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In Memorium: 

Robert Kiggans 

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Dear Colleagues and Friends,


We regret to inform you that our former Chair and U.S. Head of Delegation, Robert (Bob) Kiggans (75), husband of Penny Weekley Kiggans, lost his battle with cancer and entered into eternal rest Friday, August 31, 2018 surrounded by his family at home. His funeral service will be held Sunday, September 9, 2018, in Summerall Chapel, The Citadel at 1:00 p.m. Entombment following will be in The Citadel Bell Tower. Arrangements by J. HENRY STUHR, INC. MOUNT PLEASANT CHAPEL. IMS will be present at the service to carry your thoughts and prayers.


Bob first became associated with the Intelligent Manufacturing Systems Program in 2000 representing the Advanced Technology Institute in the SMART-fm project. His positive research experience and interest in international collaborative research led to an appointment by NIST as Head of Delegation for the United States in June 2004. Outstanding leadership skills led Bob to become Chair of IMS in November 2012 where he successfully promoted global research through projects, workshops, and the World Manufacturing Forum. Bob was instrumental in advancing membership outreach activities and marketing of the program.


Bob was born on April 14, 1943 in East Liverpool, Ohio. He was the younger brother to Jon Kiggans and the son of the late Harry Leroy Kiggans and Margaret Blackwood Kiggans. He graduated from Wellsville High School in 1961 where he was a letterman in football, basketball, and track. He was inducted into the Wellsville High School Athletic Hall of Fame. He married his high school sweetheart at Wellsville Central Methodist Church shortly after he graduated from the Citadel, Class of 1965. There he was a three-year letterman in basketball and co-captain his senior year. He received Gold Stars and made the Dean's List on several occasions. Bob spent twenty years in the US Air Force and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. While with the Air Force Strategic Air Command, Bob was a Radar Navigator on the B-52 Aircraft flying over 150 combat missions in Southeast Asia. He received several decorations including the Defense Superior Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Air Medal with one silver and four bronze Oak Leaf Clusters. He obtained his Master of Science with Honors Degree from the Air Force Institute of Technology. He had over thirty years of experience in advanced computer and product data technologies, program and technical management, manufacturing technologies, and command and control systems. Bob served as the Vice Chairman of the Board of International TechneGroup, Inc., on the ASM International Council of Advisors, and on the Citadel Engineering Advisory Board. He was previously the Chief Operating Officer of SCRA and President of its Federal Sector. 

Bob was the first President and CEO of Advanced Technology Institute and General Manager of PDES, Inc. Prior to that he was Vice President of SCRA and Director of the Advanced Technology Group and the Director for C3I Advanced Systems at Cincinnati Electronics. He was Deputy Director at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency before joining Cincinnati Electronics. Bob was appointed by the U.S. Department of Commerce (NIST) as the United States Head of Delegation to the Intelligent Manufacturing Systems program and later became the Chairman. He was a Research Fellow with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a former senior member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and a Tau Beta Pi Eminent Engineer. He was awarded the prestigious International Leadership Award by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for his outstanding leadership in furthering the discipline of computers and information in engineering. Bob served as the initial Director of the Ronald E. McNair Aerospace Center at the University of South Carolina. He served as the Chairman of STEM Premier in South Carolina, was a recipient of SCRA's Knowledge Economist Award in South Carolina, and he was inducted into the Academy of Engineers as a 2018 Honoree of The Citadel. 

Bob never met a stranger and lived life to the fullest. He enjoyed serving as a mentor to students and business professionals. His favorite pastimes included playing tennis at Snee Farm, watching his grandchildren swim and play soccer, attending sporting events, Thursday morning breakfasts with his friends, traveling, and spending time with his family. 

He is survived by his wife of fifty-three years, Penny Kiggans of Mount Pleasant, SC and their three daughters, Colleen Lawler (Paul) of Mt. Pleasant, SC, Amy Kiggans of Indianapolis, IN, and Kelly Simon (Scott) of Mount Pleasant, SC; brother, Jon Kiggans(Ann) of Saint Petersburg, FL, and six grandchildren, Hannah, Kaleigh, Robert, Mia, Sloane and Cameron.


Memorials may be made to The Citadel Brigadier Foundation Memorial Fund, 171 Moultrie Street Charleston, SC 29409


A memorial message may be sent to the family by visiting: 

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