Walter M. May

Distinguished Service Citation Award 1983

He retired from Mack Trucks, Inc in 1982 after forty-three years of loyal service.

In 1939 he joined Mack as a student engineer and by 1941 he was a test engineer. Many special promotions were his from 1943 until 1957 when he became Vice President of Engineering, 1964 Vice President of Operations, 1968 Executive Vice President of Operations and in 1969 until retirement was Executive Vice President of Product and Engineering

The brilliant engineering concepts and ideas he brought to reality are many and form a product history.

His influence covered not one or two but all aspects of the vehicle because he was a truck specialist.

Some of the most significant achievements at Mack during the period came in the powertrain development enabling the company to pioneer the dieselization of heavy-duty trucks.

May’s most widely acclaimed achievement was the Maxidyne/Maxitorque powertrain introduced in 1966. The coinvention by May and Win Pelizzoni was the greatest breakthrough in diesel technology of the era.

Then in 1981 the Econodyne extended even greater advantages.

Over the years May worked to make their Engineering Development Test Center in Allentown the most advanced facility of its type and trained engineers to produce exceptional products. The first product of a $100 million new model will be unveiled in 1983.

More than twenty-two patents have been granted to him both in the United States and many foreign countries.

He was an active Society of Automotive Engineers member and participated in many associations that are transportation and/or truck related.

His local community involvement includes Allentown Osteopathic Hospital; Lehigh County Chamber of Commerce; MIT Club of Lehigh Valley; Lehigh Valley Engineers Club; YMCA; L. United Fund; Lehigh Valley Boy Scouts of America.

May has made outstanding contributions and accomplishments in design and development of North America’s only completely integrated heavy-duty truck company. He kept Mack Truck in the fuel economy race with innovative designs, diesel engines, transmissions, carriers and heavy-duty trucks.

From an historical perspective, May can be counted among those who profoundly impacted the character of the Mack product, and lent direction to the hundreds of talented engineers who have contributed to this excellence through the years. He developed a strong, experienced and inventive team at Mack who will carry on the programs set up by him for the future.

In February 1982 the Society of Automotive Engineers bestowed the Fellow grade of membership upon him, a high honor reserved for those who reach exceptional professional distinction by virtue of sustained accomplishment in automotive or related engineering.

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