Wm L. Hughes, PhD., P.E., FIEEE
Inventor, Founder of Dakota Power
The following is adapted from his book-Energy 101
Dr. Wm. L. Hughes was an electrical engineer who worked in energy research and development for over forty years. His research activities have included renewable energy of many types, novel electrical generator design, and other energy-related topics. He was a consultant to several electrical power companies on energy related topics.
Dr. Hughes was founder, president, and chief engineer of the InEn corporation of Stillwater, Oklahoma. For over twenty years, InEn was the designer and manufacturer of high power electrical equipment, primarily for induction heating, that was used all over the world—on the Alaskan pipeline construction, in Saudi Arabia, Australia, England, Canada, South America, South Africa, and many other places.
Dr. Hughes was a professor of electrical engineering at Iowa State University, Oklahoma State University (where he was the electrical engineering department head), and the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (where he was also Vice President for Academic Affairs). He was the major professor for numerous M.S. and Ph.D. students. He served on the Board of Science And Technology For Development of the National Academy of Sciences, and was editor of their publications on renewable energy. In that and similar activities he has been a consultant in the many varied aspects of energy to over twenty foreign countries, and has led several international teams to help some of those countries with their energy problems.
Dr. Hughes was a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Society of Professional Engineers in 1997. He retired, but continued to teach to engineering seniors and graduate students in aspects of energy and power, and guided graduate students in their thesis research.
Dr. Hughes extended his work with high power energy systems to develop a unique magnetic field design to improve the operation of electric motors and generators. His research led to a new class of motors and generators with a new magnetic field design. Subsequent development enabled the integration of the new generators and motors into proof of concept electric drive systems with the potential for the significant reduction in the weight and cost of vehicle drive systems that are the foundation to the Dakota Power technologies. Sadly, Dr. Hughes died on February 21, 2007.
Richard J. Gowen PhD., P.E., FIEEE
President and CEO
Dakota Power, LLC
Dr. Gowen has a distinguished career as a government sponsored researcher, faculty member and academic administrator, founder of companies, and a leader in the electrical engineering profession. Dr. Gowen began his professional work as a researcher at the RCA Laboratory. He was called to active duty with the Air Force, received the MS and PhD degrees, and served as a member of the faculty of the Air Force Academy for 15 years. He founded and served as the director of the joint NASA- Air Force Laboratory supporting the manned space program. Dr. Gowen developed instruments and procedures to measure changes in the cardiovascular system of astronauts in the NASA Apollo moon missions and the NASA Skylab space laboratory.
While at the Air Force Academy he also served as a government consultant for the Assistant Secretaries of Defense for several projects. He also provided consultation for NASA, NIH, NSF and the NRC.
In 1977, Dr. Gowen became the Vice President of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSM&T). In 1984, he became the President of Dakota State University to transition the mission to a computer business oriented university. In 1987, he became the President of SDSM&T and served in that position for over 16 years. He guided the development of new engineering programs and an expansion of graduate research.
During the 1980's, Dr. Gowen was involved in the leadership of the Institute of Electronics Engineers (IEEE). In 1982, Dr. Gowen was elected a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in recognition of his space biomedical experiments, his military research, and his contributions to engineering education. In 1983 he was elected to serve as the 1984 Centennial President and preside over the global celebration of the century of giants. In 1986 Dr. Gowen was also elected as the President of the American Association of Engineering Societies. In 2004, Dr. Gowen received the nation’s distinguished award from the National Society of Professional Engineers.
The relationship between Dr. Hughes and Dr. Gowen began when they were at Iowa State University in 1959 and continued through work with engineering accreditation and the IEEE. In 1989, Dr. Hughes sold his company that provided high power electrical induction heating machines for coating pipelines in the Middle East and several other countries. He returned to his alma mater, SDSM&T, as the Vice President and Dean of Engineering in the administration of President Gowen. At SDSM&T, Dr. Hughes and Dr. Gowen worked together for five years to develop the academic and research programs. When Dr. Hughes retired from SDSM&T, he continued his research, teaching, and supervising graduate electrical engineering students. He also developed the privately funded research project that led to the concepts for the SRDCM technologies.
As President of SDSM&T, Dr. Gowen led the development of research programs with the Army Research Office and the Army Research Laboratories. He became personally involved in the management of the programs to assure the accomplishment of the objectives of the Army. He developed joint industry-faculty boards to evaluate and recommend areas for research and development with the Army. The SDSM&T Army research includes materials development and applications of systems in a wide range of topics. The development of the Dakota Power technologies to provide lightweight electric drive systems is a new phase of the relationships with the Army.
In 2003, Dr. Gowen retired from SDSM&T, and the Governor of South Dakota M. Rounds appointed him as the first executive director of a program to convert the closed 8000-foot deep Homestake gold mine into an international laboratory for the study of neutrinos and other particle physics. The National Science Foundation designated the Homestake mine as the site of the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory. He has subsequently been appointed by Governor Rounds to serve as a member of the South Dakota Board of Education. In 2005, he was honored to become the volunteer President of the IEEE Foundation and continues to serve the international community as he builds IEEE humanitarian activities. His continued contact with leaders in countries throughout the world has shaped the goals of DP for the dual use of the DP technology for military and civilian applications.
In developing Dakota Power, LLC, Dr. Gowen brings his experiences as a 20-year commissioned officer in the Air Force, a professor, a researcher, a developer of technology companies, and an electrical engineer to guide the formation of the company. He is the President and CEO, majority investor of Dakota Power, LLC, and a proponent of the DP technology to provide lightweight and low cost electric drive systems. As a result of Dr. Gowen’s 20 years of service in the United States Air Force, the majority owner and manager, Dakota Power, LLC qualifies as a veteran owned business.