Jack W. Lewis

Engineer and Author

logo

Page last modified: September 06 2014 11:24:59.

About Me

Mountain HomeI live with my wonderful wife in the Appalachian Mountains about 45 minutes northwest of Roanoke, VA. The mountains have always been my "home". There, among the trees and wildlife, I find the peace and quiet that allows me to pursue my love of trout fishing, technical writing, and many hobbies.

Lewis FamilyI was born in a coal mining village in southwestern PA the last of six children. I grew up playing, hiking and fishing in the nearby mountains. When I was 13, my family moved to Beaver Falls, PA where I attended Beaver Falls High School. A first course in science got me interested in engineering so I took all the math and science courses they had. When I graduated, I won the school's Physics Award and had stright A's in all math and science courses. I wanted to go to college, but my family couldn't afford to send me. So I entered an apprentice millwright program where I gained practical experience building equipment and earned enough money to start college the following year.

Mountain HomeDuring the year I worked as a millwright apprentice, I competed for and won an appoinment to the United States Coast Guard Academy (CGA) located in New London, CT. There I studied engineering and other subjects. I received a Bachelor of Science Degree with honors and a commission as an Ensign in the US Coast Guard. While at CGA I found that I loved engineering. I studied hard and graduated at the top of my class in all engineering subjects.

After four years at sea in deck and engineer officer assignments, I was selected by the Coast Guard to attend graduate school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, MA. There I studied ship design and mechanical engineering with a major in automatic controls systems. I graduated from MIT's Graduate School with honors and received two degrees: Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering, and a Naval Engineer Degree (two graduate years required to get these "Engineer" degrees).

Arctec, Inc.Following my MIT graduation I was assigned to the US Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, DC where I designed polar icebreaking ships. Following that assignment, I decided to resign my commission (at the time I was a Lt. Commander) and start my own consulting engineering business. I spent 25 years as a consulting engineer designing instrumentation and control systems for oil and gas exploration and transportation systems in the Arctic seas, North seas, and the Gulf of Mexico. The last company I helped start lives on as BMT Scientific Marine Services.

RNs and EMTsAfter that, I went back to school again with my wife to study nursing at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College, something we both found very interesting after becoming volunter emergency medical technicians (EMTs). We are both Registered Nurses (RNs) and EMT Instructors in Virginia. While my wife went on to get a BS Degree in Nursing, I went to Central Virginia Community College for a year of study which led me to become a Nationally Registered Paramedic.

I love to learn new things and I love technical challenges. I've been a programmer all through my engineering career and I still find programming a challenge. All of my future books will use my programming skills as I develop interactive widgets for the iBooks about automatic control systems. Like the author Norman Maclean, a river runs through my life, so I will continue my quest to flyfish the Top 100 trout streams in America of which I now have 20 left to fish.