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James Hubbard, Jr.

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Information about James Hubbard, Jr.

Profile image of James Hubbard, Jr.

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Mechanical Engineer
Engineering Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Flounder (Fried)
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere Near Water
Favorite Quote:
All that glitters is not gold

Birthplace

Born:
12/21/1951
Birth Location:
Danville, Virginia

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Mechanical Engineer
Engineering Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Flounder (Fried)
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere Near Water
Favorite Quote:
All that glitters is not gold

Birthplace

Born:
12/21/1951
Birth Location:
Danville
See how James Hubbard, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Mechanical engineer and engineering professor James Edward Hubbard, Jr. was born on December 21, 1951 in Danville, Virginia. Hubbard received his high school diploma with a concentration in engineering in 1969 from the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute. In 1971, he enlisted as an officer in the U.S. Merchant Marine and served during the Vietnam War. He attended the Calhoon MEBA Marine Engineering School and became the youngest serviceman to receive the unlimited horsepower, steam and diesel engine Marine Engineering license from the U.S. Coast Guard. Returning to the United States, Hubbard began his undergraduate studies at Morgan State College, but after receiving encouragement from teachers, family and friends, he enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Hubbard went on to graduate from MIT with his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering in 1977, 1979, and 1982, respectively.

Hubbard has served as a professor and a researcher both inside and outside of academia. After receiving his Ph.D. degree, Hubbard continued his work as an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at MIT until 1985, and as a lecturer until 1994. While there, he mentored both graduate- and doctorate-level students. Following his tenure with MIT, Hubbard was hired at the Boston University Photonics Center, PhotoSense, Inc. and iProvica. In 2004, Hubbard returned to academia and was named the Samuel P. Langley Distinguished Professor Aerospace Engineering at the University of Maryland. Hubbard’s research has included sensors and system concepts, optoelectronics, and photonics. His work in 1985 resulted in the production of what many consider the first example of an “adaptive structure,” or a structure that can respond to changes in its environment. He also received a patent for his work with “Smart Skin” technology, or a large-area blanket-like sensor that could be used in a number of applications. His work with the Morpheus Laboratory, Hubbard’s research group at the University of Maryland and NIA, has focused on aerodynamic engineering and has resulted in such projects as ornithopters and the Sky Walker program.

Hubbard is a member of the Air Force Studies Board, the Naval Research Advisory Committee, and the Committee on Space Defense Technology. He has garnered several awards in recognition of his work in both industrial and academic settings. Hubbard was the 2009 recipient of the Smart Structures Product Innovation Award from the International Society for Optical Engineering. In 2002, Hubbard received the Black Engineer of the Year President’s Award from U.S. Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine.

Hubbard and his wife, Adrienne Hubbard, have three adult sons: James, Drew, and Jordan.

James Edward Hubbard, Jr. was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 19, 2013.

See how James Hubbard, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of James Hubbard's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - James Hubbard lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - James Hubbard describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James Hubbard describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James Hubbard talks about his parents' education and their employment
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - James Hubbard talks about his family living under the Jim Crow laws in Virginia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - James Hubbard talks about how his parents met and were married
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - James Hubbard talks about his father's move to Philadelphia to escape the Jim Crow laws of the southern United States
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - James Hubbard describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - James Hubbard talks about living in Philadelphia with his father for a year, and returning to Danville, Virginia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - James Hubbard talks about his sister
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - James Hubbard talks about growing up in Danville, Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James Hubbard describes his childhood in Danville, Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James Hubbard talks about living under Jim Crow laws in Danville, Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - James Hubbard describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Danville, Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James Hubbard talks about the teachers who influenced him in grade school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James Hubbard talks about his performance in math in grade school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James Hubbard talks about attending Calvary Baptist Church in Danville, Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - James Hubbard talks about the Civil Rights Movement and Bloody Monday in Danville, Virginia in 1963
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - James Hubbard talks about his mother's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, and his family's move to Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - James Hubbard talks about his experience in school in Baltimore, Maryland, and how it impacted him
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James Hubbard describes his experience at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James Hubbard describes his experience in the U.S. Navy Sea Cadet Corps
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James Hubbard talks about how he became a part of the Maryland Naval Militia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James Hubbard talks about his experience in the Maryland Naval Militia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James Hubbard talks about his experience at Calhoon MEBA, and entering the Vietnam War
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - James Hubbard describes his experience in the Merchant Marines as a ship engineer on an ammunition ship in the Vietnam War
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - James Hubbard reflects upon his experience with racism during the Vietnam War
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - James Hubbard describes his decision to attend Morgan State University and his experience there
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - James Hubbard talks about those who influenced him to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - James Hubbard describes his experience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and talks about his mentors there
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - James Hubbard talks about his mentors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - James Hubbard talks about his involvement and leadership in the Black Mechanical Engineers (BME) organization at MIT
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - James Hubbard talks about HistoryMaker, Shirley Jackson, and the Bell Labs Fellowship for minority students
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - James Hubbard talks about his dissertation research in helicopter rotor acoustics at MIT
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - James Hubbard talks about his financial struggles as a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - James Hubbard describes his doctoral research on helicopter rotor acoustics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - James Hubbard talks about his mentor, Wesley Harris
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - James Hubbard talks about joining the faculty of the mechanical engineering department at the Massachusetts Institute of technology (MIT)
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - James Hubbard talks about his contributions to the field of piezoelectricity and smart structures - part one
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - James Hubbard talks about his contributions to the field of piezoelectricity and smart structures - part two
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - James Hubbard describes his decision to leave the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1985 - part one
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - James Hubbard describes his decision to leave the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1985 - part two
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - James Hubbard talks about working at Draper Laboratory, and with HistoryMaker Cardinal Warde at Optron Systems, Inc.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - James Hubbard talks about his work with photolithography techniques and his decision to become the executive vice president of Optron Systems, Inc.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - James Hubbard talks about co-founding the Boston University Photonics Center and founding PhotoSense, Inc. and iProvica, Inc.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - James Hubbard talks about his invention of Smart Skin and his patents
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - James Hubbard describes his decision to accept a position as the Langley Distinguished Professor of Aerospace at the University of Maryland
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - James Hubbard talks about the students he mentored, and the "art of being a wolf"
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - James Hubbard describes his experience and his work at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA)
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - James Hubbard talks about the Sky Walker Program
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - James Hubbard talks about his work on the Air Wolf Project
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - James Hubbard talks about founding a company with his son
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - James Hubbard talks about his wife
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - James Hubbard talks about his family
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - James Hubbard reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - James Hubbard reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - James Hubbard talks about his father's training as a pilot and how he owned and flew a Piper Cub plane
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - James Hubbard describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community today
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - James Hubbard shares his perspectives on today's generation
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - James Hubbard talks about how he would like to be remembered