McGowan was nominated by Motts divisional director Andy Girvan and protegés Lorraine Hutchison, Duncan Scott, Fiona Savage and Duncan Hutchison – as well as graduates Nina Rooke from Entec UK and Graeme Greer, from Jacobs.
"It is great to win an award for something that is, for me, the most enjoyable part of my job," said a delighted McGowan.
Greer, who nominated McGowan said: "I have worked with Richard in a partnership of consulting engineers for the last two years.
"As Richard works for another consultant, he has no direct responsibility for training me.
"However, at every opportunity, Richard will go out of his way to assist and encourage me in my development as a civil engineer."
Motts' Lorraine Hutchison supported Richard at the crucial question and answer session for the judges to select the winner.
"Richard is always willing to give up time for graduates, whether this is in relation to ICE mentoring or general day-to-day staff development within Mott MacDonald.
"His interest in staff/graduate development extends far beyond the graduates that he is an official mentor for; he takes a keen
interest in the mentoring of all graduates.
"Richard has a very keen interest in helping graduates to develop, and identifying potential for this in the projects they are working on," she said.
McGowan's divisional director spelled out exactly why he thought McGowan triumphed. "He is genuinely interested in the development of staff rather than the process of doing it.
"He has more than just an understanding of what learning and development can do for individuals, organisations and society.