William O. Mehuron

For his outstanding engineering accomplishments in the military, government, and private industry, the Schools of Engineering are proud to present, for the Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award, William O. Mehuron.

Vice President and General Manager
Networks and Information Security Division
Unisys Corporation
BSEE '59

After graduating from Purdue, Dr. Mehuron received master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. He then worked for 15 years in private industry in system engineering of command and control, intelligence, radar, and missile systems. In the mid and late '70s he served with the U.S. Navy as technical director of naval intelligence and director of the Navy's research and development planning. He served as director of research and engineering for the National Security Agency from 1981 to 1985, receiving the Distinguished Executive Rank Award and the NSA Exceptional Civilian Service Award in recognition of his accomplishments. Dr. Mehuron returned to private industry in 1985 as a vice president for Daisy Systems Corp., and joined Unisys Corp. in 1988. In his current position he oversees all aspects of Unisys' business unit that addresses the defense and information security market. The division's products include, for example, secure/trusted high-performance new works and communications security systems.

  • "I remember being at Purdue at a time of intense and exciting change in the electrical engineering field," says Dr. Mehuron. "We didn't have any textbooks because things were changing so fast. The professors depended on mimeograph s to keep the courses current. I think we were fortunate to be at Purdue because many of the professors there were at the forefront of the changes themselves."

  • "There was a unique environment at Purdue in those days because many of the students were veterans from the Korean War. They all wanted to get on with things and were quite serious in their studies. That created a competitive environment and I think it helped me."

His advice for the graduating engineer:

"Be prepared for change--and I mean dramatic change. You have to be adaptable, flexible, and accept that absolutely nothing will be constant in your field."