John B. Coast
OUTSTANDING ALUMNUS AWARD for MECHANICAL ENGINEERING: 2011
In recognition of outstanding service and leadership in the engineering profession.
John B. Coast received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Louisiana Tech University in January of 1964. He began his career as a Utilities Design Engineer with Monsanto Chemical Company in Decatur, Alabama, where he designed expansions to the compressed air and cooling water systems for the plant. In September 1964, he moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he began working for Albemarle Corporation as a Mechanical Development Engineer. From 1964 through 1970, he improved existing equipment and designed and developed new processes and machines for Albemarle’s plastic bottle, plastic films, and plastic bag plants, handling projects from concept to completion.
In 1970, he founded Coast Machinery, LLC to develop a plastic bag folding and packaging system which was developed and successfully marketed. The folding process was patented and licensed to several large companies including a German manufacturer. One highlight of the early years was exhibiting the machine at an International Plastics Exposition in Dusseldorf, Germany. The company manufactured folding and packaging machinery for ten years and eventually sold the patents to Union Carbide Corporation, makers of Glad bags.
In 1980, after the sale of the packaging machinery patents, Mr. Coast began work on an amphibious track vehicle. The vehicle design was unique, and a number of patents were granted. The track vehicles called Marsh Masters have been manufactured for 32 years and are being used by government agencies as well as utility, pipeline and oil exploration companies in many countries. This business continues to prosper, and a number of patented attachments have been developed to enhance the use of the Marsh Master machines. Mr. Coast continues to direct the engineering and manufacturing operations of the company while his son handles the rental and sales business.