Texas A&M Engineering and the Department of Mechanical Engineering celebrated the careers of two senior faculty members with a retirement reception Wednesday (Dec. 15) in the Jack E. Brown Building on the Texas A&M University campus.
The reception recognized Dr. Ray Bowen, professor and president emeritus of Texas A&M University, and Dr. W. Dan Turner, professor and former director of the Texas Engineering Experiment Station’s Energy Systems Laboratory.
“I looked it up and between the two of them, they have almost 90 years of experience in higher education,” said mechanical engineering department head Dr. Dennis O’Neal.
Bowen, who graduated from Texas A&M in 1958 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, became Texas A&M president in 1994 and may be best-known for leading the university through the turmoil that followed the collapse of the 1999 Aggie Bonfire. He joined the mechanical engineering faculty in 2002.
Dr. Kumbakonam “K.R.” Rajagopal, Distinguished Professor of mechanical engineering, Regents Professor and holder of the Forsyth Chair in Mechanical Engineering, and a renowned pioneer in continuum mechanics, praised Bowen’s accomplishments as a scholar.
“When I was offered the job [at Texas A&M], I took it because this was a university that had a scholar as president,” he said.
Turner joined the mechanical engineering faculty in 1981 and was the founding director of the TEES Energy Systems Laboratory, which specializes in efficient use of energy in non-residential buildings. ESL was founded in 1984 as the Energy Management Group.
Turner helped write guidelines for the statewide LoanSTAR (Loans to Save Taxes and Resources), a $98.6 million revolving loan fund for energy efficiency retrofits in public buildings. To date, LoanSTAR has saved Texans more than $160 million.
Associate professor Dr. Warren Heffington said Turner was an excellent teacher who has been widely recognized for his abilities in the classroom.
“He deserves all the awards he has received,” Heffington said.