Richard K. Pefley was appointed Chairman of the Mechanical Engineering Department, Santa Clara University, upon receipt of his Master of Science degree from Stanford University in 1951. He became interested in alternative fuels in the early 1970s and became one of the leading authorities in this field, his expertise being highly regarded in the United States and in many other countries. Most of his work regarding alternative fuels involved the use of methanol as an alternative to gasoline.
Mr. Pefley has also been active in research in solar energy, artificial lung development, human calorimetry, the solution of heat transfer problems, and gas dynamics of the Polaris missile.
He has produced more than 70 publications during the past 20 years, most of which are related to alternative fuels. In 1994, he presented a paper to the Royal Technical Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.
Mr. Pefley has been recognized as an outstanding teacher of mechanical engineering by his peers and his many students during his career at Santa Clara University. By directly involving his students in his numerous research projects, he encouraged many of them to become knowledgeable in the expanding field of alternative fuels.