David Harris passed away July 19 in Little Rock. He was 54 years old. He is the son of Richard Harris of North Ridge, California, and the late Margaret Hudson of Benton.
He graduated from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering in 1989. He received his Professional Engineering License in 1995.
David began working for Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation in 1989. Over his 30-year career, he held the positions of senior power supply engineer, power production engineering manager, and director of engineering for the power production and delivery division. David found complete satisfaction in his work and deeply appreciated the friendship he had with his co-workers.
David was a respected engineer across the United States and the world. He received numerous technology transfer awards from the Electric Power Research Institute and was inducted into the Arkansas Academy of Mechanical Engineers in 2011.
David had an aptitude for the theoretical. He developed a Lifetime Management Program to extend the service life of all 29 AECC’S wholly owned generating units. He also loved “hands-on” engineering. He designed, procured the equipment and supervised the installation of a new water treatment system for a 500 megawatt power plant. One of his most significant projects was the repowering of the Fitzhugh Steam Power Plant at Ozark with a modern combustion turbine. It tripled the plant’s output, while it reduced emissions by 90 percent.
Of his many defining qualities, David had an extremely dry sense of humor and was known for his competitive spirit and desire to excel. Failure was not an option. He preferred being outdoors and was an avid runner. He played the guitar and was a devoted Razorbacks football fan. He loved to design and personally construct home improvements, such as an elaborate retaining wall and deck system, a tree house for his children, and a dog house that could have withstood a nuclear bomb. One of his favorite things to do was to cook a big breakfast for his family. David enjoyed and admired every aspect of his children and loved his family dearly. He did everything he could to take care of them.
He is survived by his wife of 29 years, Karen Harris; a son, Dylan Harris; a daughter, Carly Harris; four sisters Jenny Hillman, Kim Stephens, Lorie Tudor and Valerie Willis; and a number of family members and friends.
In lieu of flowers, it is requested that donations be made to the University of Arkansas Department of Mechanical Engineers Scholarship Fund, 4183 Bell Engineering Center, Fayetteville, AR 72701.
A memorial gathering to celebrate David’s life will be held at at 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11, at U.S. Pizza Company, located at 3600 Arkansas 5 in Bryant.
In his words, “See you punks later.”