John M. Allen IV

BSEE ‘79

From U.S. intelligence to business and the race track, John Allen’s 39-year career has been in the fast lane spanning multiple engineering disciplines.

Allen, born in Defiance, Ohio, and raised in Selma, Alabama, graduated from Selma High School in 1975, and received a U.S. Air Force ROTC scholarship. As a high school student, he worked at local radio and television stations, sparking his interest in electronics and engineering. In 1979, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from The University of Alabama. During college, Allen spent his summers working in the power house at Hammermill Paper Company and learned power generation and distribution.

From 1979 to 1983, Allen served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force as a scientific and technical intelligence officer. He worked at the Foreign Technology Division of Air Force Systems Command and analyzed Soviet radars and avionics to determine any vulnerabilities to electronic warfare. During this time, he authored more than 30 classified publications, presented papers at international electronics conferences, and briefed his analysis results to the highest levels of the U.S. government, including the Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, and the executive offices of the White House. He left active duty in 1983 and chose to continue his military service in the U.S. Air Force Reserve.

A year earlier, Allen received a degree in business management from Central Michigan University. His career in the aerospace industry began at GeoDynamics Corporation. At GeoDynamics, Allen worked on a project for the North American Aerospace Defense Command where he evaluated the vulnerability of U.S. satellite systems to foreign directed energy weapons and jamming threats. He gained technical experience in satellite ground system acquisition, spacecraft operations and test, system integration, infrared processing, signal processing, software engineering, satellite communications and radar systems.

In 1995, Allen was named executive vice president of Advanced Systems Engineering, Inc. He helped double the size of the company in just four years. Allen then founded and served as CEO of Information Technology Engineering Corporation. The company grew to more than 275 employees and served clients like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Honeywell and other projects vital to national security. He sold it to Fahrenheit IT in 2015.

Allen retired from the Air Force Reserve in 2000 with the rank of major. His interest in high-performance driving and automotive engineering led him to begin amateur level car racing in 2013. He raced in the Pirelli World Challenge Pro Series from 2015 to 2017 and currently holds lap records at Road Atlanta, High Plains Raceway, and NOLA Motorsports Park. Allen earned a second-place finish in the Porsche Club of America National Championship in 2016, and he finished third at the 24 Hours of Dubai in 2017.

Along with his high-school sweetheart and wife of 40 years, Sheila, he is committed to philanthropic work with the John and Sheila Allen Family Foundation, and he also is a supporter of the UA EcoCar3 team. The couple have four children, Kristen, Ryan, Eric and Reid.