About the Inventor


Richard Neal Schowengerdt

Registered Professional Engineer in California by Examination

(Electrical E-6141)

     Technological innovation in electromagnetics is not new to Richard.  He has been a true “mustang” from a very early age.  At age fourteen when the town of Liege, Missouri, still had a Post Office and the Burlington Train line and Depot he experimented extensively.  He competed with his friend Merrill Korth to build the best crystal set and lost to Merrill’s ingenuity whose set provided a stronger signal.  But he did do well with his razor blade detector version when using a dipole mounted on a hundred foot high antenna mast erected by his Dad, John Herman Schowengerdt.  He also took apart a lot of inoperative radios for the neighbors, diagnosed the problems, and finally learned to put them back together and make money at it.  At age sixteen he obtained an amateur radio operator’s license, W0MLS, the MLS of which he thought must have logically meant Missouri-Liege-Schowengerdt.  His first spark gap transmitter was not too good for communications but performed well as a wide-band barrage jammer, effectively blanketing the entire town of Liege in white noise and evoked comments from the neighbors such as, “well, Richard must be at it again!”  Upon the urging of his Dad, Richard took up a correspondence course in Radio and Electronics from DeForest’s Training Inc., during his last two years of high school (1946-48), finally graduating from DeForest’s in 1949 and traveling to the big city of Chicago for the final laboratory sessions.  However, Richard was quite naive and inexperienced with the ways of the world in those times.  While in Chicago he perceived that the girls were unusually friendly as they waved from the second story brownstone apartments near the laboratory but it was not until later in the Navy when he was informed that he had walked through the red light district!  Upon a tip and recommendation from his brother, Ernest Wayne Schowengerdt, Richard moved on to a good starting position in electronics at Denning’s Radio and Appliance in St. Charles, Missouri.  A year later he moved into the big city of St. Louis with a promotion to Disco Distributing Company, a Motorola distributor, and also served for awhile in the Air National Guard.

     In 1950 he decided to enter the U.S. Navy to avoid draft into the Army, securing an agreement to study at the U.S. Naval School Electronics at Treasure Island, San Francisco, where he graduated as an Electronics Technician in 1951.  In 1952 while at the Naval Communication Station on Guam he was selected along with a buddy, Leo Madden III, to help set up a new Naval Communication Station in Totsuka, Japan.  He was later assigned to the USS Prairie AD-15, alternating between San Diego and Sasebo, Japan, where he met his wife to be, Emiko Murai.  After an honorable discharge from Naval service in 1954 he was offered a position as a Field Engineer with the RCA Service Company to help establish a new electronics maintenance depot in Pusan, Korea.  Later on he resigned to attend school under the G.I. Bill at Sophia University (Jochi Diagaku) in Tokyo where he lived with Emiko and their two young daughters, Margaret Midori and Maria Tomiko.  He entered a pre-engineering program there but family illness and financial circumstances required that he secure a full-time position as an Electronics Inspector with the Northern Air Material Area Pacific at Tachikawa Air Force Base while continuing his studies part-time.

     In 1957 Richard got homesick and brought his family back to the U.S. where he continued his studies at St. Louis University and worked at Greenleaf Manufacturing Company and  McDonnell Aircraft Company (MAC), first as an Electronics Technician and later as a Technical Writer.  While at MAC he managed to pass both the Engineer-In-Training (EIT) and Professional Engineer (PE) examinations in Jefferson City and MAC reclassified him as a Specification Engineer where he wrote the requirements for the F-4 Infrared System and most of the antennas.  He also wrote the specifications for the communication system aboard the Project Mercury Space Capsule.

     In January 1961 Richard and Emiko decided they had enough Winter weather in St. Louis, put their household belongings in storage, and drove to California in his new Ford Falcon with Margaret and Maria.  Fortunately Richard secured a position as a Test Equipment Design Engineer with Autonetics in Downey within two weeks after their arrival.  Subsequently Richard moved on to the Quality Evaluation Laboratory, U.S. Naval Station, Seal Beach, as an Electronics Engineer where he was engaged in designing and developing test systems, conducting special fleet weapon malfunction investigations, and pursuing surveillance and stockpile aging studies on various weapons such as Standard Missile, Sidewinder, Bullpup, and Walleye.  In 1964 he was blessed with the birth of his son, Michael, and also promoted to Guided Missile Branch Head (GS-13) where he supervised twenty-five engineers and technicians in two operating divisions, RF & Microwave and Infrared & Optical.  He was named as Technical Agent and Design Authority for the Walleye Test Station contract awarded to Cubic Corporation,San Diego, beginning in 1965.

     In 1966 Richard ventured out into the world of consulting and established Logimetric Engineering in Costa Mesa with a partner, Donald Branstrom, successfully pursuing contracts involving test systems and hardware design studies with firms such as Nortronics, Atlantic Research, and Collins Radio.  He was elected President of the Orange County Engineering Council, a consortium of all the major engineering societies, in 1967-68.  After getting tired of the feast-famine swings of the consulting world he returned to government service in 1968 where he served at the Naval Missile Systems Engineering Station (NSMSES) in Port Hueneme as a Reliability Engineer.  He later returned to the Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach to help establish OSCAR, a new overhaul and repair facility.  In late 1968 he was re-promoted to a GS-13 position as Electrical Branch Head at the Navy Metrology Engineering Center (MEC) in Pomona and ventured into the high precision low frequency domain where he directed research, design, and development of new Navy standards from DC to 100 KHz.  While at MEC he pioneered in nanovolt digital measurements and the development of new precision metrology systems in concert with the National Bureau of Standards (NBS – Now NIST) utilizing low field magnetics, nuclear magnetic resonance, and the Josephson’s effect.  He was a speaker at various symposia in the U.S. and Canada and published author of “DVMs Generate Kickback Pulses,” Electronic Instrument Digest, June1970, and “Measuring Nanovolts with Low-Cost DVMs,” Instruments & Control Systems, March 1972.