Harvey Byron Jansen was as much a star in the engineering world as members of the Brazilian World Cup team are in soccer. He, too, came to be known by his first name. If you said “Harv” to many of those knowledgeable about servos, actuators, valves, and combustion systems in aerospace and land-based gas-turbine applications, they knew immediately you were referring to the smart, effervescent guy in the lab coat with a resemblance to Dr Emmett Brown of Back to the Futurefame.
Harv was CEO of Tempe-based Jansen’s Aircraft Systems Controls, known to most readers by the acronym JASC. He founded the company in 1990 and over the next 24 years built a firm with an exemplary reputation for innovation and high-quality engineered flow-control products. He was 76 when he succumbed to cancer on the fifth of July, but mentally still in the prime of his professional career. Many would be inclined to say, “He will be missed.” For Harv, that trite phrase would be a gross understatement.
The editors visited JASC on several occasions over the years. The first time we were overwhelmed by all the disassembled products Harv had spread out on the conference room table. Like most power engineers, we were comfortable talking about large gate and globe valves for water and steam service that give the appearance of having been manufactured by a blacksmith. JASC products were at the other end of the spectrum, what precision parts for an artificial heart might look like.