Russell Bennett Allen, 84, retired dean of the college of engineering at the University of Maryland in College Park, died of cancer Nov. 24 at his home in Denton, Md.

Mr. Allen was on the engineering faculty at Maryland from 1933 until he retired in 1966. He had been head of the department of civil engineering and assistant dean of the college of engineering before he was named dean.

He had lectured widely on engineering-related topics and had written dozens of articles and reports, including manuals for the Department of the Army on construction and surveying and on road building and airfields.

He also had been a consultant to the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, chairman of the board of standards and appeals for the Prince George's County building code and an examiner for the State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors.

He was a past president of the board of trustees of University United Methodist Church in College Park, a past president of the University of Maryland Faculty Club, a past president of the University of Maryland chapter of the American Association of University Professors, a director of the Prince George's Kiwanis Club and a former merit badge counselor for the Boy Scouts.

He was born in New Haven, Conn., and graduated from Yale University where he had also done graduate work in engineering and taught civil engineering. Before joining the Maryland faculty he was an engineer with the Boston & Maine Railroad. He lived in Silver Spring until he moved to Denton in 1976.

Mr. Allen is survived by his wife, Velma, of Denton; two daughters, Beatrice B. Nichols of Baltimore and Lorraine A. Warwick of Denton; a son, Thomas B. Allen of Annapolis; five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.