James VanAckeren

James VanAckeren
'75, '77
Director of System Modeling & Analysis, Aerospace Mechanical Center of Excellence, Honeywell International


As the Director, System Modeling & Analysis in the Aerospace Mechanical Center of Excellence (MCOE), Jim has responsibility for the expertise in steady state and dynamic system modeling in the areas of engine operability, engine performance, engine control systems, environmental control systems, and fluid power performance. The System Modeling & Analysis team supports all of Honeywell Aerospace mechanical products.

Jim also has the Honeywell Aerospace-Torrance Site Engineering Leader role which includes being the point of contact for Engineering &Technology for local issues or site-specific work and represents E&T on the Torrance site leadership council. He is responsible for local Engineering communications and events.

Jim has 30 years of experience at Honeywell. In his prior position, he was Senior Technical Manager, responsible for the Environmental Control Systems (ECS) Performance Analysis and Dynamic Analysis/Controls departments. Performance Analysis provides preliminary system design, system sizing, trade studies, component requirements, steady-state and transient performance analyses of ECS and other thermodynamic systems or components. The Dynamic Analysis/Controls department establishes controls system architectures as well as conducts dynamic simulations of ECS.

Jim was also the Director, Strategic Technology Assessment for Engines, Systems, & Services. In this role he was responsible for developing technology inputs for the Strategic Plan, and coordinating the process that ensured technology roadmaps and investment decisions were driven by customer needs. He coordinated technology planning across Aerospace businesses, maintained the Engines, Systems, & Services process for selecting R&D investments and managed the R&D project portfolio. He drove consistent processes, tools, and training to enhance capabilities and spread best practices in technical disciplines via Technology Councils. Jim also held management responsibility for the Catalysis & Separations R&D Skill Center for seven years and the Ceramic Components business for one year.

As the Aerospace Equipment Systems (AES) Technology Leader he headed the Technology Leadership team comprised of the technology leaders for each of AES’s nine core technologies: dynamic simulation, electric power systems, electronics, heat transfer, materials and processes, mechanics, reliability, sensors, and software. The team maintained a network of technology specialists, facilitated technology exchange across AES, recommended the long term core technology strategies, drove core technology gap closure plans, benchmarked  to improve tools and processes, established plans for future research and development projects, and championed enabling technologies and related business opportunities. Prior to this role, Jim was the AES Materials Technology Leader.

Jim also was Senior Manager of the Torrance materials engineering department, responsible for maintaining group competencies in materials, processes, and specifications. Prior to this assignment, he managed the ceramics group, guiding R&D activities on fuel cells, membrane filters, superconducting bearings, and ceramic heat exchangers. He began his Honeywell career as a ceramic engineer working on projects involving ceramic heat exchangers for tank and cruise missile programs.

Prior to joining Honeywell, Jim managed a Materials R&D department at Anchor Hocking Corporation.

Jim obtained his B.S. and M.S. in Ceramic Science from Penn State. He is a member of the National Institute of Ceramic Engineers and the American Ceramic Society. He is the Honeywell Executive contact for Harvey Mudd College and sits on the CSULA College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology Advisory Board.