M. Lucius Walker Jr., a professor emeritus of mechanical engineering and former dean of Howard University’s engineering school, died June 6 at a care center in Harwood, Md. He was 76.

The cause was lung cancer, said his son, Mark Walker.

Dr. Walker, a Silver Spring resident, taught mechanical engineering for 44 years at Howard before retiring in 2002. He served as acting dean from 1975 to 1977 and as dean from 1978 to 1995.

At Howard, he co-founded two scholastic organizations that worked to increase the number of minority students in engineering. He received a 1988 black engineer of the year award from U.S. Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine and Howard’s distinguished alumni achievement award in 2008.

M. Lucius Walker Jr. — his full name at birth — was a native Washingtonian. He graduated from Armstrong High School at 15 in 1951 and in 1957 became the Howard engineering school’s first summa cum laude graduate. He received a master’s degree in 1958 and a doctorate in 1966, both in mechanical engineering, from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Dr. Walker sat on the board of directors at Carnegie Mellon University, the Alexandria-based nonprofit group Junior Engineering Technical Society, and the Center for Naval Analyses, a military-affiliated think tank in Alexandria. His memberships included the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and Tau Beta Pi, an engineering honor society.

Survivors include his wife of 52 years, from whom he had been separated since 1983, Oswaldene Cocking Walker of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands; two children, Mark Walker of Marina del Rey, Calif., and Monique Walker of New Orleans; and six grandchildren.

— Megan McDonough