Robert M. Drake Jr.
Monday 13th of December 1920 - Thursday 20th of February 2020
Robert M Drake Jr, 99, long time Lexington resident and former Dean of the UK College of Engineering, died on Thursday February 20 at home with his family. He was born 13 December 1920 in Eagle Cliff, Georgia. His early schooling was in St Elmo, Tennessee ( Chattanooga ) and the Lexington Ky grade schools. He graduated from Ruddles Mill High School, Bourbon Co. Kentucky, then attended the University of Kentucky College of Engineering graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Class of 1942. He served in the US Army Air Corps during World War II stationed at Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio. Following his military service he joined the faculty of the College of Engineering, University of California, Berkeley from which he earned a Master's and Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering. He went on to join the faculty at Princeton University as Chairman of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and then joined the faculty of the University of Kentucky as Chairman of Mechanical Engineering and then Dean of the College of Engineering in 1966 a position he held until 1971. Following his academic career, he turned to industrial pursuits and served as Corporate Vice President for Research and Development for Combustion Engineering Inc and then founder or co-founder and director of five high technology start up firms later sold to larger companies interested in acquiring the respective technologies.
During his career he was a long time member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers ( ASME) and the American Institute of Astronautics and Aeronautics (AIAA) serving on technical committees of each. He was a registered Professional Engineer in the states of California and Kentucky; elected a Fellow in the American Society of Professional Engineers in 1973; elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1974; elected a Member of the Hall of Distinguished Alumni of the University of Kentucky in 1975; elected in 1995 to the University of Kentucky College of Engineering Hall of Distinction. He was the author or co-author of over one hundred technical papers and reports in the US and abroad. He was co-author with Dr Ernst Eckert of two technical books on heat and mass transfer.
He was a long time resident of Lexington, member of Lexington Country Club, an avid golfer and wood worker all his life. He was married to Jane M Drake who predeceased him. He subsequently married Georgia M Martin. Together they have four children, Dianne E Drake (deceased) of Lexington, Kevin R Drake of Cincinnati Ohio, Janet Martin Snapp of Lakeland Florida and Thomas G Martin Jr of Brevard NC. Together they have eight grandchildren and twelve great- grandchildren.
Services will be held Thursday February 27 at 2 pm with visitation from 1 to 2 pm at the Milward -Man O' War, 1509 Trent Blvd., Lexington Ky 40515. No flowers please. Other arrangements are private.
To the family, my sincere condolences for your loss. Please find comfort in the knowledge that God promises to end all suffering. Before long, God will wipe out every tear from our eyes, and “death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things (will) have passed away.”(Rev. 21:3,4). May this promise from God give you comfort now and a real hope for the future. My deepest sympathy.