Born in Alberta, Canada, on Oct. 24, 1930, Price was known for his expertise in safety and human factors engineering. He founded and directed the Safety Projects Laboratory at Virginia Tech and developed the occupational safety and health curriculum that is still being taught today.
After graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1948, Price went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in religion from Bob Jones University; a bachelor’s and master’s degree in divinity from California Baptist Seminary; a master’s degree in psychology from California State University at Long Beach; and his Ph.D. in industrial engineering from Texas A&M University.
During the earliest stages of his career, Price worked as a research associate for Texas A&M in College Station, Texas, and as a technical staff member of the autonetics division for Rockwell International in Anaheim, California.
Hired as an assistant professor in Virginia Tech’s industrial systems engineering department in 1974, he advanced to become a full professor, director of the Safety Projects Laboratory, and coordinator of the Human Factors Engineering area before being granted the title of professor emeritus in 1996.
He was an active member of several leading professional societies, including the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, the American Society of Safety Professionals, the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, and the International System Safety Society. He was also a member of the industrial engineering honor society Alpha Pi Mu.
Price received many national awards, among them the 1992 Educator of the Year Award from the International Systems Safety Society and the Jack A. Kraft Innovator Award from the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.
He notably served two terms on the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board. His first term was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1989, and his second term was reappointed by President George H.W. Bush.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 47 years, Barbara Shelton Price. He is survived by his daughter, Denice Lynn Tsugawa, and his son, Philip Walter Price. He also leaves three grandchildren, Jessica J. Kotler, Allison C. Thomas, and Keanu R. Thomas; one great-grandchild, Ren Kotler; a sister, June W. Graham; and a brother, Roy C. Price.