Running the engineering department on an aircraft carrier during the first Gulf War prepared Bruce Ames for a lifelong career that kept him busy in all types of industries—paper, power, trucking, and more. Now, a lubrication engineer with ExxonMobil, he uses his diverse skills to develop programs to help his customers save money, energy, and time.
By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Inc. - Reporting for Pump Engineer, Valve World and Valve World Americas
Bruce Ames’s family genes are deep in two things—engineering and the Navy. His engineer father and brother-in-law were Navy, and this family history inspired him to pursue and earn a four-year scholarship to Maine Maritime Academy. This is where he received a degree in marine engineering technology and acquired a Coast Guard license. He was commissioned by his Naval officer brother on graduation day, and shipped off to a three-year duty aboard the USS Forrestal.
The 1,100-foot aircraft carrier was made famous when it caught on fire in July of 1967, triggering a chain-reaction of explosions that killed 134 sailors and injured 161. At the time, Forrestal was engaged in combat operations in the Gulf of Tonkin, during the Vietnam War. The ship survived, but with damage exceeding US$72 million, not including the damage to aircraft. Future United States Senator John McCain and future four-star admiral and U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Ronald J. Zlatoper were among the survivors. Ames served his time on the Forrestal from 1989 to 1992, more than two decades later, but some of the explosion damage left challenges for the future engineers and operators. Read the full story by following this link.