Richard “King” Barnard ’64, ’66, Pioneer Award Recipient

King was one of thirteen initial members of the first full-time class to attend Brevard Engineering College, now Florida Tech. He became the first Student Congress President, formed the BEC Student Chapter of the American Institute of Physics and was a charter member of the BEC chapter of Blue Key, a national honor fraternity. King received an associate of science in electrical engineering in 1964 and earned a bachelor of science in physics in 1966. While taking graduate classes at Florida Tech during 1966 and 1967, he taught undergraduate classes in Thermodynamics and Theory of Powered Flight. During Homecoming 2011, King was awarded the Florida Institute of Technology Pioneer Award for leading the way for all of the Florida Tech students who would follow in his footsteps.

King’s career involved roles with increasing responsibilities, from engineer or project manager to president of high-tech companies. These roles included project manager for the optics and control systems of the world’s largest solar vacuum telescope still in operation in Sunspot, New Mexico; systems engineer working with NASA and early Apollo astronauts during installation and testing of the Apollo Mission simulators at the Kennedy Spaceflight Center; project manager for the development of a six-degrees-of-freedom motion system still utilized today in most commercial and military aircraft flight simulators; and lead developer of a flight computer system that became the forerunner of modern-day flight management systems. Before his retirement, King was recruited as chief operating officer of a Florida-based not-for-profit where he grew their start-up computer manufacturing operation to become the largest not-for-profit computer manufacturing operation in the world.

Retirement for King still involves a very full schedule. He founded a management consulting company serving clients throughout the United States, and for the past ten years, King has worked with SCORE, a national volunteer organization dedicated to assisting individuals wanting help to start, run, or grow their businesses. King is currently helping over thirty clients, some of whom have won numerous prestigious business awards with his help.

Barnard was featured in Florida Tech’s 60th Anniversary special edition book, “60 for 60: Celebrating Sixty Years of Alumni at Florida Institute of Technology.” Copies are available for purchase here.

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