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Skaggs, Robert L.


Dr. Robert Skaggs was born April 2, 1932 and grew up around the St. Louis, Missouri area. His father was a teamster with a milk delivery route, tried his hand at the restaurant business, and during World War II worked for the United States Cartridge. Several members of Skaggs’s family were teachers, including his grandmother and a couple of aunts. Skaggs graduated from Normandy High School and afterwards attended the Missouri School of Mines and majored in metallurgical engineering. He graduated in 1954 and went to work for DuPont University for two years. He went to graduate school at Iowa State on an Atomic Energy Commission scholarship, and afterwards was hired by Standard Oil of California. During this time he met and married Anna Pedersen in 1961 and moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota to work for Honeywell. Around 1966, Skaggs started teaching at the University of Kentucky. After a couple of years, he got wind of teaching opportunities at the Southern Division of the University of Nevada (now the University of Nevada Las Vegas), and interviewed with Herb Wells. Skaggs and his family moved to Boulder City, Nevada in 1969 and he began teaching at what is now UNLV. He was involved in the work bringing accreditation to the engineering department, establishing a chapter for Tau Beta Pi, the Engineering Honor Society, and building a master’s and a PhD program. After a heart attack in 1975, Dr. Skaggs took a sabbatical from UNLV and did some team teaching at University of Arizona in Tucson with Ray Sierka. He returned to UNLV on a half time teaching basis, and also worked for the Bureau of Mines. He was again involved in accreditation preparations and stayed to graduate a PhD student in engineering.