In Memory of Carroll Blake Gambrell Jr., P.E.

January/February 2017

NSPE Today
In Memory of Carroll Blake Gambrell Jr., P.E.

Carroll Blake Gambrell Jr., P.E.Longtime NSPE member and founding dean of Mercer University’s School of Engineering Carroll Blake Gambrell Jr., P.E., died November 17 at the age of 91.

Gambrell also was a member of the Georgia Society of Professional Engineers, which created a scholarship fund in honor of him and his wife, Olive.

Before becoming dean of Mercer’s School of Engineering upon its establishment in 1985, Gambrell was a faculty member at Purdue University and Arizona State University and served as vice president of academic affairs at Florida Technological University (now the University of Central Florida).

While at Mercer, located in Macon, Georgia, Gambrell was named the first Georgia Kaolin Industry Endowed Chair in Engineering in 1987 and helped establish the Mercer Engineering Research Center in Warner Robins, Georgia, which he also directed from 1987–95. He retired as dean emeritus of the School of Engineering and as vice president of research for the university in 1997. He was named a Mercer National Engineering Advisory Board Fellow in 2000.

Gambrell was born on December 1, 1924, in Birmingham, Alabama. He studied engineering at the University of Alabama, was a member of the ROTC program, and enlisted in the US Army Reserve.

He was called to active duty in April 1943 and sent to Yale University to continue his engineering education, after which he served in the Army’s 276th Engineer Combat Battalion in Europe during World War II. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge and received the Purple Heart for combat duty in Central Europe and the Battle for Remagen Bridge. On April 10, 2013, he was awarded the French Legion of Honor Medal for his service in World War II.

After the war, Gambrell earned his bachelor of science in engineering from Clemson University, master of science in engineering from the University of Florida, and PhD in industrial engineering from Purdue University.

He was also a member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers and the American Society of Engineering Education, and he served on the board of ABET. He conducted more than 40 accreditation visits in the US and abroad.