Hometown: Dimock, SD
Aelred J. Kurtenbach received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, all in electrical engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, the University of Nebraska and Purdue University, respectively. He taught electrical engineering at Purdue University and SDSU. While on the SDSU staff, he co-founded Daktronics, Inc., in 1968. Daktronics designs, manufactures, markets and services large computer programmable displays, primarily scoreboards and large screen video systems, on a global basis. He served as Director and Officer of the company since its origin and later as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Dr. Kurtenbach and Daktronics have been recognized with numerous awards for entrepreneurism and quality. Dr. Kurtenbach was twice named South Dakota’s Small Businessman of the Year. He was honored by SDSU with the Distinguished Service to South Dakota Non-Alumnus Award in 1986. He was honored in 1994 as the South Dakota Executive of the Year and the South Dakotan of the Year by the University of South Dakota School of Business. Dr. Kurtenbach was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame in 1992 and was chosen as the Entrepreneur of the Year in 2000 for manufacturing in a national competition sponsored by Ernst and Young. He served on the South Dakota Board of Regents from 1984 to 1986 and also served as Dean of SDSU’s College of Engineering. All of Dr. Kurtenbach’s five children earned bachelor’s degrees from SDSU and the Kurtenbach family was honored as SDSU’s Family of the Year in 2000.