James Rankin joined the Ohio University community in 1997 as the Director of the Avionics Engineering Center and as a Professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering with a Control Systems emphasis from Iowa State University. His M.S.E.E. is also from Iowa State University and his B.S.E.E. from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.
Jim has more than 25 years of experience in avionics research and design from both academic and industrial perspectives. Most recently, Jim has been involved with the NASA Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS) and its activity in Lower-Landing Minimums (LLM) and High-Volume Operations (HVO). Previously, he was the PI on terminal area Controller-Pilot Datalink Communications (CPDLC) research that was integral to NASA's Low Visibility Landing and Surface Operations (LVLASO) flight test at Atlanta Hartsfield (1997) and the NASA Runway Incursion Prevention System (RIPS) test at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport (2000). He has also developed GPS and Differential GPS models for NASA.
Jim was with Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids IA, from 1978 to 1989. His projects included airborne Collision Avoidance Systems (TCAS), Four Dimensional Flight Management Systems (FMS), and Air Transport display systems. Jim was a Project Engineer on the Beech Starship Flight Management System.
As a Senior Member (2003) of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Jim has twice been elected (1999, 2002) to three-year terms on the Aerospace and Electronic Systems (AESS) Board of Governors. He is a Senior Member (2003) of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). He was elected Chair of the AIAA Digital Avionics Technical Committee (DATC) in 2003. Jim also has memberships in the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Control and Guidance Systems Committee (C&GSC), Institute of Navigation (ION), Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA), International Loran Association (ILA), and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA).
Jim is involved in the IEEE/AIAA Digital Avionics Systems Conference (DASC). He is the General Chair for the 23rd DASC (Oct 2004) in Salt Lake City. He has served as the Technical Program Chair (2003), and General Aviation Track Chair (2001, 2002).
Jim is an active member of the aviation community as a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) with aircraft single-engine, multi-engine, and instrument ratings.