David Hoeppner MS’60, PhD’63 was an esteemed professor in mechanical engineering and an influential figure within the aerospace industry.
He was a pioneer in the fields of structural integrity and materials science. His success earned him much funding and support from various sources, as well as mentoring many students and researchers throughout their careers.
Early Life and Education
David Hoeppner was born in South Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He graduated from South Milwaukee High School in 1969 and went on to receive his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1973.
As a first year graduate student, he had the advantage of having several mentors. One professor from the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Missouri-Columbia served as an excellent teacher, mentor, and friend to him.
He then went on to earn his PhD in structural integrity from the same institution, setting up the first university-based center of excellence for structural integrity and materials science with assistance from both Office of Naval Research and Lockheed Labs – an achievement in itself and a major milestone for the aerospace industry.
David Hoeppner had an illustrious professional career in engineering. He held various positions within the aviation industry and served as professor at universities throughout North America and Canada.
He taught and supervised hundreds of undergraduate, 130 Masters, and 48 PhD students; also serving as a mentor and cultivating these individuals into successful engineers.
He was an accomplished educator, possessing a comprehensive understanding of materials science and mechanical engineering. His research and education had an immense impact on many industries and government agencies around the world; particularly in aerospace, transportation, oil & gas exploration as well as other disciplines within engineering.
Achievement and Honors
David hoeppner graduated from Waukesha High School before attending Marquette University to earn a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. Subsequently, he earned both a master’s and doctorate in metallurgical engineering.
After his dissertation was successful, Hoeppner joined Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, OH where he focused on developing gas turbines, airframe materials and artificial hearts.
He then embarked on research into fatigue, fracture mechanics, corrosion and fretting fatigue that would become the foundation for a lab at the University of Utah.
He served as professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he directed the Quality and Integrity Design Engineering Center. In addition to teaching courses on aerospace and mechanical engineering, he also supervised 48 Ph.D. students, 130 M.S. students, as well as over 200 undergraduate thesis projects and design projects.
After graduating from Marquette University, David Hoeppner spent time working in the aerospace industry at Battelle Memorial Institute and Lockheed. Later he became a professor of mechanical engineering at University of Missouri-Columbia and Endowed Cockburn Professor of Engineering Design at University of Toronto.
His research focused on fatigue, fracture mechanics, corrosion fatigue and fretting fatigue. Furthermore, he mentored hundreds of undergraduate students and 130 master’s degree candidates.
After joining the University of Utah, he founded its Structural Integrity Laboratory and Material Behavior Laboratory. Additionally, he provided consulting on structural integrity issues to government agencies as well as conducting design reviews for companies and RR in England. Throughout his career, he earned numerous awards and honors; lifelong member of the Society for Engineering Science, lifetime Fellow of American Society for Mechanical Engineering, and recipient of Utah Governor’s Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Science & Technology.
David Hoeppner has an estimated net worth of $650,000. He is a partner in the corporate practice at Gould & Ratner in Chicago, Illinois and specializes in mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments, general commercial law matters as well as corporate governance concerns.
He and Bridget Powers ’89 welcomed their son Marshall Fox Hoeppner into the world on June 4th, 2019. When not working or relaxing, Marshall enjoys riding his bike, hiking, skiing, swimming and gardening; visiting national parks to watch hummingbirds; being devoted husband and father – to name just a few of his interests! Additionally he’s been vaccinated and loved by many including students, colleagues and friends; thank you David for all that you’ve done for our society – your legacy will live on forever in our hearts forever.