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Meet + Greet: James Underwood, Software Developer

Meet the Russ College’s new crop of faculty and staff members in this series of interviews, and stop by their offices to greet them in person.
 | Mar 28, 2019
James Underwood

Meet + Greet: James Underwood, Software Developer

Mar 28, 2019

Athens native and Ohio University alumnus James Underwood has joined the industrial and systems engineering department as a software developer. Learn how he’ll use his background to help undergraduate and graduate students create for good through industry partnerships.

Where did you prepare for your profession?

I received my bachelor’s degree in computer science from the Russ College of Engineering and Technology.

What will you be doing at the Russ College?

I’ll be a software developer for the COMPEAT$™ project, a partnership with GE for cost estimation of aircraft engines, wind turbines and other machinery designed by GE. It will involve maintaining the project, responding to feedback from GE, and mentoring undergraduate or graduate students..

Was there a moment or time you knew you'd become an engineer/technologist/aviator?

When I was young, I always liked building things – mostly of the paper craft type. I made paper airplanes, origami and the like.

What's the most fun/weird/zany/cool/exciting/awesome thing about Athens so far? 

I enjoy seeing how Athens changes when the university isn’t in session. The streets are entirely empty and anyone walking around has all of uptown to themselves. There are shorter lines and wait times at any store, if any. It’s a peaceful way to look at all the work that goes into keeping campus the way it looks.

What’s the best local food you’ve had or local spot you've visited, and why?

I’d say the best local food is Kiser’s on East State Street. It’s a great treat when I’m around that part of town and hungry.

What are some of your hobbies?

Currently I’m on a renewable energy kick, so I’m reading about technologies in solar, wind, and battery storage, and where’s it’s headed in the next few years.

What advice would you give to students?

Apply for internships and co-ops ASAP. Finding a specialization through a real-world job, even for a short time, helps focus studies and make coursework more relevant to an individual. Math is difficult to learn if the equations and formulas don’t mean anything. Using the math to solve real problems gives meaning to the symbols and allows them to stick in the brain longer.