Engineering, and his primary section was materials, with a secondary interest in earth resources engineering. Walter served as co-chairman of the National Academy of Sciences “Forum on Coal as an Energy Resource: Conflicts and Consensus” in 1977. He served on the AIME Council of Economics Meetings in the 1970s. He was a participant at the Oak Ridge meeting of Future Strategies for Energy Development in 1976. He served on the Engineering Manpower Commission (EMC) of the Engineers Joint Council, and he chaired the EMC’s Conference on Measuring and Forecasting Engineering Personnel Requirements in 1978. He was also part of the organizing committee for the 1978 Conference on National Materials Policy.
For the National Academy of Engineering, he served on its council from 1968 until 1971, was a member of its Panel on Community Systems from 1979 until 1983, and was a member of its Committee on Industrial Energy Conservation from 1980 until 1986. He chaired both the Materials Advisory Board and the Building Research Advisory Board of the National Research Council and served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on the Survey of Materials Science and Engineering.
Walter authored more than 125 technical and economic policy reports related to materials, minerals, energy, and the environment.
His son, Doug, remembers that when he and his siblings were young, “My Dad would sit at the top of the stairs and play a ukulele and sing us songs to help us go to sleep.” Doug noted that this father was very proud of his football letter from Wesleyan, especially because he was a chemistry major and due to the lab work he needed to complete, he could not practice as much as nonscience majors. He worked his way through college and sent money home. He was also proud of the key blocks he made in 1938 against the University of Rochester and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
Walter was active as a vestry member in an Episcopal Church in Schenectady and an Anglican Church in Blacksburg and taught Sunday School in Schenectady and New Haven.