Each year the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences gives its highest honor, the Dean's Award for Achievement, to someone who has made a substantial contribution to the practice of engineering or the applied sciences and/or has had an exceptional professional career. Quite often the recipient has also performed outstanding service for the School or University. This year’s recipient Mr. Douglas P. Taylor, a 1971 recipient of a UB BS in Mechanical Engineering, has excelled in all of these areas.
Doug is president of Taylor Devices, Inc., a successful publicly-held, world-wide manufacturing firm located in North Tonawanda, NY. He is also president of Tayco Developments, Inc., a research arm of Taylor Devices.
Established in 1955 by Doug’s father Paul, Taylor Devices is a leading manufacturer of vibration and shock absorbing and isolation products. For more than 50 years, the company has been a leading provider of precision equipment including full analysis, development, manufacturing and testing capabilities to satisfy the most exacting of customer requirements, including those of the U. S. Department of Defense and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. For example, his company’s products have been used on MX Missile silos as well as NASA launching platforms.
Doug and his company have truly helped write an incredible chapter of success for this School and its connection and contributions to business and community. In the late 1980s Doug began a relationship with UB’s then National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research that has revolutionized civil engineering’s design of buildings and bridges in seismically prone regions worldwide — the use of shock and vibration control technologies in civil infrastructure systems. The success of this venture has not only transformed civil engineering practice, it has added a substantial new revenue stream to his company’s business, and it has spurred significant job growth at his local manufacturing facility. Annual sales at the firm have grown from $3 million to more than $16 million over this period of time. Today, Taylor dampers can be found on the world’s tallest of buildings and most monumental of structures including Malaysia’s Petronas Towers, Mexico City’s Torre Mayor building, and Los Angeles City Hall, as well as London’s Millennium Bridge.
But the story and the association with UB do not begin or end with these successes. Doug and his company have long mentored UB’s civil and mechanical engineering students through internships. He generously gives of his time to meet and speak with students whenever he is called upon to do so. He also shows a preference toward hiring UB graduates, with almost his entire engineering staff earning their degrees at this institution.
Doug is also a generous contributor to the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering’s Structural Engineering and Earthquake Simulation Laboratory and the School’s Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research, serving on the latter’s Industry Advisory Board. Beyond these contributions, and in the midst of tireless world travels for business, he also makes time to give back to his community, serving in civic and cultural capacities. Presently, Doug is chairman of the Lumber City Development Corporation and is a board member of the Chamber of Commerce of the Tonawandas.
He holds more than 30 U.S. and international patents on mechanical and hydraulic systems. He is also the author or co-author of more than 45 publications and presentations on shock and vibration control.
Doug is a member of the U. S. Department of Commerce Passive Energy Dissipation Devices Oversight Committee, as well as the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Committee to Evaluate the Seismic Performance of Bridges.
Among his honors, he is a recipient of the Clifford C. Furnas Memorial Award (1999) from the University at Buffalo Alumni Association, the Franklin and Jefferson Medal (1998) from the Small Business High Technology Institute, and the Henry C. Pusey Best Paper Award (1996) at the 67th Shock and Vibration Symposium.
It has been said, “You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.” The life of Douglas P. Taylor has certainly been made wonderful not only by what he himself has achieved, but also by how he has so personally and loyally given. Honoring him today with the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences 2006 Dean’s Award duly recognizes his exceptional contributions to the fields of mechanical and civil engineering, and his generous contributions to his alma mater.