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In Memory

James A. Maple

James A. Maple, age 64 of Baytown, TX

Birth: Apr. 22, 1937

Death: Aug. 13, 2001

Born in Rushville, Indiana, the oldest of seven children of Kenneth and Nellie Maple. A major contributor to the engineering design of the 800-mile long Tans-Alalska Pipeline. Received three patents for his development of innovative support systems that enabled the Alaska Pipeline to cross unstable permafrost zones. US Navy Civil Engineering Corps and in the US Naval Reserve, retiring in 1992 with the rank of Commander. Preceded in death by his parents. 

Burial:  Sterling White Chapel and Cemetary in Highlands, TX.

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06/22/14 07:20 PM #1    

Larry Motschenbacher

James A. Maple MemorialThis is James A. Maple Memorial at the Trans Alaska Pipeline Visitor Center in Fox, Alaska (just north of Fairbanks).

James A. Maple 
P.E. Arctic Pipeline Pioneer 
1937 - 2001

Dr. Maple was a structural engineer and principal designer of the trans-Alaska pipeline.  He holds three patents for his development of innovative pipe supports that enabled the warm oil pipeline to safely traverse areas of permafrost.  He pioneered the use of sophisticated structural analysis for pipelines, now used on arctic pipelines worldwide.  A graduate of Purdue University, he was a major contributor not only during design and construction but also continued to provide engineering expertise for the pipeline until his death in 2001.

In recognition of his contributions to the engineering of arctic pipelines, Dr. Maple was awarded the prestigious Harold R. Peyton Award for Cold Regions Engineering by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2001.  The award was named by Dr. Peyton, another key pipeline designer, who unfortunately died just before the pipeline was commissioned in 1977.

Dedicated August 1, 2002 in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the opening of the trans-Alaska Pipeline. 

01/31/15 09:46 AM #2    

Elden Johnson

Jim was a dear friend of mine.  I was assigned to his group in Houston,TX, 1973 as a young engineer just out of school.  He was a great engineer, supervisor, and mentor.  Always had a Navy crew cut.  During pipeline construction, as a field engineer, I would call him often for advice.  He of course was very buisy and sometimes would not get back to me right away.  One time, I left a message (with my number) that it was Frank Moolin calling.  He got back with me very quickly, but told me never to do that again.  Sadly, I was in Houston in 2001, just before he died, and visited him in the hospital.  A great loss, personally and professionally.


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