Richard W. Amos
A Real Life Saver, A Genuine Mentor
Inducted in 2010
Taking lessons learned growing up in the technology capital of Alabama and combining them with advanced degrees in industrial and systems engineering, Dr. Richard W. Amos has made a career of guaranteeing the readiness and technological superiority of U.S. Army systems. What makes his contribution to our national defense exceptional is a driving motivation to save lives.
Amos did not rely on second-hand information to do so either. According to Ronald E. Chronister, now deputy to the commanding general at Redstone Arsenal, Amos went to the front lines not only to ensure that “our nation’s most valuable resource—America’s sons and daughters—had what they needed to do this nation’s bidding” but also “to make sure they knew there were men and women ‘back home’ [who] would move heaven and earth to get them what they needed to stay safe.”
Doing a good job for our soldiers began almost immediately after graduation from Auburn University when Amos began his 25-year stint in Huntsville with the U.S. Army’s Systems Engineering and Production Directorate and moved through a veritable alphabet of projects. During this time, he also earned two advanced degrees from The University of Alabama at Huntsville. He retired in 2007 to become chief operations officer for COLSA Corp., a technology services company that provides engineering, IT and programmatic solutions to government and commercial customers. In 2009, he was named president.
Widely recognized within the U.S. Army and the aerospace and missile community as a leader, Amos is valued not only for his hard engineering skills but also for his people, management, logistical, and entrepreneurial talents.
Early in his career Amos crafted a series of initiatives changing a culture so that the next generation of engineers could work to their full potential. Now he mentors the next generation of engineering academics, serving periodically as lecturer and advisor for graduate students at The University of Alabama at Huntsville.
In 2000, shortly after being one of the youngest ever to be promoted into the Senior Executive Service (SES), analogous to attaining the rank of general, Amos was named director of the Aviation and Missiles Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) Systems Simulation Directorate. Not only was Amos responsible for all modeling and simulation support for aviation, missile and unmanned systems, but he also directed AMRDEC’s research and development activities in missile and fixed-wing, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) aerodynamics.
Today, his colleagues credit him as being “instrumental in establishing North Alabama as a technological center of excellence that has allowed many engineers and scientists to research, design, invent, create and thrive” and possessing an “outstanding intuition for identifying opportunities for ‘technology transfer.'”
Although no longer visiting the front line, Amos still touches lives through community service that ranges from teaching Sunday school to winterizing homes for the elderly to advising leaders on the impact and benefits of defense program changes on the region and state. A master at balancing work and private life, Amos enjoys spending time with his wife, Joyce Bowling Amos, and daughters, Christina and Katherine.