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Our Founder

Kenneth A. Bath was born in New Dorp, New York on Nov. 5, 1920. As a young man, he was paid $50 per game to play the wide receiver position for the Stapleton Giants, a semi-pro football team which later became the New York Giants. His regular job was in electronics for the Army Signal Corp. in Red Bank, New Jersey. In 1941, Ken began working for the US Air Force as an Electronics Specialist on airborne equipment. When World War II broke out, he enlisted in the US Navy. He was assigned to the Naval Aviation Pilot Training Program and later became an instructor for airborne electronic equipment at Ward Island, NAS Corpus Christi, Texas.

When the war ended, Ken decided to pursue an electrical engineering degree on the GI Bill. At that time, only three schools offered electrical engineering programs: MIT (which had a 2 year waiting list), Cal Tech, and Oklahoma State. Ken decided on Oklahoma State. After graduation in 1949, he was employed by the US Air Force Security Service in San Antonio developing radio intercept and cryptographic equipment. Due to the Korean War and staff being called away to active duty, he was made Chief Engineer within the first month.

In 1952, Ken moved to Corpus Christi where he went into business with his brother-in-law, Dr. Ron Williams. They opened Universal Electronics Laboratories which used electronic test equipment to set and test industrial power system relays. The partnership broke up in 1953 when Doc Williams failed to show up for work on a large testing contract at Reynolds Metals. Ken saved his half of the money from that contract and used it to begin his own business three years later. In 1953 Ken accepted the position of head of the Electrical Engineering Department at the Naval Advanced Air Training Command which was expanding all facilities in South Texas. He also designed wastewater plants as a moonlight engineer for McClendon & Associates during this period of time.

Ken opened the predecessor of Bath Group, Inc. in 1957. The firm was initially named Bath and Bell after his partner Jim Bell. In 1958, it became Bath, Bell &Arnold; in 1959, Bath, Bell, Arnold and Wilde, and in 1960, the business changed to Bath, Arnold, Wilde and Osborne. In 1961, the partnership split up and Ken re-named his practice Bath & Associates. For several years, Dow Chemical's Freeport complex was the firm's major client. Bath created the original design for DC chlorine and magnesium cells, which later became the standard for cells built for Dow all over the world.

In later years, Ken founded several other companies, including Bath Electrical Systems in 1969 and Gulf States, Inc. in 1970. Gulf States was listed in the top 100 US Contractors in the 1980 Engineering News Record. Gulf States became GSI and was later acquired by TIC.

Ken met Richard Pittman in 1971. Richard was employed as a young engineer at Central Power & Light Company. Early in their relationship Ken approached Richard about joining the Bath organization. After three years of persuasion, Richard accepted a position with the firm in 1975. Today, Richard is President of the firm.

In 1976, Bath & Associates was retained to design electrical systems for three offshore platforms in the Brent Field in the North Sea off the coast of Scotland. The firm's client, a joint venture of Shell and Exxon, also retained Bowen Industries to design and construct mechanical systems for the offshore platforms. The Shell-Exxon joint venture recruited Ken Bath to oversee quality control for mechanical and electrical systems. When Ken inspected Bowen's fabrication facilities, he met Phil Rothstein who was then Senior Vice President of Bowen Industries, and they developed a mentor/protégé relationship that lasted more than two decades. In 1989, Ken enticed Phil to join the design firm. Today, Phil is a Principal of Bath Group, Inc..

Ken passed away in 1999. His peers remember him as a leader in the engineering profession. We who he mentored learned from his dedication to quality and his attention to detail.