Stephen Smith Davis, 67, professor and former dean of Howard University School of Engineering and Architecture, died Saturday of a stroke at Georgetown University Hospital.
Mr. Davis was the vice chairman of the District of Columbia Redevelopment Land Agency during 1967-75. He had been a member of the District's Board of Appeals and Review since 1959.
During a 36-year career as a teacher at Howard, Mr. Davis also performed reseach for the U.S. government on submarine technology and missile development.
He was an aeronautical research engineer with the Naval Ordnance Laboratory in White Oak, Md., during 1954-1961, acting as a consultant during the school year and working as a research engineer during the summers.
While working at the laboratory, he coauthored a report on the development of the liquid annular-type (ring) air compressor, which was published by the Office of Naval Research.
In addition to helping in the development of the air compressor, a device used on submarines, Mr. Davis invented the flexible wall-wind tunnel nozzle, another submarine mechanism.
Mr. Davis began his teaching career in 1938. He took a two-year leave from Howard in 1943 to work as a mechanical engineer with the National Bureau of Standards. There he designed and developed equipment for air-to-sea missiles.
A registered professional engineer in the District and Maryland, Mr. Davis worked privately as an engineer from 1938 to 1953. He specialized in heating, ventilating and air conditioning engineering.
In 1962, he became the head of Howard's department of mechanical engineering and 1964 the dean of Howard's School of Engineering and Architecture. Mr. Davis left the dean's post in 1970. The school he headed now has split into two separate schools.
Mr. Davis taught classes in thermal environmental control, thermo-dynamics, power-plant technology and heat transfer.
He was also involved in numerous civic activities in the District. In addition to his work on the RLA and the Board of Appeals and Review, he was vice chairman of the Joint Board on Science Education for Metropolitan Washington.
He served on the board of directors of the District of Columbia Society of Professional Engineers and the Council for a Clean Potomac.
Mr. Smith was chairman of the northwest sector for the Boy Scouts of America's $3 million drive in the 1960s for a new scout camping site in Virginia.
Born in Philadelphia, Mr. Davis was a 1933 graduate of Lowell Institute in Massachusetts. He received a bachelor of science degree from Howard University in 1936, and a master's degree from Harvard University in 1946.
He did postgraduate study in mathematics, education, and nuclear engineering at four schools.
Mr. Davis was a member of several professional organizations, including American Society of Mechanical Engineering: American Society for Education: National Technicians Association and the National Association of Professional Engineers.
He was a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity and the Cosmos Club. He was an amateur photographer and sailor in his spare time.
Mr. Davis is survived by his wife of 38 years. Allen H., of the home; a son, Stephen H. and a granddaughter, Stephanie A., both of the District.