Resume of Bruce Van Sant


BS in Physics and Mathematics (Davidson College, NC, and U. of Florida)
Some graduate study in Astrophysics (U. of Maryland)

Professional Career

United Aircraft hired me in 1960 as a mathematician in their RL-10 rocket program, but I came to enjoy programming of real time command and control computer systems. That permitted me to move on to NASA Greenbelt as a systems analyst in their manned spacecraft programs. After I got loaned out in 1965 to work on IBM's first big computer operating systems, I moved on to NASA Houston as a project manager on the moon landing Project Apollo. By 1968 a job followed at the heart of the U.S. ABM shield with its prime contractor Bell Labs, where I managed development of the NIKE-X multi/parallel-processor operating system and all its supporting software, a central part of the SAFEGUARD weapons systems whose success brought the USSR to sign the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty.

At that point, as an IBM Senior Consultant Systems Engineer, I looked back and saw that I had pioneered management methods and tools for the development of on-line networked systems, many of which appear in the foundations of today's Information Technology. Some still exist in the software on your PC.

My reputation for successful management of large complex projects led to requests to consult with various enterprises such as Braniff and Eastern Airlines, NASA Advanced Systems Design, international freight forwarders, Bank of America, Volvo, and so on. Following one such stint Stanford Research Institute selected me to work with Volvo's top management to develop their worldwide distributed processing systems. That began a wide-ranging global career.

IBM World Trade asked me to create a consultant program which would carry the innovations we had demonstrated at Volvo to their other large customers. They also tasked me to train all countries to "unbundle" their software services business from hardware sales and turn a profit through software. This led to many years of consulting abroad for many industries in many countries, until ill health struck like a tiger in Sumatra.

During a decades long recovery process I paid more attention to my sailing than I did to my work. Between jobs I chartered my yacht and did some writing. I gradually dropped out of the tech world altogether, and spent thirty years cosseting my health by criss-crossing the seas in my sailboats.

Professional Summary Backward to 1960

Ragtag Jobs From Nine Years Old to 1960

door-to-door sales, gardener, mason's helper, printer's boy, pin-setter, dishwasher, busboy, pizza and hoagie maker, all night country singer in fisherman's bar, bellhop, cannery machines operator, factory foreman, radiator rodder, truck driver, dry cement tanker loader, forklift driver, parking valet, document taxonomist
and a happy stint shilling for the tourists' Cha-Cha teacher at Bea Morley's 4 O'Clock night club.

SEE ALSO About the Author