Distinguished Alumni Awards

Harold G. Sowman

Harold G. Sowman
To Harold G. Sowman, ceramic engineer, industrial manager, and inventor, for his contributions to and leadership in the development of novel and useful ceramic materials.

Corporate Scientist, The 3M Company, St. Paul, Minnesota

  • BS, Ceramic Engineering, 1948
  • MS, Ceramic Engineering, 1949
  • PhD, Ceramic Engineering, 1951

Dr. Sowman has held the top technical post at 3M since 1970. Before joining the company, where he has pursued the major portion of his career, he was with the National Lead Co. and General Electric Co. Dr. Sowman has established himself as an outstanding and innovative leader in the development of new ceramic and fibrous materials. He directed 3M’s development of transparent ceramic materials sol-gel technology. More recently it has yielded a new type of abrasive grain that is tougher and about three times as effective as conventional fused alumina grain.

For these and other innovative contributions, Dr. Sowman has received many awards and honors, among them selection as fellow of the American Ceramic Society; election to the Carlton Society, the top honor at 3M for technical achievement; and recognition by the Minnesota Society of Professional Engineers in 1973 for his contributions to the development of “retrospective identification” materials. The 3M Brand ceramic fibers developed by Dr. Sowman were selected by Industrial Research as one of the 1974 IR-100 winners. Dr. Sowman holds twenty patents and is a member of the National Institute of Ceramic Engineers, Sigma Xi, and Keramos.

Current as of 1983.