Jim McDonnell, P.E. - Engineering Instructor and School Mentor

"It takes five... Your first design is only about 50% viable, so it will take five iterations before you have a design that is over 90% viable."


Since 2010, Jim McDonnell has mentored middle and high school students in the use of project management and engineering principles to design and construction Remote Operated Vehicles (ROVs), underwater robots, in support of the Marine Advance Technology Education (MATE) programs. He has been instrumental in guiding several school ROV programs from start-up to self-sustainability. He is known for deconstructing complex engineering mechanisms and circuits into discrete systems that can be easily understood by students and teachers. Jim is a member of the MATE team developing ROV robotics curriculum and providing training to educators through the MATE Professional Development Institutes.


Jim has an extensive and impressive educational background including an Executive Masters of Business Administration from the University of San Francisco, a Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering from George Washington University, a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis in Business Administration from the University of California Berkeley, and a Certificate in Purchasing from University of California at Berkeley. He is a certified ISO 9000 Auditor, a Certified System Professional, and a registered California Professional Engineer.


Jim enjoys scuba diving and is a PADI Master Diver, yoga, and distant running, having completed eight marathons and over 20 half marathons after turning 50. He is married and has two sons.