Steven G. Gegg, PhD., Class of 1978

IMG_1613Steve Gegg grew up on the family farm near River Aux Vases, Missouri, with his two sisters, and parents, Cletus and Betty Gegg. Steve loved working on the farm with his father and grandfather, and developed a strong work ethic that remained with him throughout his life. As a student at Ste. Genevieve High School, Steve’s combination of intelligence, work ethic, and leadership qualities laid the foundation that would serve him well in his life. Steve was Class Valedictorian of the Class of 1978, served as State Vice President for the FFA, and was awarded the Outstanding Senior Boy Award for the Class of 1978. He participated in National Honor Society, basketball, and band.

Mr. Gegg received the Curator’s scholarship to attend the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Missouri in 1982 with a bachelor of science degree in Mechanical Engineering. In 1983, he earned his Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, and began his engineering career in the research laboratory at Allison Gas Turbine Division of General Motors. While at Allison Gas Turbine, he began work in the area of gas turbine engines and turbomachinery components, evaluation, and implementation, and he would eventually become an engine hot-section design expert.

Lifetime milestones continued with 1985 becoming an important year in Mr. Gegg’s life. In July, he married Rachelle Williams. He was also awarded the General Motors Fellowship to earn his doctoral degree and enrolled in the Iowa State University’s doctoral program. As part of his doctoral program, his research work took him to the NASA/Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. Upon completion of his thesis on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), he was awarded his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State University in 1989.

Dr. Gegg returned to work at Allison Gas Turbine in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1989 and remained in their research department for the next 24 years. His work in the Advanced Turbomachinery Group and the Turbine Aero Design Group led to his position of Chief of Turbine Aerodynamics for Rolls-Royce, which had purchased Allison Gas Turbine in 1996. Dr. Gegg was named a Rolls-Royce Associate Fellow in 2010. Dr. Gegg led a group of engineers who drove the design and support for all Rolls-Royce legacy turbine aircraft engines with emphasis on a systematic, physics-based design approach with tightly coupled design tools. His productive and influential career in engineering led to many technical contributions and advancements in the development of aerodynamic turbine engines.

Steve’s work took him to England, Germany, and Spain, and he served as the Rolls-Royce University Liaison at home and abroad. He was awarded the “2013 Inspirational Leadership Award” by Rolls-Royce Indianapolis. Dr. Gegg served as the mentor for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Whittle Fellowship, and was a session chair for the International Gas Turbine Institute, and a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Steve and Rachelle Gegg settled into a home on five acres near Indianapolis, Indiana, so their four children – Matthew, Hannah, Aaron, and Peter – could have a “country” upbringing. Although Steve’s job was demanding of his time, he always made time for his family to enjoy their time growing up. Sadly, Steve succumbed to a brain tumor on January 16, 2014, after a very short illness. He was known to family, friends, and colleagues as a genuinely warm, caring, wonderful Christian person who was an inspiration to many whose lives he touched. Steve’s motto in life could best be summed up with what he told his children before they left for school each day; “Do your best! Nothin’ but the best.”