Dr. Richard J. Gowen
Born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Richard Gowen received a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Rutgers University in 1957. Shortly after joining the RCA Research Laboratories, he was called to active duty with the Air Force as a communications-electronics officer. In 1959, the Air Force selected him to pursue graduate studies at Iowa State University and in May 1961, he was awarded the M.S. in electrical engineering with a minor in bio-medical engineering and in May 1962, he received the Ph.D. in electrical engineering with minors in bio-medical engineering and mathematics.
Dr. Gowen joined the faculty of the Air Force Academy and was promoted through both academic and military ranks. He retired from the Academy in 1977 as a professor of electrical engineering with the rank of lieutenant colonel. While at the Air Force Academy, he directed the joint NASA-Air Force space medical instrumentation program specializing in the effects of weightlessness on the cardiovascular system. He led the design of medical experiments in the Apollo and Skylab space programs. He was a member of the NASA astronaut medical launch recovery team for six capsule space flights. He also served as a consultant to various government agencies for the development of medical, communications, and computer systems.
Following retirement from the Air Force in 1977, Dr. Gowen joined the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology as Vice President and Dean of Engineering. In this role, he applied his experience in the development of technology to help guide the continued growth of excellence in the education of engineers and scientists.
In August of 1984, Richard Gowen was appointed President of Dakota State College to implement its new mission as a center for the enhancement of all levels of education through the use of computers and other advanced technologies. Under his leadership, Dakota State pioneered new ways to increase the effectiveness of the learning processes that are now being applied at colleges and programs in the elementary, secondary, and vocational schools.
He was appointed President of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in January 1987 and served both institutions as President until July when Dr. Jerald Tunheim was named as his successor at Dakota State. He served as President of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology until his retirement in June 2003.
Throughout his career, Dr. Gowen has been extremely active in professional and local organizations, as well as corporate and community boards. In 1984 he was elected as President of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the world’s largest professional organization. He also served as President of the American Association of Engineering Societies.
Source: Biography and resume of Richard J. Gowen
Written 2003 by Linda Brozik, DSU President's Office
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