Tau Beta Pi Alumnus Eminent Engineer - David L. McPherson
July 8, 2011 — David L. McPherson earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 1962, and M.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1963, both from the University of Wyoming. He also received an M.S. in the Engineering Executive Program from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1971. Prior to his retirement in 1998, he served as Senior Vice President of Raytheon Company and Executive Vice President of Raytheon Systems Company and General Manager of the Defense Systems Segment. The Defense Systems Segment operations had $5.2 billion in revenues and 27,000 employees located primarily in Arizona, Texas, Massachusetts, California, and Washington. Prior to joining Raytheon, Dave was Senior Vice President of Hughes Aircraft Company and President of the Weapons Systems Segment – one of four major Hughes operating units. He led the consolidation activities of the General Dynamics missile businesses and the Hughes Missile Systems Group. As President of the new entity, the Hughes Missile Systems Company, he established a vision and change process resulting in leadership in market share and winning the Arizona Governor’s Quality Award, which is awarded competitively to the Malcolm Baldridge Criteria.
Dave began his career with General Dynamics in 1963, as a Research Engineer. Following various assignments in engineering and management, he was named Director of Advanced Projects in 1976 and Director of the Division Air Defense program in 1977. In 1981, he was appointed Vice President and Program Director for the Stinger Weapon Systems program, and in October 1985, became the Vice President of Research and Engineering for the Valley Systems Division. Prior to joining Hughes, he was Corporate Vice President and General Manager of General Dynamics’ Air Defense Systems Division.
Davis is active on the National Advisory Board for the University of Wyoming College of Engineering and Applied Science, with Arizona Quest for Kids, the Tucson Airport Authority and is on the Northern Trust Bank Advisory Board for Arizona and Colorado. Prior affiliations include the boards of the Tucson Chamber of Commerce, Tucson United Way, and San Antonio Hospital Foundation and membership in the Tucson 30, the UCLA Dean’s Council and the Harvey Mudd University Galileo Society.
Dave and his wife Susan reside in Tucson and have two sons, Dr. John McPherson of Nashville, Tennessee and David McPherson of Monarch Beach, California, and four grandchildren.