Jim M. Craig, an expert engineer in the plastic pipe industry, died Nov. 7 from complications related to COVID-19. He was 75.
Craig worked for 40 years at Tulsa, Okla.-based McElroy Manufacturing Inc., where he was chief engineer before being named director of research and development. He was also national sales manager and industry relations manager.
While he was at McElroy from 1993-2013, Craig designed plastic pipe fusion equipment, helped develop nationally recognized fusion training methods to use the products and contributed to industry standards for the heat fusion of polyethylene pipes.
In 2013, Craig received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Plastics Pipe Institute Inc. (PPI), an Irving, Texas-based trade group that represents all segments of the plastic pipe industry.
"Jim has been a true leader within our industry," former PPI President Tony Radoszewski said at the time, pointing to his involvement with task groups and committees for the gas and water service sectors, municipal and industrial division and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
Craig's guidance of the task groups that developed PPI's generic butt and saddle fusion procedures for PE pipe was critical to the industry, according to Radoszewski, who is now CEO of the Plastics Industry Association in Washington.
In addition, Craig was on the team that wrote the ASME code case to use PE pipe in nuclear safety-related service water applications and to add PE pipe fusion to ASME's boiler and pressure vessel code section.
Two years after he retired from McElroy, Craig served as president of a private consulting service on standards development, heat fusion of plastic pipe, fusion evaluation, training and troubleshooting.
The website fusionpipeexperts.com recognized Craig in a post that said: "He was without equal in the plastic pipe industry — both for the intense affection for him personally and the universal respect for his professional achievements. Jim will be missed and mourned by many in the coming days."
Craig is survived by his wife of 55 years, Lisa; three children, 12 grandchildren, a brother and a sister.