Jack Devanney obtained his education at M.I.T. where he received a Bachelors in Naval Architecture in 1962, a Masters in Naval Architecture in 1965, and a Ph.D. in Management Science in 1967. During his education, Devanney worked for Amsterdamsche Droogdok (fitters helper), Newport News Shipbuilding (carrier weight control) and Electric Boat (submarine operations research analyst), as well as mounting an unsuccessful campaign to represent the USA in the Olympic Finn class.
In 1968/1969, he worked for Litton Industries where he was responsible for the hull form and tank testing of the DD 963 (Spruance) class.
From 1969 to 1978, Devanney served on the faculty of the Department of Ocean Engineering at M.I.T. where he taught courses in marine transportation and petroleum engineering. While at M.I.T. he was the Project Director of the widely emulated Georges Bank Petroleum Study and co-director of the Atlantic/Gulf Of Alaska Outer Continental Shelf Study for the Council on Environmental Quality. He is the author of two texts and some twenty papers. He holds a patent in the field of fluidized bed combustion. He has been a consultant to the United Nations, the World Bank, the National Academy of Sciences, the Office of Technology Assessment, the Organization of American States, the Federal Reserve Bank, and several Latin American governments. He was the youngest person ever appointed to the Panel on Naval Warfare of the President's Science Advisory Committee and the youngest fired from that position.
In 1978, shortly after receiving tenure, Devanney left academia and embarked on a 25 year career revolving around tankers. This included starting Martingale, Inc an engineering and economics firm specializing in tankers and the tanker market. Martingale has performed major oil related studies for OPEC, OECD, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, the State of Alaska, and the Sierra Club. The group has done ground breaking work in marine power systems, oil spill likliehood and transport, and oil futures trading strategies. Martingale maintains MARTINET, the most comprehensive model of the tanker charter market in existence, and has developed software covering all facets of tanker management and operation -- most importantly, MLOAD, a combined tanker loading, salvage and spill reduction package.
In the early 80's he was a founding partner of Atlantic Chartering, a successful tanker brokerage firm. He also started Three Blind Mice, a petroleum futures trading venture which implements Bayesian dynamic programming based trading strategies developed by Devanney and his partners.
From 1984 to 1990, Dr. Devanney was President and CEO of Majestic Shipping Corp, a company which he was instrumental in founding. During this period, Majestic purchased and operated seven large tankers with an aggregate deadweight of 2.25 million tons. Majestic, a subsidary of Loews Corp, was the largest independent American owner of very large tankers, carrying over 2% of all the oil imported into the United States in 1988 and 1989. In 1990, the Majestic fleet was sold in two transactions which valued the ships at over 315 million dollars. This fleet was purchased in the mid-80's for 42 million dollars.
Between 1990 and 2005, Devanney was a Director of Hellespont Shipping Corp, owner of as many as 14 very large tankers. In 1999, under his direction as Program Manager, Hellespont instituted the largest large tanker newbuilding program in the world at the time, four 305,000 ton VLCC's at Samsung Heaving Industries, and four 442,000 ton ULCC's at Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering. The latter are the only ships over 320,000 tons built in the last 20 years. These eight ships were delivered in 2001/2002. Dr. Devanney was responsible for all facets of this program: specs, financing, yard negotiations, supervision, and all major technical and commercial decisions. The Samsung VLCC's were sold in 2001 and the Daewoo ULCC's were sold in 2004. While the projects were sold at a substantial profit, Devanney's decision to sell was, to put it politely, premature.
In 2005, Devanney retired and founded the Center for Tankship Excellence. The CTX is a non-profit devoted to improving the quality of tanker design, construction, and regulation, and keeping Devanney off his windsurfer. The CTX maintains a database of tanker casualties at www.c4tx.org/ctx/job/cdb/flex.html. The CTX has published a book called The Tankship Tromedy, outlining the problems associated with the current tanker regulatory system. The CTX has also published some 20 papers on various aspects of tanker regulation. Recently the focus has been on the reduction of CO2 emissions from shipping. These papers are available at www.c4tx.org/ctx/pub.
But it was obvious that ships were a tiny part of the CO2 problem. In 2011, Devanney shifted his attention to nuclear power. He formed a small team to develop a design that combined the safety and efficiency of liquid fuel with his background in ship production.