Hailing from humble beginnings, Dr. Jack R. Vinson decided early on that he wanted to delve into the field of aeronautical engineering. Building model airplanes in his youth, he attended Cornell University as an undergraduate student and received a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering in 1952. While studying toward a bachelor’s degree, he was an engineering student at Black & Veatch Consulting Engineers in Kansas City, MO, from 1947 to 1952. From there, he earned a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1961 while simultaneously serving as a functional engineer for General Electric in Philadelphia between 1956 and 1961. Relocating to Drexel Hill, PA, Dr. Vinson served as the vice president of Dyna/Structures, Inc., for the following four years.
In 1964, Dr. Vinson became employed by the University of Delaware in Newark, where he first served as an associate professor before being promoted to full professor and chairman of the Department of Structural Mechanics. During his tenure at the university, he notably founded the Center for Composite Materials, which was the first of its kind in the United States. Serving as a director, Dr. Vinson departed from the center after his academic retirement; however, the center continues to thrive. Dr. Vinson attained emeritus status in 2005 and continues to serve as a partner of Structural Mechanics Associates in Penn Valley, PA, a position he obtained in 1965.
During his career, Dr. Vinson has been recognized for his triumphs and was named a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the American Society for Composites. He is the founding editor and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Sandwich Structures of Materials, which he says keeps him young and on his toes. He notes that the responsibilities affiliated with administrating the journal include keeping contact with over 1,000 reviewers in nearly 40 countries.
To remain abreast of developments in the industry, Dr. Vinson has maintained affiliation with numerous organizations in his field, including the American Society for Composites, in which he has served as a past president and vice president. Likewise, he is a former chairman of the Aerospace Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and previously served as a region three vice president of the executive committee for the International Conference on Composite Materials for two years.
Born in Kansas City to parents Harry Roger Vinson and Myrtle (Kiple) Vinson on November 10, 1929, Dr. Vinson married his first wife Gertrude Hovey in 1955 until her passing in 1977. Marrying Midge Shore in 1983, Dr. Vinson is the proud father of four children and three stepchildren. He also has 14 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. He currently resides with his wife in Haverford, PA.
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