Inductotherm Corporation announced “with deepest regret and a heavy heart” the passing on December 9 of Henry M. Rowan, the induction melting innovator and founder of the company. “Hank” Rowan was 92.
Rowan was a U.S. Army pilot and World War II veteran, degreed in electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While employed by Ajax Electrothermic Corporation he developed numerous enhancements for induction melting furnaces and processes, designs he later implemented when he established Inductotherm Corp. in 1953.
Today, the Inductotherm Group is a globally active developer and manufacturer of thermal processing systems, with 80 subsidiaries supplying furnaces, pouring systems, electric power and control systems, and automation systems for induction melting, heating, holding, and pouring systems for numerous metals and materials.
Rowan also advocated progress in education and engineering. In 1992, together with his wife Betty, he pledged $100 million to Glassboro State College in New Jersey, now Rowan University. At that time, it was reported as the largest gift ever to a public college.
The Rowans also generously supported Doane Academy in Burlington, NJ, a private secondary school, both in person and through the the Henry M. and Eleanor E. Rowan Endowment they established. He instituted the Henry M. Rowan Family Foundation to support the many causes he espoused, including the Foundry Educational Foundation (FEF).
In 2003, he was installed in the FM&T Hall of Honor in recognition of his many accomplishments and contributions to the metalcasting industry and community.
Rowan was known as a man of varied interests, including competitive sailing (he competed in the Olympic Trials in 1992) and private jet flying, as well as his technical innovation and philanthropy.
“Mr. Rowan’s dedication has greatly influenced others, and his personal challenge to make a difference has been highly successful,” Inductotherm announced. “(His) ambitious and innovative developments established less expensive and more efficient methods of melting metal. His achievements have made the foundry industry safer, more productive and more technologically advanced.”