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2007 Honorary Degree

Robert Bowen
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Robert Bowen has distinguished himself in the construction industry as the founder and owner of Bowen Engineering Corp., a multi-market company specializing in water and wastewater  treatment plants and energy utility construction.

The company, based in the Indianapolis area, works in 15 states in the Midwest and Southeastern United States.

Mr. Bowen was born in Bluffton, Ind., and raised in Indianapolis, where he currently resides. He attended Purdue, receiving his bachelor's degree in civil engineering in 1962.

After several years as a project manager and stockholder at W.M. Lyles Construction Co. in California, he returned to Indiana in 1967 to start his own company. He is  considered an authority on preplanning and leadership practices in construction. He is a founder and instructor of the Associated General Contractors Project Manager Institute.

Bowen Engineering has received four AGC Build America Awards (the Oscar of the construction industry), including one for the $57 million Lafayette Wastewater Treatment Plant addition in 2004.

Robert, along with his wife, Terry, established the Bowen Foundation 13 years ago to provide scholarships to minority students in Indianapolis to help them pursue an education past high school. About 300 students have received more than $750,000 in scholarships through this foundation.

The Bowens, along with Purdue President Martin Jischke, founded Science Bound, a Purdue program initiated in 2002. The program mentors students from Indianapolis Public Schools starting in eighth grade through high school and encourages them to pursue careers in science and technical fields. Science Bound students receive an opportunity to earn a full-tuition scholarship to Purdue. The Bowens also provided financial support to Purdue for the Robert L. and Terry L. Bowen High-Scale Performance Civil Engineering Laboratory, an $11 million research facility that allows engineers to test structures such as bridges and buildings while focusing on making construction materials more durable, safer, and earthquake resistant.

In 2005, the Bowens received the Outstanding Philanthropist Award by the Indiana chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals for their generous financial support of education.

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