Purdue '62

Robert L. Bowen

About Robert

Robert L. Bowen, P.E., Purdue ’62, is chairman of the Indianapolis, Indiana-based Bowen Engineering Corporation, founded in 1967. Bowen Engineering specializes in water/wastewater treatment plants and energy utility construction. Brother Bowen earned a bachelor’s in civil engineering from Purdue University in 1964 and later attended Harvard Business School. Purdue University recognized him with an honorary Doctor of Engineering in 2007. He has been a construction engineering and management professor at his alma mater for the past several years.

Brother Bowen is considered an authority on preplanning and leadership practices in construction. While active with the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), he has served on the executive committee, chaired the municipal/ utilities division, and has been a driving force behind the AGC Education and Research Foundation faculty internship professional development initiative. Bowen Engineering has been awarded five AGC Build America Awards. Bob is also the founder and instructor for the Associated General Contractors Project Manager Institute.

He is a distinguished member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and in 2012, he received the ASCE OPAL award for outstanding lifetime achievement. He serves as a director of several community organizations, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Indianapolis, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, and the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce. He also served as a trustee of Windrose Medical Properties Trust. He was inducted into the Indianapolis Public School Education Foundation Hall of Fame in 2009. In addition, Bob was honored in 2016 with the Anti-Defamation League’s Man of Achievement award, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to community, justice, and equal opportunity for all.

Bob and his wife, Terry, established the Bowen Foundation, which has provided over $2 million in scholarships to hundreds of students in Indianapolis. The Bowens also created the IUPUI Bowen Scholars Program to assist African American Ivy Tech Community College associate degree recipients transitioning to IUPUI to pursue a baccalaureate degree. Bowen Scholars typically reside in Marion County and are expected to graduate from IUPUI in three years. The scholars have mentors, attend workshops on academic and personal growth, and participate in community service events. The Bowen Family Foundation has expanded its scholarship program to ensure the scholars are part of a support system, which is apparent in these students’ high retention and graduation rates.

Bob and Terry received the Outstanding Philanthropist award from the Indiana chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals for their generous education support. They provided financial support to Purdue University for the Robert L. and Terry L. Bowen High-Scale Performance Civil Engineering Laboratory. The Bowen Lab, dedicated in 2003, is an $11 million facility that allows engineers to test structures such as bridges and buildings to determine how they will perform in real-life situations.

Bob is also a generous donor to the Phi Delta Theta Foundation and has participated as a Kleberg Fellow during the Fraternity’s Kleberg Emerging Leaders Institute. He and Terry have four children and eleven grandchildren and reside in Indianapolis.