McConnaughay, Kenneth E. (1900-1975) | Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections
Kenneth E. "Mac" McConnaughay was born in Chicago in 1900 and reared in Benton County. He came to West Lafayette in 1939. He graduated from Fowler High School and was a member of the Purdue University Class of 1921, as a candidate for the bachelor of science degree in civil engineering. He completed the requirements for the degree in 3 1/2 years, but because of military service during World War I, his diploma is dated 1922.
Purdue conferred an honorary doctor of engineering degree on him in 1973.
A licensed barber, he worked his way through Purdue by cutting hair. He came from a long line of barbers who lived in Benton County.
After graduation from Purdue, he worked for the Indiana Department of Conservation and for the Indiana State Highway Department. In 1923 he joined the Hayes Construction Company where he moved from clerk to construction superintendent and later, in 1926, became a full partner.
From 1933 until his death he was president of the firm that bears his name. He personally developed the laboratory that was responsible for the multitude of inventions in the asphalt field. Mr. McConnaughay was the founder and guiding force behind the engineering that literally changed the roadbuilding business, not only in the United States, but throughout the world. His inventions in the emulsifier and machinery fields helped the industry to produce more than 300 million gallons of emulsified asphalt. He was the holder of more than 50 patents.
He was a registered professional engineer in Indiana, was a Sagamore of the Wabash, a Kentucky Colonel, and was an honorary lieutenant colonel and aide de camp of the Alabama State Militia.
He held memberships in the Highway Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences, American Society for Testing and Materials, National Asphalt Pavement Association, Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists and Local 68 of the Journeymen Barbers, Hairdressers, Cosmetologists and Proprietors International Union of America.