Company: UTC Aerospace Systems – Aerostructures Group
Location: Chula Vista, California, United States
Norman J. James, Contractor at UTC Aerospace Systems – Aerostructures Group, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Engineers for dedication, achievements, and leadership in engineering.
Mr. James is a celebrated figure in the field of aerospace engineering who amassed more than 60 years of professional experience prior to his retirement in 2015. An independent contractor for the latter 15 years of his career, he previously served in R&D Advanced Design at Rohr Industries from 1988 to 2000, working in the aircraft division as Design-To-Cost group engineer, supervising a value engineering team for cost reduction of production engine nacelle hardware. Prior to this role, he served at Tesa Industrial Design as technical director and Rohr Marine/ RMI (a spinoff) as an engineering specialist; also at Rohr Industries as Transportation Design Chief for the Flxible 870TM city transit bus. In Burbank, California, he represented Sundberg-Ferar Industrial Designers as account executive for the Lockheed L-1011 airliner in support of their Industrial Design Team. In Santa Barbara, California, at the GM Defense Research Laboratories, he worked in the Mechanisms Group as a Senior Designer for the design of manned and unmanned lunar and planetary vehicle systems, designing hardware that rests on the Moon today (sharing a patent for the lunar rover vehicle wheel).
On graduation, he entered the design field at General Motors Styling in Detroit, Michigan during the golden age of the automobile. He applied technical and drafting skills to aesthetically direct and resolve clay modeling of the 1956 and 1959 GM Motorama gas turbine Firebird II and III concept cars, being granted the design patent for the latter—for conversion of the legendary Harley Earl’s “vision” into hardware. He presently holds 4 design and 19 utility patents (with 2 pending) for vehicle, aircraft, aerospace, and telescope systems.
Passionately pursuing his avocation of amateur astronomy and telescope making, he is a leader in the field and a former president of the Los Angeles Astronomical Society. With the invention of a waterborne mounting for telescopes, he became involved in an extensive period of prototyping, testing and exhibiting of his designs nationally at conferences and competitions. In his later years, and in retirement, he “passes the torch” with the documentation of his accomplishments in a memoir “Of Firebirds & Moonmen” – Xlibris 2007, and the posting of more than two dozen YouTube videos of his work and avocation. Still an inventor, he continues optimization of the state-of-the-art in advanced telescope and observatory class systems. Mr. James holds a Bachelor of Science in industrial design from Pratt Institute, who honored him with the Career Achievement Award in 2015. He has been highlighted in the 22nd edition of Who’s Who in the West.
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