Ron graduated from Purdue University in 2001 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He was recently featured on the cover of Black Enterprise magazine and spoke at the Black Enterprise Young Entrepreneur's Conference in Chicago, May 2012.
Ron Hickland Jr., 34, is proof that jobs in science and engineering aren’t isolated and lonely. As the lead bowling ball designer at Ebonite International Inc., the Purdue University mechanical engineering graduate bowls 40 hours a month, works with two teams of people across several states, travels globally to share his rare expertise, and gets the opportunity to rub elbows with celebrities such as “Sugar” Shane Mosley and Swizz Beatz, who want him to design customized bowling balls. He even has a patent on a bowling ball restoration product.
At age 15, while traveling with his father, a competitive bowler, Hickland met a bowling ball designer who explained to him that mechanical engineers design the core of the ball and chemical engineers design the cover stock or the outside of the ball. The rest of the story is still being told!
Ronald was born in Marion, IN on March 4, 1978. He is the eldest of two children. Ronald graduated from Purdue University in 2001 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
He married his best friend on July 12, 2003. He is currently (2012) the Product Design Engineering Manager at Ebonite International located in Hopkinsville, KY and has designed bowling balls for the past 10 years, including all performance bowling balls for Ebonite, Hammer, Columbia, and Track Brands making up 60% of the world's supply of bowling balls.
In 2009, US Patent number US 2005/0011542 A1 was issued to Ronald for a bowling ball restoration product. He is a Certified Silver Level Coach and an avid bowler who has competed at all levels of the sport including the Professional Level with numerous tournament wins. He has amassed 26 perfect games and a high series of 826 and has made more than $300,000 dollars bowling competitively to date (2012).
He has given seminars around the world including Canada, Europe, Mexico, Singapore, Korea, Japan, as well as the United States on technical aspects of bowling as well as sharing his passion for Engineering and STEM. Ronald has also been a guest lecturer for Purdue University Mechanical Engineering Department (ME290).
He has worked with Sugar Shane Mosley, Swizz Beats, Lebron James, Chris Paul, Gavin Maloof (owner of the Palms Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas) on bowling related projects. He is an avid runner and has completed a ½ marathon down the Las Vegas Strip as well as one in Chicago. He has been a real estate investor since 2001 and he owns and manages properties in several different states.
He has published technical papers in Academic Scientific Journals as well as Bowling Magazines (Bowlers Journal, Bowling This Month). He has been featured on the technical aspects of bowling balls on television: ESPN as a consultant, Discovery Channel's Some Assembly Required (2008), History Channel's Modern Marvels (2007) and Science Channel (2011). He was also on the cover of the May 2012 issue of Black Enterprise Magazine and spoke at the Black Enterprise Young Entrepreneur's Conference in Chicago in May 2012. Black Enterprise also featured Ronald in their TV show Our World-Slice of Life.
*Originally Posted August 27th, 2013*