Ray M. Bowen
B.S., Texas A&M University, 1958
M.S., California Institute of Technology, 1959
Ph.D., Texas A&M University, 1961
Ray M. Bowen was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and earned his B.S. in mechanical engineering at Texas A&M University. After receiving his M.S. at the California Institute of Technology, he returned to Texas A&M for his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering. From 1994 to 2002, he served as president of Texas A&M and is currently president emeritus and professor emeritus of mechanical engineering. He currently teaches at Rice University where he is a distinguished visiting professor of mechanical engineering. His research interest is in nonlinear continuum mechanics.
Under Bowen's leadership, Texas A&M was admitted to the Association of American Universities. He expanded and enhanced numerous academic programs, and successfully completed a major capital campaign. Bowen was instrumental in the creation of Vision 2020, an effort to propel the institution into the ranks of the country's top 10 public universities by the year 2020.
Before assuming the presidency of Texas A&M, Bowen served for a year as interim president of Oklahoma State University. He joined the administration of Oklahoma State in 1991 as provost and vice president for academic affairs. His earlier academic appointments included Dean of the College of Engineering, Director of the Center for robotics and Manufacturing Systems, and Director of the Center for Applied Energy Research at the University of Kentucky (1983-1989); faculty member in the Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences Department, Rice University (1967-1983); and member of the engineering mechanics faculty at Louisiana State University (1965-1967).
Bowen held two managerial positions at the National Science Foundation. In 1982-1983, he served as Director of the Division of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, and in 1990-1991, he was Deputy Assistant Director and Acting Assistant Director for Engineering. He is a member of several professional societies and has authored or coauthored numerous professional articles and books.
Bowen was appointed to the National Science Board in 2002 and reappointed in 2008.