Bowen Engineering Founder to Teach at Purdue

Having interviewed Bob Bowen for a BizVoice article in the past, I can vouch for the fact that it rarely takes him long to bring up his passion for Purdue University. (Funny, during the conversation, I conveniently neglected to mention the four years I spent in Bloomington.) Now, the founder of Bowen Engineering Corporation, a thriving central Indiana company that has many Boilers on staff, will parlay his passion for Purdue into helping a new generation of graduates:

Robert Bowen, founder and chairman of Bowen Engineering Corp., is the first Hancher Distinguished Fellow, teaching a class in construction engineering and management at Purdue University this fall.

Donn Hancher was one of the founding faculty members of the College of Engineering’s Division of Construction Engineering and Management. He earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in civil engineering at Purdue and was a faculty member for 16 years.

The teaching fellowship will be funded by an endowment set up by engineering alumni, including Bowen.

While fundraising for the endowment is still under way, Bowen is volunteering his time to teach during the fall semester. His class, "Leadership and Advanced Project Management," focuses on the technical challenges of the construction industry and the managerial decisions needed to keep a project moving forward.

"Donn Hancher and Bob Bowen have something key in common: They both are passionate about the success of Purdue’s CEM program and its students," said Mark Hastak, head of construction engineering and management.

When fully funded, the Hancher fellowship will be a renewable, three-to-five-year teaching appointment, Hastak said. The idea is to find professionals who are willing to share their experience and knowledge with future leaders in the industry.

"CEM has been searching for ways to involve industry leaders in the classroom, and the Hancher Distinguished Fellow is perfect," Hastak said.

The classes will involve more than war stories, he added. "The Hancher Fellow will push our students to a better understanding of the challenges they will face and the skills they will need."