by Dewey Younger, BS AE 1949, MS EM 1950

Dewey Younger graduated with a BS in Aeronautical Engineering in 1949 and an MS in Engineering Mechanics in 1950. He was a Tau Beta in 1948 and a Pi Tau Sigma in the same year. Younger built the UT Flying Saucer in 1947 and was accused of starting the famous “Flying Saucer Sighting Scare”. His saucer was a balsa-wood model covered with painted Japanese paper. He demonstrated its flying capability at the 1947 or 1948 Engineering Power Show in the high-bay area of the Engineering Building. His concept later showed up as the AVRO VZ-9V Avrocar, a vertical take-off and landing vehicle carrying a crew of two. Avro (Canada) extensively tested the concept under funding by the U.S. Department of Defense. Eventually, the program was cancelled.   

While working on his Masters degree, Younger was assigned an Instructorship in the Civil Engineering Department. He taught courses in Materials Lab and in Bridge Truss Design. His thesis on the cyclic state of metals, advised by Milton Thompson, Dana Young, and Niels Thompson, led eventually to the development of the dynamic cyclic stress-strain curve which is fundamental to low-cycle fatigue analysis in aircraft and automotive design. Younger’s engineering career extended from North American Aviation (Navaho Missile), Southwest Research Institute (Wing Flutter Windtunnel testing for the Air Force), Aeronutronic (Expandable Space Vehicle Structures for the Air Force and NASA), Ford Motor Co. – Dearborn (Manager of Advanced Engineering), to Trinity University – San Antonio (Visiting Professor in Physics and Engineering Science).