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John V. James

Two-time recipient of Henry Ford Technology Award (HFTA) – highest corporate recognition for 22 U.S. patents, 14 of which have been used in production to date 17 proprietary technical reports plus 22 external publications (including one in IEEE Spectrum) Nominated by Ford for IPO National Inventor of the Year 1995 Team leader on R&D projects, including technology transfer into production programs 6-Sigma Blackbelt

Qualifications - 30 years experience in Research and Development


Ph.D. Physics (laser spectroscopy & atomic physics) University of Michigan 1986

M.S. Physics University of Michigan 1976 - B.S. Physics Brigham Young University 1974

Engineering Positions at Ford Motor Company: Oct 1978 – Aug 2007

Technical Leader

Powertrain Control Sys., Ford Research & Adv. Engineering 2005-2007

Developed automated bench test for high-precision measurements of crank sensors to determine suitability for on-board engine diagnostics in embedded controller. Wrote sophisticated program in MATLAB interfaced  w/ EXCEL for 6-sigma analysis of designed experiment. Blackbelt project.

Created custom mechanical/electronic installation of alternative crankshaft sensor for comparison with simultaneously recorded signal from production crank sensor. Created custom signal processing module with analog/digital circuitry, including Programmable Logic Device (PLD) containing algorithm designed for project. Performed extensive tests and issued comprehensive internal tech report on relationship of hardware/software issues for diagnostics. 

Completed full complement of 6-sigma training courses and received Greenbelt, then Blackbelt certification from Ford 6-sigma program following completion of 3 projects. Guided many other projects as leader of Advanced Diagnostics/Artificial Neural Systems Group  Powertrain Control Sys., Ford Research & Adv. Engineering 1992-2005

Researched and developed first production implementation of misfire detection algorithm to Comply with OBD-II (On-Board Diagnostics) governmental regulations. Received 17 U.S. patents

Created custom analog/digital circuit to induce misfires at precise rates for testing/development/validation of OBD-II misfire detection compliance. Sophisticated electronics attaches to primaryside of ignition coil to defeat selected sparks, while eluding detection by

Performed extensive R&D of neural-network-based diagnostic algorithms, culminating in the firstimplementation of a real-time, time-lagged recurrent neural network in the on-board micro of a production vehicle (Aston Martin DB9). Played key team role in custom signal conditioning, data collection, algorithm development, and statistical analysis of large data sets (~ 10 6 points ea.)

Ford rep to ISPOMT (Integrated Small Precision Optics Manufacturing Technology) consortium, a venture led by Rockwell Science Center and partially funded by the U.S. Office of Naval Research to encourage development of micro-optics for commercial/military applications ("dual use"). Prepared objectives, conducted research, and reported at quarterly consortium meetings on topic, and HFTA. Ford rep to USCAR committee on OBD; wrote tech report submitted to govt.