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Faculty & Staff

Dr. J. Aubrey SykesSykes
Professor
Interdisciplinary Engineering

(616) 526-7188
asykes@calvin.edu
Office: EB135

Weekly schedule
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Educational background

Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, University of Maryland
(Sigma Xi)
PE in Texas

Dr. Sykes also took extensive business and management courses at the University of California-Berkley after completing his Ph.D.

Professional experience

Dr. Sykes has a broad set of technology and leadership skills. Much of his career has been dedicated to managing research and development for Shell Oil, Air Products & Chemicals, and AMP Incorporated. In each of these companies, he focused on environmental issues, strategies, and tactics for the development and deployment of technology for business results and personnel recruitment and development.
Dr. Sykes has licensed process technology worldwide. He led the development and deployment of many technology management practices from strategic approaches, to program and project management, to strategic and tactical use of trade secrets and patent estates, and to effective and efficient management of professionals and facilities. He has managed the development and construction of R&D facilities in the UK, in Utrecht (Holland), in Tsukuba (Japan), in Hong Kong (China), in Beijing (China) and around the US. Directly or through his leadership, Dr. Sykes has developed, improved, or produced numerous materials from which we gain daily benefits.
In recent years, Dr. Sykes has been teaching across several engineering disciplines as well as the physical and environmental sciences — first at Penn State University and now at Calvin College. His teaching experience is broad in technology range and in education level.
In addition to teaching, Dr. Sykes is a consultant to businesses in the areas of strategic planning and technology management, as well as patent portfolio management.
He was an active supporter of the development of the National Technological University and the Center for Innovation Management Studies at Lehigh University.  Since 2006, Dr. Sykes has been extremely active with the Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network (KEEN).
Since 2009, Dr. Sykes has served on the National Nominating Panel for Boren Scholarships (sponsored by the National Security Education Program and administered by the Institute of International Education).  He is also serving as an adhesives expert witness in a patent infringement court case. Dr. Sykes is writing a technology development book about addressing world hunger through facilitation of amaranth production.

Publications and Patents

Published Papers

Published Articles

“Exam Prep Done Right”  Prism Magazine (a publication of the American Society for Engineering Education), (March, 2009) [see http://www.prism-magazine.org/mar09/last_word.cfm]

Published Reports

Amaranth Threshing – A Design Exploration, collaboratively prepared with Rebecca 
        Haferkamp (Summer, 2008, Research Fellowship Project)

Publications

  • Section in Energy Technology Handbook, Considine, Douglas. M. (ed.), 1977. Kuhre,   C.J.; Sykes, J.A., Jr., pp. 2/171-174.
  • Stewarded numerous publications on technology management (e.g., see Research-   Technology Management Journal papers authored by Brian Rushton, Merrill Brenner, or Mike Kazarnowitz; or see publications and books by Phil Anderson [now The INSEAD Alumni Fund Chaired Professor of Entrepreneurship, etc.]).
  • Shaw, Robert J., Sykes, James A., Ormsby, Robert W., “Plant-Test Manual,” Chemical Engineering August 11, 1980, pp 126-132.

Patents

  • U.S. 3,463,811 (French 1578578) “Process for Preparing sodium nitrilotriacetate:” (re: a continuous process for the production of nitrilo triacetic acid) [Co-inventor]

  • U.S. 3,965,244 “Selective removal of Sulfur compounds from acid gas mixtures…” (re: gas separations. [Sole inventor]

  • Stewarded the development of over 100 patents, including:
    • a chemistry to produce polyamines,
    • novel chemistry route to polyurethanes, and
    • catalytic route to achieve anti-Markovnikov additions for making alkylamines.

Research and Scholarship

  • Addressing World Hunger through Facilitation of Amaranth Production

  • Preparing Students to Become Professional Engineers

  • Growing International Internships

  • Providing a Solution for Multi-effect Evaporators that Directly Solves Nonlinear Equations

  • Reviewing Recent Chemical Engineering Patents

  • Developing the Entrepreneurial Program at Calvin College

  • Integrating Business and Entrepreneurship into Engineering’s Senior Design at Calvin College