James Harper           1122 Washington Place    james.harper.us@gmail.com
San Diego, CA 92103                Mobile: 858-216-5585


Mechanical engineer with 6 years experience in engineering design and analysis.  Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, 4.0 GPA. Master’s thesis on distributed solar power production.  Extensively honored by universities and honors societies.  Highly proficient in many CAD programs and programming languages.  Passionate about renewable energies and sustainable design.

Design Experience

  • Designed and tested successful off-grid solar building energy simulation program that used forecasted weather and EnergyPlus software, allowing automated energy usage decisions
  • Designed new load restraint system for >10 ton steel coils for road and rail transportation that improved load transportation safety by 5%
  • Designed handheld medical sensor that significantly improved the performance of a medical laser therapy system
  • Designed landing gear emergency deploy system and new tail control linkage for next-generation Predator C aircraft that reduced weight by 63 lbs while increasing strength
  • Developed novel sensing method of contact area between two surfaces
  • Developed non-destructive optical corrosion test for naval-grade steel

Analysis Experience

  • Described power output characteristics of a distributed microgrid of solar power sites and relationships between number of sites in a solar array, area covered and variability of power ramp rate produced
  • Calculated control surface hinge moments on Predator C aircraft using first flight data

Management Experience

  • Successfully managed team of engineers through complete design, construction and testing phases of a prototype sensing device and computer system in under 500 combined hours

CAD and Programming Experience

  • Expert knowledge of Matlab developed during many projects, including solar flux and ramp rate analyses, building energy usage simulation, and medical image sensing and processing
  • ProEngineer, Mechanica and Mechanism used to design and analyze Predator C aircraft components and linkages
  • SolidWorks used extensively as drafter and as analysis tool for hobbyist projects, including high performance electric vehicle
  • Reduced processing time and increased number of cases analyzed by 10,000x for new steel coil load restraint system using advanced Visual Basic techniques

Hands-On Experience

  • Taught machine shop skills to 4th year undergraduate students
  • Extensive metalwork, including welding and cold working, woodwork and electronics experience as hobbyist and self-employed computer and network technician


University of California - San Diego                                                                       June 2010

Master of Science - Mechanical Engineering           La Jolla, CA

Summa Cum Laude (4.0 GPA)


Computer-aided Design and Analysis

Solar and Wind Power Production

University of California - San Diego                                                                       June 2008

Bachelor of Science - Mechanical Engineering           La Jolla, CA

Summa Cum Laude (3.98 GPA)



Quartus Engineering                                                                 September 2010 - Present

Engineer I           San Diego, CA

- Designing composite tooling for commercial airline engine housing and shoulder-launched missile body

- Designed high power laser module with kinematic mounting for next generation computer chip manufacturing

- Designed thermal management system, switcher gear train, laser collimator and optical housings for airborne infrared counter measure device

- Designed infrared sniper rifle sight for military application using novel quantum cascade laser

- Designed containment penetration for novel nuclear reactor that is fueled by nuclear waste and depleted uranium

- Designed optomechanical interfaces for 3D terrain-mapping camera

- Expert in ProEngineer Wildfire design and drawings

- Extensive ProEngineer experience in Mechanica, Mechanism and Cabling

- Extensive SolidWorks experience in standard, Simulation, Motion and Routing

The Academic Advantage, Specialized Learning                      October 2009 – July 2010

Academic Tutor           San Diego, CA

- Tutoring K-12 home- and traditionally-schooled students in all levels of English, math, Spanish, physics, chemistry and biology

- Specialty in students with dyslexia, ADD and English as a second language

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.                                    March - August 2009

Mechanical Engineer, Level II           San Diego, CA

- Designed landing gear emergency deploy system and new tail control linkage for Predator C aircraft, the next-generation of renowned unmanned aerial vehicle Predator, that reduced weight by 63 lbs while improving performance

- Calculated hinge moments on all control surfaces of Predator C aircraft based on flight data from first three flights

- Extensive ProEngineer experience in standard, Mechanica and Mechanism

University of California, San Diego                                                     January - May 2009

Teaching Assistant          La Jolla, CA

- Instructed 40 senior undergraduate Mechanical Engineering students through

  10 different design projects during final design class of major

- Supervised machine shop for safety and instructed proper use of machines

- Discussed students’ progress with instructor daily and graded student’s work

Applied Research Associates                                                 October 2008 - February 2009

Mechanical Engineering Intern          San Diego, CA

- Documented non-lethal weapons technology platforms in SolidWorks

- Participated extensively in company SolidWorks education program

New Zealand Steel                                                                             June 2007 - October 2008

Mechanical Engineer, Level I          Auckland, New Zealand

- Designed new multi-chain load restraint system for >10 ton steel coils for road and rail transportation using my custom MS Visual Basic program

- Designed waste water treatment tank partition for tank de-sludging

- Performed buoyancy analysis for floating pump rig

Photothera                                                                                          January - July 2008

Product Development Engineering Team Leader          Carlsbad, CA

- Managed a small team of engineers through the complete design, construction and testing phases of a prototype sensing device and computer system

- Developed a novel sensing method of contact area between two surfaces

- Significantly improved the performance of a medical laser therapy system

- Provided testing documentation to employer and began clinical trials

Centre of Excellence for Advanced Materials                                    January - June 2007

Research Assistant          La Jolla, CA

- Assisted graduate research of ionic polymer metal composites (IPMC) as an armor enhancement for naval-grade steel

- Developed a non-destructive optical test to compute metal corrosion levels using image processing software in Matlab

Hamilton Sundstrand                                                                       June - September 2005

Engineering Intern for Boeing 787 APU Project          San Diego, CA

- Analyzed turbine generator components for installation and operation fit pressures, cooling air flow and material selection

- Reviewed, corrected and annotated part and assembly drawings

BestBuy                                                                                  September - December 2004

Computer Sales Associate          San Diego, CA

- Answered technical questions about all computer-related topics

- Sold computers, components and service packages, and cashiered

Self-Employed                                                                   February 1998 - September 2003

Computer and Network Technician          Gilroy, CA

- Installed/repaired computer components, networks and printing systems on many operating systems for local businesses

- Provided on-call, on-site technical support



AutoCAD, EnergyPlus, Pro/Engineer, SolidWorks, Inventor

MatLab, LabView, C++, Visual Basic, Simulink, MS Excel

Solar flux, ramp rate and other statistical analyses

Building energy use simulation programming

Engineering team management, design reports, safety analyses, schematics

Machine shop tool operation (manual and CNC mill, lathe)

MS Office, Adobe InDesign and Photoshop

All Windows, MAC, DOS and Linux operating systems

Conversational Spanish and Basic Japanese

Awards and Honors

UCSD MAE Department Highest Academic Achievement Award 2008

Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society

Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honors Society

University of California, San Diego Provost's Honors 2003-2008

UCSD MAE Department Design Award, First Place 2008

John E. Starrett, Jr. Memorial Scholarship

Cohu, Inc. Engineering Academic Scholarship

York School Senior Class President 2003

California Boy's State Selectee 2002

Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Award 2001

Volunteer Experience

Bear Mountain Ski Patrol          Big Bear, CA                                                 2010 - Present

San Diego Mountain Rescue Team          San Diego, CA                                 2010 - Present

Sierra Club Chapter Outing Leader          San Diego, CA                                 2010 - Present

Project Wildlife Care Giver          San Diego, CA                                                            2010

English as a Second Language Tutoring          San Diego, CA                                        2010

- Tutoring recent immigrant youths in reading, writing and speaking English

Farm Helpers of New Zealand          Ararimu, Auckland, New Zealand                             2008

- Assisted local farmers with sheep and cow herding and care

Tau Beta Pi Outreach – Spreckles Elementary          San Diego, CA                               2007

- Taught basic chemistry, physics and math to 5th graders in curriculum

Tau Beta Pi Tutoring           San Diego, CA                                                        2004 – 2009

- Tutored engineering students in basic and advanced concepts in physics,

  mathematics, mechanics, thermodynamics, materials science, chemistry and


City of Gilroy Computer Education Program          Gilroy, CA                                         2002

- Taught children basic computer use (Windows, MS Office, etc.)

- Taught interested students how to build and network computers

St. Joseph's Family Centre          Gilroy, CA                                                                 2001

- Stocked shelves for needy family program 10 hours/week

- Helped organize and prepare "Thanksgiving Feast" for homeless

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