WMU News

Targowski honored for technological advances

Nov. 8, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- A Western Michigan University professor has been honored by a Polish-American organization for his involvement in the genesis of the "information superhighway."

Dr. Andrew Targowski, professor of business information systems in the Haworth College of Business, recently received the 60 Years Anniversary Medal from the Association of Polish- American Engineers in the USA. He also delivered the keynote address, titled " The Genesis and Strategies of Polish-American Engineers," at the association's anniversary celebration last month in New York.

A native of Poland, Targowski headed the Polish Computer Development Program in the 1970s. Under his leadership, the program helped develop the concept of a coordinated "information superhighway," or "infostrada." In 1980, he escaped from behind the Iron Curtain to Mexico, where he spotted a recruitment ad for WMU in an engineering magazine. He joined the University later that year, first serving on the faculty of the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering and later transferring to the Department of Business Information Systems. Today an American citizen, he is a prolific author and active in the information technology community.

"We honor Dr. Targowski for his pioneering contribution to the development of information technology," says Janusz Zastocki, president of the association, noting that Targowski follows in the footsteps of other prominent Polish- American engineers such as Mieczyslaw Bekker, who conceived and helped build three Apollo moon vehicles, and Frank Piasecki, a founder of the American helicopter industry. "Dr. Targowski's early ideas have been fundamental to the worldwide transformation from the 'industrial wave' to the 'information wave.' His IT projects challenged the modus operandi of totalitarian Poland, so he escaped to America where he intensively publishes and teaches young designers of the new economy and new civilization."

Media contact: Jessica English, 616 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

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