Colorado State University will honor a successful alumnus and longtime supporter as the College of Engineering 2005 Honor Alumnus at the university’s annual honors Distinguished Alumni Awards dinner on April 29.
Robert L. Walker, who graduated from Colorado State in 1956 with a degree in mechanical engineering, has continued to be a productive engineer and successful businessman, founding a number of aerospace businesses that have now grown to achieve national and international stature. At the same time, he’s been a strong supporter of Colorado State’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, greatly enhancing educational opportunities for students.
"Since his graduation from Colorado State, Mr. Walker has been instrumental in the growth and success of the College of Engineering," said Steven R. Abt, interim dean of the College of Engineering. "Mr. Walker’s generosity in the form of financial contributions established an endowed scholarship for mechanical engineering students."
Walker was a founding member of the College of Engineering Dean’s Advisory Panel, a support group of alumni and industry representatives who provide leadership and financial support for the Colorado State engineering programs. He is a past recipient of the Personal Service Award for the College of Engineering and the 2004 College of Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award. Walker provides $20,000 in undergraduate student scholarships through the Walker Scholars awards for mechanical engineering students with high academic achievement.
Walker also played a central role in establishing what has become the International Snowmobile Challenge, an engineering student design competition sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers. Walker supported and encouraged the participation of the Colorado State mechanical engineering department student teams in this competition. Through his support, the students have successfully designed, built, tested and competed with snowmobile engines that are at or beyond the current state-of-the-art technology in two-stroke engines. These engines surpass the current four-stroke engine technology in terms of fuel efficiency and pollution emissions.
"Mr. Walker is one of our most passionate, involved and articulate engineering alumni," Abt said.
Walker was the founder of Space Data Corporation, an aerospace company, and since 1976 he has been the president of PNI, Inc. a privately owned investment company in Arizona. He is also the chairman and CEO of International Leisure Hosts, Ltd, which owns and operates Flagg Ranch Resort, a seasonal resort located near Yellowstone National Park.
Walker and his wife Bonnie have three children, all of who graduated with degrees from Colorado State.