There Are Wrenches in English Too: Professor Eric Jones Profile by Richard Mulville

Hello, everyone, and welcome to our installment, “Acts of Reading and Writing: Faculty Profiles.” This week we feature Prof R. Eric Jones, Lewis University Aviation and Transportation Professor. Lewis student Richard Mulville interviewed Prof. Jones. The mini-interview, that the Jet Fuel Review editors are also partaking in for the “Meet the Editors” series, is located after the profile.

There Are Wrenches in English Tooeric jones

Robert Eric Jones, though he prefers Eric Jones, is one of those mechanics who works and inspects airplanes on a weekend basis for SWA (Southwest Airlines.) Jones with his clean cut brown hair, standing about 5’10” with his lab jacket on, is a professor here at Lewis University.  Jones wasn’t always a professor at Lewis University, he has also worked in the United States Navy as an airframe and powerplant rated mechanic. In the Navy, he worked on LC-130’s,which is a four-engine transport aircraft. Jones was deployed to Antarctica where he worked on these type of airplanes and mostly transported toilet paper and plywood around the continent. After his four years in the Navy, he worked for United Airlines as a mechanic for three years. After his three year stint at United, he heard about new opportunities at SWA where he applied and received the job.

Jones has been working for SWA for 14 years and only works on the weekends now, stating “Yeah, it’s not a bad deal.” He is now a Flight Line Technician at SWA where he looks at planes before they depart. In the event that there is a problem with the aircraft, he decides if it’s a “go” or “no-go item.”  Since he has been with the company for so long, he is able to choose his own hours and works around his teaching schedule during the week. He is the proud married father of three children with one of them being special needs. This diverse background shapes a brief summary of Robert Eric Jones.

With all of his mechanical background, it is no surprise that Prof. Jones’s favorite type of book is either a nonfiction or historical book. In Jone’s library, he’d have, “different types of literature, historical, biographies and classics.” And, if he could co-write with one author, it would be David McCullough, a primarily nonfiction author. It is no surprise that Jones would want to work with someone who is also interested in nonfiction historical pieces. Although his favorite books are nonfiction, he does need somewhere to relax when he’s off the job. When asked where his favorite place to read is, he stated, “It has to be the bathtub, because of the Jacuzzi,” which is where he escapes when he’s stressed about working on airplanes or grading exams. Continue reading