A native of Wisconsin, Alan Ruud received his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the Milwaukee School of Engineering, his master’s in business administration from the University of Chicago and an honorary doctorate in engineering from MSOE in 1998.
Ruud began his career as a Partner in Goulet-Ruud & Associates, Electrical Consulting Engineers in Milwaukee from 1968 to 1977. In 1975, he founded SPI Lighting, later sold to McGraw-Edison where he served as Vice President until 1982.
Alan Ruud founded Ruud Lighting a worldwide direct marketer of industrial and commercial lighting fixtures in 1982. Ten years later, he expanded the company to include Beta Lighting and Kramer Lighting. Ruud was instrumental in creating the company’s successful BetaLED®, LEDway® and Essentia™ brands that are dedicated to the emerging use of LED technology for lighting applications. Mr. Ruud served as the Chief Executive Officer and as Chairman of Ruud Lighting.
In 1998 Ruud Lighting merged with Advanced Lighting Technologies where Mr. Ruud served as Vice Chairman from 1998-2001. In 2001 the Ruud family reacquired Ruud Lighting where he served as CEO & Chairman.
Alan Ruud joined the Cree Board of Directors in August 2011, when Cree acquired Ruud Lighting. He served as Cree’s Vice Chairman-Lighting through October 2015.Mr. Ruud is a professional engineer and lighting designer, nationally recognized for his expertise in the lighting industry. He has been awarded over 100 patents for his innovative designs. Ruud has been the recipient of many awards including, the “Edwin F. Guth Distinguished Lighting Design Award” from the Illuminating Engineering Society; the “Pioneer Award” from the Milwaukee School of Engineering; the “Wisconsin Governor’s New Product Award”; the “Racine County Small Businessman of the Year Award”; the Ernst Young, Inc./Merrill Lynch “1991 Entrepreneur of the Year” award for the State of Wisconsin; “Marketer of the Year” by Sales & Marketing; and UW-Madison Construction Club’s 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award.
Mr. Ruud is a former member and Chairman of MSOE University Board of Regents, Director Emeritus of the Prairie School Board of Directors, as well as former Director of Johnson Financial Group. He currently serves on the Board of Directors and is Chairman of the Audit Committee of Armis Biopharma. He also served as Chairman of the Board at St. Mary’s Hospital – Racine and the Chairman of the 1989 Racine Area United Way Campaign.
In 2015 the Ruud family purchased controlling interest of DeltaHawk Engines, a developer of multi-fuel general aviation engines based in Racine, WI where Mr. Ruud serves as Chairman of Board of Directors.DeltaHawk has developed and certified a robust, compact, lightweight, and efficient SAF/jet fueled piston engine to replace the hundreds of thousands of leaded fueled general aviation engines. This is the result of Mr. Ruud’s passion for aviation. He has held a pilot’s license since 1968, has an ATP rating and several type ratings. He has flown almost 8000 hours in several turbine airplanes, including over 2 million miles in Falcon 900’s since 2000 to six continents.