Creative Aging: 65 and Better in the Berkshires

Creative Aging: J. Anderson Plumer can't stop putting in the hours

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J. Anderson Plumer, known as Andy to his friends and family, was born and raised in Pennsylvania. He graduated from Lehigh University with a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering. Newly married, Andy and his wife, Meg, moved to the Berkshires in 1965 when he started to work for the General Electric High Voltage Laboratory. There he tested lightning effects on aircraft and aerospace and defense systems. Using simulated lightning, he investigated what it does to airplanes.

After 12 years in increasingly significant positions, when GE began to downsize he and Meg started Lightning Technologies Inc. and Andy became the founding president. Today this company is recognized worldwide as a center of excellence in design and verification of lightning protection of aircraft and wind turbines. The company started with two employees and now has 18-20. In 1999 Lightning Technologies was sold to National Technical Systems and Andy continued on as chief engineer.

He is the author or co-author of numerous technical papers and articles on lightning, electromagnetic effects, and protection design for aircraft and ground-based electrical and electronic systems. He is co-author of the book "Lightning Protection of Aircraft" and the author of two patents for inventions relating to design of lightning protection for advanced technology aircraft. He has won numerous honors and awards for his outstanding work in the field of lightning technology. He continues to consult all over the world, including traveling regularly to Japan to consult with their civil aviation industry.

Andy and Meg have four children and five grandchildren. They sing in the Berkshire Lyric Chorus and are involved with church work at Zion Lutheran Church in Pittsfield. At age 80, Andy still works 32 hours a week. In the field of lightning, there is no one with more engineering, test, and consulting experience. He thinks he will slow down … soon.



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