Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Natural Gas Engineering Pioneer, Former Dean to be Memorialized with Bronze Statue

KINGSVILLE - October 18, 2011

Contact: Adriana Garza
adriana.garza@tamuk.edu or 361-593-4979

Frank H. Dotterweich—a pioneer in the field of natural gas engineering—dedicated nearly half a century to the development of the College of Engineering at Texas A&I University.

The students he taught, the natural gas engineering program he directed and the College of Engineering that now bears the Dotterweich name live on as lasting legacies. Now, a life-size bronze statue commissioned by a group of Dotterweich’s students and created by Javelina alumni and artist Armando Hinojosa will mark the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Javelina Engineering Complex.

Set to be unveiled in commemoration of the complex’s 10th anniversary, the Dotterweich Statue will be adjacent to the north side of the Javelina Engineering Complex. The statue will be unveiled during a special ceremony beginning at 10:30 a.m. Friday, October 21. Former students and current College of Engineering administration will remark on the life and continued influence of Dotterweich. Engineering Complex tours will be available after the ceremony.

Valet parking and parking in Lot F—near the Steinke Physical Education Center—will be available. A portion of the 800 block of West Avenue B will be closed to thru traffic and Lot F will be closed for regular parking. Ave B will be closed to thru traffic beginning at the intersection of Armstrong Street and Lot 8 (in front of Kleberg Hall). Access to Lot 18, east of the Dotterweich Engineering Building, can still be made on W. Avenue B.  

 About Frank H. Dotterweich

Known affectionately as "Doc" to most of his engineering students, Dr. Frank H. Dottweich pioneered the Natural Gas Engineering Department at Texas A&I University, making the program the first in the nation.

Dotterweich began working at Texas A&I in 1937 and remained part of the faculty for 45 years. He served as dean of the College of Engineering from 1947 to 1971 but continued to teach courses until spring of 1989. He also worked on various technical projects well into his retirement. In 1982, he was named professor emeritus in honor of his decades of service and contributions to the university’s engineering program.

In 1989, during the winter commencement ceremony, university officials presented Dotterweich with the first Texas A&I Presidential Citation. He also was the recipient of the prestigious Donald L. Katz Award from the Gas Processors Association for his outstanding accomplishments in gas processing research and technology and for excellence in engineering education.

In 1980, a former student anonymously donated $250,000 to establish the Dotterweich Chair in Natural Gas Engineering at Texas A&I. Former students were challenged to match the initial donation, which they did in a matter of weeks.

Dotterweich earned a doctorate in chemical engineering from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He served in the Navy during World War II. While working toward his doctoral degree, Doc was a physical education instructor and lacrosse and football coach.

In 1928, he was granted a leave of absence from his job at Consolidated Gas, Electric Light and Power Company in Baltimore to participate as a member of the United States Olympic Lacrosse Team during the games in Amsterdam, Holland. Always the scholar, he took the time while in Europe to inspect and study gas plant design and operation.

            Dotterweich died September 10, 1990.

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