Dr. Warren “Gene” Bulman grew up on a cotton farm near Woodville, Alabama. At an early age, he developed an interest in engineering, spending his free time building radios and model airplanes. As a high school student, he turned his hobby into a business, becoming his town’s local radio and bicycle repairman. It was through these experiences that he discovered his talent for identifying a mechanical problem and fixing it.
With a desire to pursue a career in science and engineering, Dr. Bulman came to Berea College in 1941 to study physics. At Berea, he was the president of the physics club and a member of the electronics club. He also assisted with the sound system at basketball games and operated the projector for Friday night movies shown at Phelps Stokes. Dr. Bulman’s time at Berea was interrupted when he enlisted in World War II, serving as a pilot and instructor with the U.S. Army Air Forces. Following his service, he returned to Berea and met his wife Verna, ’49. In 1948, Dr. Bulman completed his undergraduate degree in mathematics and physics.
He went on to receive a master’s degree in physics from Purdue University and a doctorate in electrical engineering from Ohio State University. As a doctoral student in 1956, he founded Ohio Semiconductors Inc., which served as a leader in thermoelectric and compound semiconductor technology until 1960, when the company became a division of Tecumseh Products.
In 1964, Dr. Bulman founded Ohio Semitronics, Inc., the first company in the U.S. to develop and market Hall-effect devices, earning him the title Father of the American Market in Hall-Effect Devices. Today, Dr. Bulman serves as Chairman of the Board for Ohio Semitronics, which has been a leader in the field of industrial electrical and energy measurement for nearly 50 years. Dr. Bulman is proud to be a part of a company that is able to support 100 employees and their families because of its success.
In addition to making significant contributions to the world of science and engineering, Dr. Bulman has made educational and service contributions to his community—at home in Columbus and here at Berea College. Dr. Bulman has served as Chairman of Blue Cross of Central Ohio and on the Boards of the Marburn Academy and the United Methodist Children’s Home. He has also been an active member of the Columbus Rotary Club and the United Methodist Church.
At Berea, Dr. Bulman has participated in the Waldemar Noll physics lecture series and served as a committed volunteer in support of the Charles M. Hall Science Building renovation. He and Mrs. Bulman are also faithful and generous Berea College supporters whose commitment is rooted in a desire to ensure that students have an opportunity to discover, create, and serve.