Distinguished Engineer Citations
Jack L. McCavitDistinguished Engineer: 2013
Degree: B.S., Chemical Engineering – 1970
Citation at Time of Nomination in 2013
Jack McCavit is president of JL McCavit Consulting, LLC, a consulting company specializing in improving process safety management systems and reducing process safety incidents.
McCavit graduated from Yoakum High School in 1965. After graduating from Texas Tech University with a bachelor of science in chemical engineering, he began his career working as a process engineer for Celanese Chemical Company in 1970 in Bay City, Texas. He worked for Celanese Chemical Company for 35 years before retiring in 2005. Most of his career at Celanese was spent in operations and technical management at three different plant sites, including serving as operations manager at the facility in Pampa, Texas.
From 2000 until his retirement from Celanese in 2005, McCavit provided strategic process safety management direction for Celanese as the company manager of process safety. As the manager of process safety, McCavit was an active participant in the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS), an industry alliance of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center, and the American Chemistry Council process safety committee. Through his work at Celanese, McCavit developed extensive experience in operations management and practical application of process safety management systems.
Upon retirement from Celanese in 2005, McCavit founded JL McCavit Consulting, LLC with the goal of helping prevent process safety incidents, fires, explosions, and toxic releases from chemical plants and refineries. Following the BP Texas City explosion in 2005, McCavit served as the BP Baker Panel's technical project manager. He also served as a part of the BP Independent Expert Team that monitored BP's implementation of the Baker Panel recommendations.
McCavit is a member of AIChE, an emeritus member of CCPS, a CCPS staff consultant, and has been recognized as an AIChE Fellow and CCPS fellow. He served as chair of the CCPS committee responsible for the development of the Guidelines for Risk Based Process Safety, the next generation CCPS process safety management book. He is a member of the CCPS committee that writes the Process Safety Beacon, a monthly publication of process safety messages for manufacturing personnel, and has been a member of several other CCPS book project committees. He is currently leading the CCPS Vision 2020 project that will describe characteristics of companies with great process safety performance in the future.
McCavit received the prestigious Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center Merit Award in 2011. The award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of education, research, or service activities related to process safety concepts and/or technologies.
McCavit currently serves on the Chemical Engineering External Advisory Board for the Whitacre College of Engineering. He has attended almost every Texas Tech home football game for more than 20 years.
He and his wife Sherry live in Pampa, Texas, where they are active in the Pampa First United Methodist Church. Sherry, their three sons, Todd, Tim, and Trey, and daughter-in-law Laura are all graduates of Texas Tech. They have seven grandchildren.