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Memorial Tributes, Volume 12
MILTON CLAYTON SHAW 1915–2006
Elected in 1968
“For contributions to chemical synthesis, lubrication and bearing design,and machine tool design and performance.”
BY RANGA KOMANDURI AND BARBARA SHAW ZITZEWITZ
SUBMITTED BY THE NAE HOME SECRETARY
MILTON SHAW, a distinguished and influential educator in manufacturing engineering, died on September 7, 2006, at the age of 91. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 1968 for his contributions to chemical synthesis, lubrication and bearing design, and machine tool design and performance.
Shaw was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 27, 1915, to parents who had little formal education but were hard workers and instilled in him a solid sense of values. As a boy, he was active in the Boy Scouts; he became an Eagle Scout and then a Sea Scout. When he finished high school, his parents borrowed against his father’s life insurance so he could enter a five-year cooperative program at Drexel University leading to a B.Sc. in mechanical engineering, which he received in 1938. For six months of each of the second, third, and fourth years, he worked in industry; he also joined the Reserve Officers Training Corp. His experiences in these programs were invaluable, and the wages he earned offset his expenses. Upon graduation, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Infantry Reserve.
Shaw graduated during the worst part of the Depression when jobs of any sort were difficult to find. Fortunately, a physicist from the University of Cincinnati came looking for an