Dr. James Lowther is the first recipient of the Distinguished Service Award that will hereafter bear his name. This award is presented to non-alumni who have made exceptional personal contributions to the success of the Mechanical Engineering Program over an extended period of time.
Dr. Lowther received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Mississippi State University in 1961. He earned his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering the following year from the same institution. After working for a brief period with Exxon Corporation, he was recruited by Louisiana Tech to join the Mechanical Engineering faculty in 1963. He shortly thereafter took a two-year leave of absence to complete his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.
Upon his return to Tech after receiving his Ph.D., Dr. Lowther served with consummate distinction until his retirement in 2000. He excelled in all areas of teaching, research and service throughout his career. As a teacher he stayed abreast of developments in his field of thermal systems engineering. He created and maintained a modern instrumentation and engineering measurements course and laboratory. He was noted for his ability to couple theoretical concepts in heat transfer, thermodynamics, computational methods, and advanced engineering design with practical applications. He was an active researcher in a variety of topical areas, but his contributions through his management of Energy Analysis and Diagnostic centers that provided practical field training in energy conservation for many engineering students are especially noteworthy. Dr. Lowther served with distinction as faculty advisor to many student organizations. He won virtually every service and teaching award for which he was eligible, including the prestigious national SAE Ralph Teetor Award. A prototypical example of professional excellence in every area, the Mechanical Engineering Program and Industrial Advisory Council proudly inaugurate this award in honor of Dr. James D. Lowther.