BSE ChE '83
Born in Ann Arbor while his parents were working on advanced degrees, Bob Ranger was destined to become a Wolverine. “Our first house was a rental next to Burton Tower and I played around the fountain and in the diag,” Bob explains. Even though his family moved to Indiana, spent a year in London, then moved to Charlevoix, MI, where Bob finished high school, he continued to visit the Big House for an occasional football game. As an undergraduate at U-M, he met his wife, Lisa (BSN ’84), further strengthening ties with the university. Today, he is proud to be a Michigan graduate because of the leadership tradition for which the university has long been recognized.
Bob completed a BSE in 1983, took a job with Dow Chemical, and has yet to find a job he doesn’t enjoy. After training in the SARAN process area, he transferred to Texas to work in a research area and helped develop the first compact disc grade plastic. He holds a patent on a workhorse plastic still enclosing laptops today. When he moved to manufacturing, he earned a Technology Center Award for his role in a plant design and plant start-up. Transferring back to Midland in 1988, he switched to technical services and commercialized new plastic products in the electronics, telecom, and appliance industries. Bob decided he wanted some exposure to the commercial side of the business so, after he completed his MBA at Central Michigan University, he worked in market research and market/product management, where he earned recognition from both Dow and customers for his successful innovation, including the 3M Outstanding Innovator Award. Today, Bob is a new business manager, directing the global commercialization of HYPOD Polyolefin Dispersions into carpet, paper, and flexible packaging applications.
Bob volunteered to be a recruiter at Dow early in his career, which has made it possible to stay connected to the department. Currently he serves as the Dow-UM Recruiting Team Captain. As a charter member of the ChE Alumni Board he led the curriculum subcommittee in 2007 as it surveyed a cross-section of recent ChE graduates seeking input into curriculum improvement.
Bob resides in Midland, MI with his wife, Lisa, and children, Scott (16) and Alissa (15). He enjoys outdoor activities including skiing, golf, boating, and hunting, and is very active in the Boy Scouts as an assistant scoutmaster. Bob recently took six scouts on a two-week high adventure backpacking trek in New Mexico to the top of Mt. Baldy at 12,000 feet (see Bob with son in above photo). And, yes, he is a football season ticket holder and makes trips to the Big House a top priority. He looks forward to seeing lots of alumni on campus in the fall.
Bob encourages ChE alumni to get involved with young people whether in engineering or other areas. He says he has come to realize that there is “nothing more important than making a significant impact in the lives of young people.”
Article from the 2008 Chemical Engineering Newsletter.