Walter Boyd, founder of MacroAir Technologies, is an innovator by nature.
Having held various jobs within the engineering field and owning many different companies, Boyd has been able to cultivate his innovative nature to develop a wide range of products, many of which are still in use today.
While studying mechanical engineering at both the University of Connecticut and University of Bridgeport (1954-1962), Boyd worked various jobs – including as a commercial deep-sea diver specializing in underwater welding, drove racecars, and started his first of many companies, Motorsport Design Corp., designing and building racing equipment.
After moving to California in 1969, Boyd worked in various capacities for Formula One, Indycar, and Can-Am race teams.
In 1973, Boyd started Boyd and Stellings Company building a highly successful line of racing motorcycles and components. After selling the company in 1976, he served as chief engineer for Chinook Motor Homes, where he designed a new RV concept that was recognized with many industry awards.
His third company, Mechanization Systems Co. (MSC), developed equipment to mechanize roofing operations in the U.S. and Europe; the company’s concepts are still the standard used in the U.S. today. In 1982, Boyd sold the roofing related products, but continued to operate Mechanization Systems Co. with his son Eddie. The team specialized in designing, fabricating, and manufacturing a wide variety of products including racecar equipment, engine components (for Nissan’s GTP racecar), pick-up truck accessories, agricultural equipment, crane accessories, an engine dynamometer for the manufacturer of the Predator drones, large truck-mounted video screens, etc.
In 1998, MSC was hired by the Cooperative Extension of the University of California, an arm of the university that worked to promote and aide California agriculture, to make some parts for an experimental 20-foot diameter wooden paddle fan sought to cool dairy cattle to improve milk production. The project was not successful: the fan didn’t move much air, was inefficient, and would have been prohibitively expensive to manufacture or transport in any quantity. But, the theoretical efficiencies of a large, slow moving fan set Boyd to thinking about the possibilities for human comfort as well as animals, which would require a fan that was efficient, quiet and safe. It would also require a fan that could be manufactured in quantity, was economically shippable, and could be installed inside buildings
From his racecar involvement, Boyd had considerable knowledge of low-speed aerodynamics, which he knew would be the key to creating such a fan. He also drew upon his experience with the aluminum extrusion process, which he saw as an economical way to produce an airfoil blade of the proportions required.
With his son Eddie essentially running the company, Boyd spent the next 10 years dedicated to the development of HVLS (High Volume Low Speed) technology i.e., an understanding of not only factors that affect the fan’s performance, but also how the air from such a fan actually behaves, and how that air movement can be manipulated to optimize human comfort. It was on the basis of that knowledge that MacroAir Technologies Inc. was formed.
Although officially retired from MacroAir, Boyd’s innovative nature hasn’t taken him far from the company, now run by his son and employing his grandchildren in key roles as well. He is still involved with new product and technology development and, in his spare time, enjoys his five (another on the way) great-grandchildren and passion for racecars.
Walter on MacroAir:
“For me, knowing that MacroAir has created something entirely new, which has a major impact on human comfort and therefore on productivity in the work place is very satisfying. And we have created an industry that as a whole manufacturers, vendors, distributors, dealers, installers, etc. accounts for a lot of jobs. We are strong believers in capitalism, and it’s gratifying to be a part of it.”