Business & Professional
Jim Shuttleworth was equal parts visionary, engineer, and entrepreneur. From his childhood in the Muncie and Warren areas through years of study at Purdue, the lessons he learned formed the foundation of a business that indirectly touched the lives of millions of people every day, across the globe.
He was more than the president and chief executive officer of Shuttleworth, Inc. He founded the Huntington company, which became an international leader in custom-engineered material handling and automation applications. Shuttleworth has its stamp on equipment that helps organize and move goods – from food and beverages to computer components -- to market throughout the world. During his lifetime, every item made by Shuttleworth, Inc., was conceived and designed by company employees, and Jim Shuttleworth himself held numerous design and patent inventions.
He was just seven years out of Warren High School – with a stop along the way to earn a mechanical engineering degree at Purdue – when he established Shuttleworth Machinery Corporation, in Warren, in 1962. The company’s early can unscrambler and case-packing equipment took the materials-handling world by storm, meeting production and shipping needs tailored to customers’ specific facility and applications requirements. Within a decade, the Shuttleworth Slip-Torque conveyor became an industry leader and the company expanded operations into Europe and Asia.
Shuttleworth’s accomplishments were recognized by Purdue, which awarded him its Distinguished Engineering Alumnus and Outstanding Mechanical Engineering awards. In 1997, he was recognized by the State of Indiana as its Entrepreneur of the Year.
The passion that drove Shuttleworth to excel in business carried over to his life away from the drawing board. He and his wife Carol took leadership roles in a number of civic organizations and charities, as well as with the United Brethren Church. He was a generous benefactor of Purdue, and of Huntington University, where he was recognized with an honorary doctorate. He developed a keen interest in flying, and especially of vintage World War II-era aircraft he restored and maintained. He and fellow enthusiasts founded the Wings of Freedom Museum for these aircraft, in Huntington.
Jim Shuttleworth lost his life in an accident involving a vintage airplane on Feb. 20, 2003. He was 65 years old. The company he founded, and which still bears his name, continues as his legacy of excellence and innovation.