Cockrell School of Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin


Fred Fox Professional Hi-res

Fred Kerwin Fox's technological contributions to the field of petroleum engineering continue to influence industry operations today.

Orphaned at age 13, Fox attended Allen Academy in McAllen, Texas. At 17, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and served as a flamethrower and machine gunner in the South Pacific. He received the Purple Heart after receiving multiple life-threatening wounds. In 1945, with the help of the G.I. Bill, Fox enrolled at The University of Texas at Austin to study petroleum engineering. He earned his bachelor's degree in 1949 and his master's degree in 1950. On V-J Day, he danced on Congress Avenue to celebrate the end of the war.

Fox went on to found Engineering Enterprises, Inc. to commercialize his now-patented spiral NO-WALL-STICKĀ® drill collar, which is still used around the world. He also formed New Ulm Gas, Ltd., New Bremen, Ltd. and other companies to drill wells. He later developed a down-hole motor and turbine.

Fox dedicated much of his time to strengthening U.S. relations with Micronesia and the islands for which he and his fellow Marines fought. Writings and recordings of Fox's work to make Micronesia the 51st state are preserved at the Peleliu exhibit in the Nimitz Museum in Fredericksburg, Texas.

A devoted Texan, Fox served as Houston's director of civil defense under Mayor Fred Hofheinz and worked to protect and help Houston recover from Hurricane Carmen in 1974. In the 1980s, he returned to Austin to live near the university. Throughout his career, Fox obtained 38 patents, wrote for the magazines World Oil, Offshore and Oil & Gas Journal, authored technical papers for the Society of Petroleum Engineers and lectured at seminars and conferences. In 1990, the Cockrell School of Engineering named him a Distinguished Engineering Graduate, and he presented his son, William Casey Fox (B.S. ME 1982, M.S. BME 1984, Ph.D. BME 1990), with his doctorate diploma while on stage.

Fox passed away in June 2008 in Austin, Texas. He is survived by his wife, Lillian; his sons, Fred, Thomas and Casey; and Casey's wife Nancy and their children Fred and Heather.

 

Questions?

Contact Catherine Campbell at 512-471-3208