John J. Pippenger, one of the fluid power industry's most notable names, passed away on Tuesday, February 7, at Keweenaw Memorial Medical Center in Laurium, Mich. He was 88.
Pippenger was instrumental in the formation of the National Fluid Power Association, and served on NFPA's first board of directors in 1953. He was also a founding officerin the Fluid Power Society and served as its third president-beginning in 1962. He was among the leaders within the society to launch its certification program, which has become an extensive program encompassing training, testing, and certification of mechanics, specialists, and engineers involved in mobile and industrial hydraulics, pneumatics, and controls.
He also played an important role in the formation of the Fluid Power Distributors Association, the Fluid Power Educational Foundation, and was inducted as a charter member into the Fluid Power Hall of Fame in 1967.
Pippenger began his career with Ford Motor Company. He taught Basic Hydraulics at Wayne State University and served in several engineering and executive positions at a variety of fluid power companies, including Hydraulic HiSpeed Co., Double A. Products Co., Racine Hydraulic Development Corp. and Hydraulic Products Inc. until it was purchased by the W. H. Nichols Company of Waltham, Mass.
After he retired in 1979, Pippenger continued to serve as a technical consultant, educational coordinator, editor, instructor, author and technical editor and advisor until 1994 when he retired completely. He authored and co-authored 25 technical books, including Fluid Power: The Hidden Giant, a comprehensive textbook summarizing the history of fluid power technology and affiliated organizations.