James was born in Schenectady, NY as the fifth child to Clyde V and Norma R. Maughan and grew up in a family of three sons and three daughters. He was active in the typical things that interest young men; outdoor activities, Scouting (Eagle Scout in 1974), tinkering in the basement, school wrestling, etc. He graduated from Schalmont High School in Dec 1978 to attend Brigham Young University in Provo, UT. After completing the winter and spring semesters, and returning from summer vacation for the Fall 1979 semester, he served a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Frankfurt, Germany.
Upon returning from his mission, he found a job as a mechanical technician at the GE Corporate Research and Development Center in Schenectady. He returned to Brigham Young University in Aug 1982, majoring in Mechanical Engineering, with particular interest in the Thermal Sciences. He graduated in April 1984 as a mechanical engineer.
At BYU, he met Sharon Watson and they were married on 29 Dec 1983 in the Church's temple in Washington, DC.
Sharon Watson was born in England to George H. and Chloe D. Watson as the oldest of eventually three daughters. At the age of 5 she moved first to Winnipeg, then to Calgary, before settling in Naperville, IL near Chicago as she entered her teenage years. She graduated as valedictorian of her high school class and started at BYU in the summer of 1981.
In August 1984, Sharon and James moved to West Lafayette, IN to attend Purdue University. Sharon quickly completed her degree in Microbiology, while James began study for first a Master's Degree and then a Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering, working with Professor Frank Incropera in heat transfer. Upon completion in Dec 1988, they had job opportunities around the country but decided to accept a position with GE Corporate Research and Development in Schenectady NY.
James' work at CRD was in the area of low emissions combustion technology for gas turbines and aircraft engines and in the development of new gas appliances. In 1997, he transferred to GE Power Systems, also in Schenectady, and became the technical leader of GE's low emissions gas turbine combustors, and in 1998 assumed responsibility for the development of new high efficiency steam turbine products. In 2000, he assummed leadership for the development of new products for GE Energy Services gas turbines, steam turbines, and generators. In 2002, he was transferred back to the Research Center to manage the research programs related to or paid for by Power Systems, about 30% of the work there. In 2004, he was transferred back to GE Energy to lead the technology groups involving controls and power electronics, and the family relocated to Salem, VA.
A son, Eric was born in 1987 when they lived in Married Student Housing at Purdue in Indiana, and a daughter Melissa was born in 1989 in Schenectady while they were living in a small apartment and were house hunting. Another son, Scott, was born in 1992, and a fourth child, Craig, was born in 1995. Truly the world's most wonderful children.
James and Sharon are both active with various Church responsibilities, in community activities, and with various interests, and enjoy gathering the family for activities.
And the rest of the story is now being written as the years unfold….