By Britney GodfreyMuch like the student body, the faculty of University of Houston-Clear Lake represents its own body of diverse people from mixed backgrounds. These professors offer vast amounts of information to their students pertaining to their curriculum while offering real-life experiences. Despite the appreciation of the university’s full-time faculty, The Signal would like to spotlight those educators who teach in addition to holding down full-time jobs – the adjunct professors. The Signal will be profiling an adjunct professor from each school to be acknowledged for their dedication to education as well as the real-world experiences they bring to the university. This is part four of a four-part series.
From adventurous mountain climbing, to working at NASA, to gardening with his wife, adjunct Ken Goodwin brings adventure, knowledge and experience to his students.
Goodwin started his education by receiving a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University. He then went on to receive a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University in Boston, and did postgraduate work in electrical engineering, computer science and business from the University of Houston and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Goodwin has been an adjunct in the UH system since 1977 starting at the main campus then moving to UHCL in 1981. Goodwin credits the move to University of Houston Clear Lake to former science and computer engineer Dean Charles McKay.
“Mr. Goodwin has more than twenty years of specialized experience appropriate to teach Fault Tolerant Computing and has recently retired from Charles Stark Draper Laboratory (formally MIT Instrumentation Laboratory) at NASA/JSC and is now consulting with NASA on the space shuttle,” said Jim Helm, Engineering Division Chair. “The space shuttle onboard computers are required to be fault tolerant. Basically this means that if an instruction fails, the onboard computer logs the failure and keeps running.”
Goodwin has no shortage of “real world” experience to bring to the classroom. Goodwin says he would like to think his classes are interesting to UHCL students because he tries to bring his “outside world” experience to the classroom while remembering his own personal challenges as a student.
“Since my ‘day’ job was with Draper Laboratory at NASA (retired in 2003), I’ve been involved in both the industry and academic sides in my dealings with the university,” Goodwin said.
Goodwin is currently a member of the Computer Systems Engineering Industrial Advisory Board and prior to that was a member of the Industrial Advisory Group of the Research Institute for Computing and Information Systems and the Computer Science Program Advisory Board. He has also been associated with the university through a membership in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.”
When Goodwin is not teaching, one can probably find him on any number of adventures.
One of Goodwin’s many hobbies is amateur radio.
“I’ve been a ‘ham’ since I was 15 years old and I think the only reason I went to college was so that I could have a job that would pay me enough to buy amateur radio equipment,” Goodwin said.
Goodwin also helps his wife, Camille, with her hobbies.
“I also attempt to assist my wife Camille with her interests in gardening,” Goodwin said. “I usually provide the manpower for her garden projects so even though it isn’t an engineering type of activity, I must enjoy it. I did instrument her gardens with wireless moisture and temperature sensors so the sprinkler system only provides the necessary water during the year.”
Currently, Goodwin is on a 26-day adventure in Nepal. He is on his fourth trip with International Mountain Guides to the Himalayas.
Goodwin is part of the IMG trekking group that will attempt to climb Lobuje, the nearest village to the trekking peak, then to Island Peak before heading back to Lukla for the aircraft ride back to Kathmandu.
“I will trek to the Everest base camp and then on the way back to Kathmandu, attempt to climb two trekking peaks that are both above 20,000 feet,” Goodwin said.
“He is fantastic,” said Jeanne Leslie, suite secretary for SCE. “He is interesting to students because of his unique personality, his work with the space center and his many mountain climbing adventures.”