Bowen graduated as a mechanical engineer from Aston University in Birmingham and then joined British Aerospace working as a stress analyst. Soon afterwards he was recruited by Marconi Avionics and continued his work, studying stress in advanced materials. He stayed with the company for seven years, in the final two being head of Marconi's structural analysis department. In this position he was responsible for granting air worthiness certificates for the company's diverse defence products. At the same time he became a member of the engineering "establishment" as a member of the Royal Aeronautical Society and a chartered engineer.But in 1987 he gave up the aerospace and defence industries and took a job establishing a stress analysis department for the new technical director of Arrows Grand Prix International, Ross Brawn. He worked on the design team of the A10B chassis which in 1988 gave the Arrows operation fourth place in the Constructors' Championship - its best ever season - and was project engineer on the Arrows A11 in 1989. That same year he began to get racing experience, working as race engineer with Eddie Cheever.At the end of that year Brawn left Arrows and James Robinson was drafted in from Williams to be chief engineer. A year later Robinson moved on and Bowen was appointed in his place when the team was restructured under new technical director Alan Jenkins. Bowen concentrated on design work but race engineered Michele Alboreto in 1990 and then again in 1992. He returned to the race team again in 1994 to work with Gianni Morbidelli.In June he transferred from the Arrows factory at Milton Keynes to the TWR Technical Center at Leafield and became chief designer for Tom Walkinshaw's restructured team, leading the group which produced the Arrows-Yamaha A18 in 1997.In August 1999 Arrows appointed Egbahl Hamidy to be its new chief designer and Bowen faded from the limelight.