ph.D. from Illinois Institute of Technology after serving as a captain in the U.S. Army during World War II. Following the completion of his education, he worked at General Electric Laboratories before joining the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the UH Cullen College of Engineering in 1961. He was appointed as the department's chairman the following year and served in such capacity for a decade.

"He contributed significantly to the college and department by hiring excellent faculty members," said Charles Dalton, professor of mechanical engineering.

Muster continued teaching as a professor in the department after passing the department's leadership to Professor Larry Witte, one of the many faculty members he hired during his tenure as chair. Witte currently serves as the college's associate dean for graduate programs.

"We are in debt to Douglas Muster for being a forward-looking leader at a critical time in our development," said Witte. "He led the department from being a small, teaching unit to its early development as a leading research department as well. "

During his career, Muster also served as an adjunct professor in the UH Law Center and as an expert witness in the area of forensic engineering for attorneys across the country. He was also known his passion for the art and history of cooking and baking, particularly French cuisine.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Jean, daughter Deborah and sons Randy, Scott and Gordon (1979 BSME, 1990 MSME). His oldest son, David, passed away in 2006.



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