James and Shirley Bartlett

James L. Bartlett Jr. ‘39 has spent more than six decades transforming his technical expertise and business experience into pioneering developments in a wide range of fields. After earning a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at WPI, he held research positions with B.F. Sturtevant Co., Trane Co., and AiResearch Manufacturing Co. He then helped found Cosmodyne Corp., which became one of the nation's largest manufacturers of equipment for storing, transporting, and handling liquefied gases. Following a brief stint as a rancher, he returned to the business world as president and owner of Hydranautics, a manufacturer of equipment for offshore drilling rigs and shipyards, and reverse osmosis desalination systems.

In 1984, when Hydranautics became a subsidiary of Rohm and Haas, he founded his own company, Bardex Corp., to continue his interest in making equipment for offshore platforms and heavy-load moving. An earlier reacquisition of Cosmodyne led to its consolidation with other cryogenic companies. Bartlett later formed a new company to make membranes for ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, and reverse osmosis. More recently, he was involved in the formation of Pacific Design Technologies Inc., a company focused on the design and construction of fluid circulation cooling systems for military and space applications.

Shirley Bartlett is a descendent of Martha Boynton, cousin of John Boynton, one of WPI’s founders. The Bartletts have generously supported the university and its students for many years. Their gifts include a scholarship fund that gives preference to American citizens of Hispanic descent and leadership support for the Campus Center. The lobby of that building, completed in 2001, is named in their honor.

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Last modified: March 27, 2008 10:48:46