Areas of expertise: Automotive engineering, powertrain testing and development, reducing aerodynamic and rolling resistance forces
James Contes started his automotive career at the General Motors Desert Proving Ground in Mesa, Arizona. As an automotive engineer, he worked in all areas of vehicle development including ride and handling, brake testing and powertrain testing and development. He retired from GM in 2008 after 35 years of service.
Currently, Contes teaches automotive engineering at the Polytechnic campus as a full time faculty member. His goal is to develop an automotive engineering curriculum and bring his many years of industry experience to the classroom. EcoCAR 3, a four-year future vehicle developed program run by the U.S Department of Energy and Argonne National Laboratories and sponsored by General Motors, is now part of the developing automotive program at ASU’s Polytechnic campus. Through a number of automotive classes and their associated lab experiences, Contes helps to prepare engineering students to enter the exciting and fulfilling career field of automotive engineering.
Contes research focuses on improving the efficiencies of vehicle powertrains for gains in fuel economy and vehicle performance while at the same time, reducing emissions. As new laboratories are built and developed, engine component design and development for improved efficiencies are at the top his list of research projects. Alternative fuels and power sources are also part of his developing curriculum.
Industrial Design Technology, Engineering, Arizona State University (1973)