Wilbur C. Schoeller

Wilbur C. Schoeller’s Background

Wilbur C. Schoeller was born in Fox River Grove, Illinois, on July 19, 1923, the son of Edythe Black and Charles Schoeller. After graduating from high school in San Diego, California, in 1941 he studied engineering for one year at San Diego State College. In January 1943 he enlisted with the U.S. Navy, and later that year the Navy sent him to the University of Texas to study under the V- 12 training program. He graduated from the University of Texas on October 1945 with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. Upon graduation, he married Betty J. Horne, of Dallas.

After finishing a tour of active duty in the U.S. Navy in June of 1946, he worked as a structural steel detailer for a short period. He then decided to return to the University of Texas, where he studied for the degree of Master of Science in Civil Engineering, which was awarded to him in August 1948. During this period, Dr. Schoeller worked at the University of Texas as an Instructor in Civil Engineering.

In 1949, Dr. Schoeller worked for a year as an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at Southern Methodist University. The following year he joined the Lamar State College of Technology as a full professor, and Head of the Department of Civil Engineering, where he served until, June of 1955.

He left Lamar State College to work for Convair in Ft. Worth as a structural engineer doing stress analyses for about six months and was later on transferred to the Structures Research Group where he was promoted to Project Structures Engineer.

In February 1958, Dr. Schoeller returned to Southern Methodist University, where he was appointed as a Professor in the Civil Engineering Department. While at SMU he conducted graduate research under the Sponsorship of the National Science Foundation. During his tenure at SMU, Dr. Schoeller authored a number of papers, handbooks, and other publications. He was one of the first structural engineers in the country to apply the Stiffness Matrix Method of Structural Analyses and is credited with the development and implementation of several computer programs for structural analyses which are still being utilized by structural engineering consultants.

In 1961 Dr. Schoeller took a leave of absence from SMU to work on his Ph.D. dissertation at the University of Texas, obtaining his Doctor in Philosophy degree in 1963. His academic activities included serving as a Professor at Southern Methodist University, the University of Texas at Austin, and at Arizona State University. Dr. Schoeller practiced extensively as a consulting engineer and was associated for a long period of time with the Dallas office of Ellisor and Tanner. He was also Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Houston office of E&T. He was a Registered Professional Engineer in the States of Texas and Arizona.

In his personal life, he was a devoted husband and father, very proud of his four daughters, Susan Jeanne, Janet Elaine, Margaret Ellen, and Nancy. He was well-liked by all his colleagues who respected him for his academic achievements and engineering abilities. Dr. Schoeller was recognized as one of the best structural engineers in the State of Texas, and a credit to the Engineering profession.

Dr. Schoeller was one of the founding members of SEAoT (Structural Engineers Association of Texas). Because his name is associated with dedication to teaching, and the practice and advancement of the structural engineering profession, the Wilbur C. Schoeller Award was created in his honor to be presented to a member of the Structural Engineers Association of Texas for specific achievement or attainment of noteworthy prominence in the structural engineering profession.