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Waterjet Machine Available at Vashon College

By Leslie Brown

For years, John Olsen, an MIT-trained engineer with a doctorate in fluid mechanics, has wondered how Vashon artists might use the water-jet technology he first developed in his garage on the Island some 30 years ago.

Now, thanks to a chance conversation on a ferry boat, he’s getting an opportunity to find out.

Olsen, whose backyard experiments ultimately led to him building a patented abrasive jet machine that has spawned a multimillion- dollar-a-year industry, has sold one of his used machines to Vashon College, giving the small school a pay-as-you-go deal it could afford.

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