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Blake W. Augsburger

Distinguished Engineer: 2009

Degree: B.S. Electrical Engineering – 1987

Degree: M.S. Electrical Engineering – 1989

Citation at Time of Nomination in 2009

Blake W. Augsburger is the President and CEO of the Harman Professional Group and the President of Harman International Industries, Inc. in North America. Harman International is a Fortune 500 company that designs and manufactures branded audio and infotainment products and systems for the automotive, consumer, and professional customer. He manages business units in North America, Canada, Mexico, UK, Switzerland, and Austria.

Blake was born in Beaumont, Texas. He attended Westfield High School in Houston and came to Texas Tech in 1982 because several friends were attending. Majoring in mechanical engineering, then business, he worked in a refinery for Tenneco Oil the summer following his freshman year and enjoyed the technical aspects of the opportunity. The experiences at Tenneco encouraged him to return to engineering and choose electrical engineering during his sophomore year.

Taking a job in the laboratory of the Center for Pulsed Power and Power Electronics, he began to learn and understand the applications. For Blake, electrical engineering was more than challenging, but he enjoyed the learning process. While working in the laboratory he met many of his life–long friends and school partners that helped him through the degree program like Brett Smith, Randy Copper, and Richard Ness. Blake stayed at Texas Tech after completing a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in 1987, studying pulsed power under Dr. Kristiansen, and earning a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering in 1989.

The thesis for his master’s degree was entitled "The Design of a High Power Electron Beam Generator. " The project involved the assembly of a 1MV Marx Generator to drive a virtual cathode oscillator developed by then–Ph.D. candidate Steve Calico. The principles learned for the project in electric fields and pulsed power are applicable to his current business and in sound acoustics. His experience in grounding and shielding for his thesis has also proven to be very useful in understanding the installation of sound systems for live music and large installed venues such as sports stadiums.

Following the completion of his master’s degree, Blake worked at Maxwell Laboratories and Hubbell. He worked as a design engineer for a short time and moved quickly into program management and then onto executive management. He was vice president and general manager of High Voltage Test Business, a division of Hubbell Inc., an international manufacturer of electrical and electronic components for industrial, commercial, and utility industries. Blake worked for Hubbell from 1994 until 2001. During this time, he served in several capacities, including the business unit vice president of Hipotronics.

From 2001–2006, Blake was the president and CEO of Crown International, a division of the Harman Professional Group, specializing in audio amplifiers. At Harmon, his engineering background plays a key role in product and technology positioning.

Blake is married to Laura, they have three children; Philip, Daniel, and Maddie. The Augsburgers live in Mishawaka, Indiana.

It is a privilege and a pleasure for Texas Tech University’s Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering to select this outstanding alumnus for honor and recognition. Blake W. Augsburger is declared a DISTINGUISHED ENGINEER.

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