Thursday, August 1, 2013

#87) In Memoriam - James R. Drugan, PhD

Dr. James R. “Jim” Drugan
1938 - 2013

Jim Drugan passed away quietly on July 22. He had been suffering from Parkinson's Disease for many years. He is survived by his wife Jan, two sons and a daughter. There will not be a funeral.

Jim’s significant engineering career at Librascope began in 1958 and by 1969 he had become a Senior Staff Engineer. That year he also received a PhD in Engineering from UCLA. His thesis was on Large Scale Systems.

In 1971, he was promoted into management by Jerry Deitz, Vice President and Chief Engineer.

During his time as Supervisor, Librascope invested in an effort to expand the Company’s business from torpedo fire control into sonar. Under Jim’s direction, the “Blue Room” was built and numerous highly classified display studies were conducted for the Naval Sea System Command. The studies provided the Navy with guidelines for sonar display design that are still used today. As a result of this work, Librascope consulted on the movie “The Hunt for Red October” and received a screen credit.

In 1975, Jim was promoted to Manager, System Engineering. During his time as Manager, Librascope began marketing its torpedo fire control engineering expertise to allied navies. The first contract was with the Royal Australian Navy to study modernization of torpedo fire control system on their Oberon class submarines. At the conclusion of the study, Jim visited Australia with the Librascope team.

This led to a long relationship with the Royal Australian Navy as well as contracts with Canada and India.

After serving as Manager of System Engineering, Jim left Librascope to form Drugan Associates where he had a consulting relationship with both Librascope and the Royal Australian Navy. During this time, Jim played a significant roll in the development of the combat system for the Australian Collins Class submarines that replaced the Oberon Class.

Finally, Jim was a highly accomplished golfer -- he had a three handicap at one time. The Librazettes document his many accomplishments as a member of the Librascope Golf Team.

Jim became a member of the Oakmont Country Club in Glendale and purchased a home overlooking the golf course. Until health problems overtook him, he spent many happy hours playing golf on the Oakmont course and enjoying the view of the course from his front window.