Howard embarked on an academic career of over four decades as an instructor in mining engineering at Penn State in 1947. After earning his Ph.D., he returned to the Colorado School of Mines as an assistant professor and quickly rose to the rank of associate professor and then became Acting Head of the Department of Mining Engineering. In 1957 he went back to Penn State as Professor and Head of the Department of Mining Engineering. Between 1963 and 1980, Howard held the titles of Associate Dean of the College of Engineering at Penn State (1963–1967); Dean of the School of Engineering, California State University, Sacramento (1967–1971); and Dean of the School of Engineering, Vanderbilt University (1971– 1980). In all these assignments, Howard was an innovator, creating the first work-study program in mining engineering at Penn State and helping to establish the new program in socioengineering at California State University, Sacramento, and the technology and public policy program at Vanderbilt. He joined the University of Alabama in 1980 as the first holder of the Garry Neil Drummond Endowed Chair in Mining Engineering, retiring in 1989 with an emeritus title.
Continuing his academic endeavors well into his retirement, Howard edited the monumental Mining Engineering Handbook (Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration [SME], 1992) over a period of five years. As senior editor, he coordinated the efforts of six co-editors, 20 section editors, and 242 authors, producing a two-volume, 2,300-page, highly referenced handbook for mining engineers worldwide. He was also lead author and editor of the third edition of Mine Ventilation and Air Conditioning (John Wiley & Sons, 1997), which he originally authored in 1961. He then worked on the revision of his 1982 text, Introductory Mining Engineering (John Wiley & Sons, 2002) until his death in 2002 from the effects of Parkinson’s disease. These texts reveal Howard’s attention to the details of science, engineering, and technology and his dedication to solved examples, mind-broadening exercises, and references for further study and research.
Students’ needs, particularly support for their education, were never far from Howard’s mind. He established the