Faculty Friday: Dr. James Cale

Dr. James (Jim) Cale is an associate professor in the systems and electrical and computer engineering departments here at CSU.

He researches electrical power systems, including electrical machines, power electronics, and magnetics. Some applications include microgrids and various converters for converting electricity between direct and alternating current.

Q: Where are you from?

The Midwest, which is also where I get my iron work ethic.

Q: What does your current work-from-home set up look like?

I have a home office set up in my basement where I do most of my research. My kids do home school upstairs around the dining room table and on their computer. We also take lots of breaks in the back yard.

Q: What drew you to this research?

I worked for a power plant during an undergraduate internship. When I returned, I took courses in electromechanical systems and power electronics. I was already hooked after that but heard there would be a lot of jobs in the future in power electronics, which turned out to be true.

Q: What is a typical day like?

It always starts off with several shots of espresso. I then catch up on the global financial markets (another interest of mine). After that, I write down the 4-5 things I need to do that day. Then, I start working on the item that I want to do least. After that, it’s easy to keep scratching off the list. I like to cook, and often do that in the evenings to unwind, followed by an obligatory 1-2 episodes of Jeopardy!. I always fall asleep reading history.

Q: What do you like to do when you aren’t working?

Hiking, cycling, cooking, reading, and enjoying great coffee. 

Q: Who inspires you?

Jiro Ono. I’m inspired by anyone who persistently seeks excellence in their craft, regardless of which field. 

Q: What’s a fun fact about you many people may not know?

Despite being an engineering professor, I believe the foundation for a true education is found in the liberal arts.