Year Inducted: 2011
John J. Swoboda, JR
John Swoboda’s offshore career began over 40 years ago creating innovative solutions enabling offshore drilling and production to enter deeper waters. He designed winches to tow pipelines over 25-miles long, assembled on shore, into position offshore.
As President of Victoria Machine Works, John pioneered constant tension winch controls, pipelaying davits and stingers, and platform mooring systems. A major contributor to improving safety on offshore rigs, John pioneered equipment such as mechanical racking systems for handling drill pipe, helicopter refueling systems that could be emergency jettisoned overboard, and a stabilized BOP handling system. He also produced the HandiArm, a device similar to a manlift that allows access to the underside of a jack-up drilling rig for maintenance
while on location. Another innovation includes the first J-Lay pipeline
system in the Gulf of Mexico, a computerized pipe cutting machine for
platform fabrication, and integrated tug-barge connections.