Alumni Spotlight: Jeffrey Bowles ’00

It’s been almost 13 years since I graduated from Webb.  Immediately following graduation I spent a year in England obtaining a master’s in marine engineering. Once complete, I returned to the US and took a position as a naval architect with Donald L. Blount & Associates (DLBA) in my home town of Hampton Roads, Virginia, as many of my classmates probably guessed I would.

I settled into my first job comfortably and felt that Webb had done an excellent job of preparing me for life in the real world. While I didn’t know everything I needed to know to do my job, I was prepared with the basic knowledge to understand what was required and to learn the necessary skills to complete the tasks at hand.

During my early years at DLBA, I was exposed to many exciting projects including boats for the sport fisherman, custom yachts, patrol vessels, and small recreational craft. The range of projects included new design, troubleshooting problem boats, and overseeing repairs in shipyards around the world. Between paying projects and authoring technical papers, travel opportunities came calling. Within the first five years at DLBA, I had made it to Canada, China, England, France, Italy, Russia and Sweden, not to mention all of the US cities visited.

A big change in my life came in 2009 when I married my high school sweetheart, Catherine. While marriage was a welcome change, it still reduced my hunting and fishing opportunities!! Catherine has proven to be a wonderful bride and companion and is supportive of all of my interests and job requirements, including the travel. Well, I did have to get her a dog for company.

Another exciting event occurred this past November when I was promoted to the position of technical director at DLBA. I’m still getting used to the new job, but so far it’s been quite exciting.  Addressing technical issues, supporting business development, and leading and teaching colleagues are daily challenges. This new position is giving me the opportunity to put my Webb education and experiences to the test, and every day I’m thankful for that!