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Meet: Jim Cockrell

Electrical Engineer
NASA Ames Research Center, Mt.View, CA

This article was written by Jason Schenck; Jason is in 8th grade at Crittenden Middle School in Mt. View, CA

Jim Cockrell, an engineer who works at NASA Ames Research Center, came to Crittenden Middle School in Mountain View, California yesterday to conduct an interview. The interview was during third period media class and it took the entire period. He comes from a family of engineers since his grandfather was an engineer.

He grew up in Homer, Ohio which is about a half an hour from Columbus, Ohio. The small town has only two streets: Front Street and Back Street. The town was only large enough for these two streets. It also had only 200 people in it. The school did not have kindergarten so he went to live with his grandparents, who lived in Mount Vernon so he could go to kindergarten. There his grandfather showed him how to make an engine out of a nail, battery and wire wrapping. The nail motor spinning in circles fascinated him. It was there where he got the inspiration to be an engineer.

When he completed high school he went to Ohio State University. He already knew what he wanted to be, so he enrolled in engineering and math classes. He worked very hard and was happy when he got his Bachelors of Science of Electrical Engineering. Since the computer era was only starting in Ohio he moved to the Silicon Valley. So when he got out of College he moved to Berkeley, CA. He moved into his sister's house and started looking for work. NASA told him to come to Moffett Field for a job interview. He went there and they gave him a job. He has worked on the Kuiper Airborne Observatory for 13 years.


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