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Guyford Stever

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Guyford Stever
1st Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy
In office
August 9, 1976 – January 20, 1977
PresidentGerald Ford
Preceded byEd David (Science and Technology, 1973)
Succeeded byFrank Press
4th Director of the National Science Foundation
In office
PresidentRichard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Preceded byWilliam D. McElroy
Succeeded byRichard C. Atkinson
5th President of Carnegie Mellon University
In office
Preceded byJohn Warner
Succeeded byRichard Cyert
Personal details
Horton Guyford Stever

(1916-10-24)October 24, 1916
Corning, New York, U.S.
DiedApril 9, 2010(2010-04-09) (aged 93)
Gaithersburg, Maryland, U.S.
EducationColgate University (BS)
California Institute of Technology (MS, PhD)
Scientific career
InstitutionsMassachusetts Institute of Technology
Thesis1. The discharge mechanism of Geiger counters. 2. The mean lifetime of the mesotron from electroscope data (1941)
Doctoral advisorVictor Neher

Horton Guyford Stever (October 24, 1916 – April 9, 2010) was an American administrator, physicist, educator, and engineer. He was a director of the National Science Foundation (from February 1972 to August 1976).[1]


Stever was raised in Corning, New York, principally by his maternal grandmother. He played football in high school. He graduated from Colgate University with an undergraduate degree in physics and then from California Institute of Technology in 1941 with a PhD in physics.[2] He joined the staff of the radiation lab at MIT. In 1942 he began serving the military as a civilian scientific liaison officer based in London, England until the end of World War II. After D-Day he was sent to France several times to study German technology.

He returned to MIT after the war, serving as associate dean of engineering there from 1956 to 1959 and then as a department head. In 1965 he became the fifth President of Carnegie Mellon University (and the first under that name, in 1967), a position he held until 1972. Stever House, a dorm on Carnegie Mellon's campus is named for him. During this period, he was also chairman of the aeronautics and space engineering board for the National Academy of Engineering advising NASA and other Federal agencies.[3]

He also served as the director of the National Science Foundation from 1972 until 1976. Between 1976 and 1977 he was President Gerald Ford's Science Advisor.

He also served on the board of trustees of Science Service, now known as Society for Science & the Public, from 1982 to 2006.

Stever received an LL.D. from Bates College in 1977. In 1997, he received the Vannevar Bush Award from the National Science Board.

Stever died at his home in Gaithersburg, Maryland on April 9, 2010.[4]

NACA Special Committee on Space Technology[edit]

Guyford Stever was chairman or member of numerous advisory committees to the U.S. government. The NACA's Special Committee on Space Technology, also called the "Stever Committee," was among the better-known of these. It was a special steering committee that was formed with the mandate to coordinate various branches of the Federal government, private companies as well as universities within the United States with NACA's objectives and also harness their expertise in order to develop a space program.[5]

NACA's Special Committee on Space Technology in their May 26, 1958 meeting. At the head of the table: Wernher von Braun. Dr. Stever is fourth to his right. Hendrik Wade Bode is fourth from the left.

Remarkably, Hendrik Wade Bode, the man who helped develop the robot weapons that brought down the Nazi V-1 flying bombs over London during WWII, was actually serving on the same committee and sitting at the same table as the chief engineer of the V-2, the other weapon that terrorised London: Wernher von Braun.[6][7]

As of their meeting on May 26, 1958, committee members, starting clockwise from the left of the adjacent picture, included:[5]

Committee member Title
Edward R. Sharp Director of the Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory
Colonel Norman C Appold Assistant to the Deputy Commander for Weapons Systems, Air Research and Development Command: US Air Force
Abraham Hyatt Research and Analysis Officer Bureau of Aeronautics, Department of the Navy
Hendrik Wade Bode Director of Research Physical Sciences, Bell Telephone Laboratories
William Randolph Lovelace II Lovelace Foundation for Medication Education and Research
S. K Hoffman General Manager, Rocketdyne Division, North American Aviation
Milton U Clauser Director, Aeronautical Research Laboratory, The Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation
H. Julian Allen Chief, High Speed Flight Research, NACA Ames
Robert R. Gilruth Assistant Director, NACA Langley
J. R. Dempsey Manager. Convair-Astronautics (Division of General Dynamics)
Carl B. Palmer Secretary to Committee, NACA Headquarters
H. Guyford Stever Chairman, Associate Dean of Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Hugh L. Dryden (ex officio), Director, NACA
Dale R. Corson Department of Physics, Cornell University
Abe Silverstein Associate Director, NACA Lewis
Wernher von Braun Director, Development Operations Division, Army Ballistic Missile Agency

NRC Committee on Human Exploration of Space[edit]

In 1990 Stever chaired a Committee on Human Exploration of Space for the National Research Council. The committee released a report titled, Human Exploration of Space: A Review of NASA's 90-Day Study and Alternatives.[8]



  • Fenton, Edwin (2000). Carnegie Mellon 1900-2000: A Centennial History. Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon University Press. ISBN 0-88748-323-2.
  • Stever, H. Guyford (2002). In War and Peace: My Life in Science and Technology. Joseph Henry Press. ISBN 0-309-08411-3.
  • H. Guyford Stever Oral History from IEEE via the Engineering and Technology History Wiki
  • Announcement of his death


Academic offices
Preceded by President of Carnegie Mellon University
Succeeded by
Government offices
Preceded by Director of the National Science Foundation
Succeeded by
Title last held by
Ed David

as Director of the Office of Science and Technology
Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy
Succeeded by