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Meet Jim Contes, Senior Lecturer in Engineering Technology


December 14, 2009

My name is Jim Contes, senior lecturer in the Engineering Technology Department. My primary role is to lead the automotive studies in the Mechanical Engineering Technology program.  I look forward to teaching students all I can about the automotive industry. 

I graduated from ASU’s Industrial Design Department in 1973 and immediately began working at the General Motors Desert Proving Ground.  Last November, I retired from the GMDPG after working there 36 years.  For more than 20 years, I worked as a senior development engineer in GM’s Powertrain group.  During that time, I mentored summer interns from universities all around the country, including many students from ASU. 

My goal is to pass along as much industry knowledge to my students in the short time we have together so that these students are ready to graduate and move directly into employment with the automotive industry, with the knowledge of what to expect as well as what is expected of them as automotive engineers. 

Another very exciting aspect of my new position is the opportunity to build the automotive program from the ground up, including the development of a new, modern and high tech automotive lab!  As a “hands on” engineer, I know we can develop an automotive lab that will rival other schools such as Kettering University, known for its crash test sled and other advanced labs. 

We already have built an engine test stand on which we mounted a 2006, 6.0L, Hummer V8 engine.  This running engine is a valuable teaching tool that continues to be used extensively.   I have visions of using this tool in a dynamometer lab as well as an advanced automotive electrical lab as we continue to develop this program and its facilities.  Hybrid vehicle research and development also is planned with enthusiastic support from our chair, Dr. Danielson. 

I look forward to working with many bright, up-and-coming automotive engineering students filled with innovative ideas that can be developed in our classes and labs.