I graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1957 with a BSME. I interviewed at the Pratt Whitney facility in East Hartford. and accepted a job offer for a new classified program to be based in Florida. My neighbors in Nashville, Tennessee were besieged with questions about my background and integrity from some "unidentified" agency.
I selected fuel controls as my area of interest and started to work in East Hartford and soon reported to Ed Esmeier, who would head up the Florida Controls Group. I spent a lot of time at Hamilton Standard watching them trying to build the first J58 Main Fuel Control, the JFC-36, working with Bob Porter, the HSD Project Manager.
While in East Hartford, I was first assigned to Frank Jourzak working on J75 Compressor Bleed Valves. He came down once and quietly told me to set a particular bleed valve to open at a certain pressure ratio. I flipped open my P&W vest pocket handbook and told him that couldn't be right as it represented an altitude of 70,000 feet and we didn't have anything that flew that high, and got promptly "shushed".
I moved to Florida in March of 1958 and supported early J58 testing with cobbled up stand mounted fuel systems, using various J75 components. I got quite familiar with the Hamilton Standard. JFC-25 control used on the J75 engine. I remember trying to run one high thrust point and we needed more fuel flow from the control. I had the JFC-25's manual metering valve removed on the test stand, borrowed a file and quickly increased the metering valve window area, and then ran the required test point.
I was assigned to work part time on a ramjet study program that seemed related to the J58 effort. I patented a ramjet control scheme based on shock position. . After five years on the JS8 program, I was selected to be the first Control's engineer to go to Area 51, wherever that was. I met Kelly Johnson and Ben Rich at our facility.
My assignment was delayed six months at my request~ to allow me to get married in September 1961. My wife wanted to finish school and I always wanted to see Southern California, so rather than take the J58 field assignment (no wives allowed), I took a job with Aerojet General in Azusa and then Sacramento. We were in California for two years and returned to Pratt~ where I was promoted and worked on the Pratt Space Shuttle Engine Program for 7 years.
After further assignments in Controls Technology, helicopter engines and the F100/200 engine program (FlS, FI6), I was promoted to head the Pratt Controls Group in 1984. The J58 controls group then reported to me. I retired from Pratt in 1995.