William P. Schneider, a longtime professor in the Cullen College of Engineering’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering who retired in 2002, passed away on Friday, Sept. 24. He was 87.
Schneider’s ties to the University of Houston dated back to the 1940s, when he enrolled as a student after a serving as a flight instructor in the U.S. Air Force. Following graduation, he became the first UH alumnus to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.
He then returned to the Cullen College in 1951 as an assistant professor while also holding positions with Schlumberger and then Brown & Root.
At Brown & Root, he worked on Project Mohole, an effort backed by the federal government to drill a hole through the ocean floor to the earth’s mantle. Though that effort was eventually discontinued, it resulted in the development of the dynamic positioning system and the sonar system for hole re-entry, both of which he contributed to. His later research in deep-see drilling exploration helped confirm the theory of continental drift.