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James L. D’Acosta

Distinguished Engineer: 1980

Degree: Industrial Engineering – 1950

Citation at Time of Nomination in 1980

With his new Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering, received from Texas Tech University in 1950, James L. D’Acosta joined General Electric Company’s Test Engineering Program. In the intervening years he has been involved, first, in engineering and manufacturing work, both in the United States and Mexico, and then in organizational planning, corporate management and human resources. He demonstrated creativity and imagination in developing a number of new programs which will have an indelible effect on the future of the engineering profession.

James D’Acosta was assigned to General Electric’s affiliate in Mexico City as a project engineer in 1952; there he initiated manufacturing of sixty–five models of a unique dual frequency design of fractional horsepower motors. He then spent fourteen years in a series of management positions leading to vice president, secretary and manager of Relations and Administration for General Electric de Mexico, S.A. He helped formulate major business policies and corporate decisions, including the merger of three corporations. He established the first employee relations function at the Cerro Gordo plant and later was senior relations manager for all GESAMEX locations. He led union contract negotiations, developed compensation systems, education, training and safety programs. He was a founding member of the National Association of Industrial Relations Managers and of the Roundtables on Industrial Safety in Mexico.

Returning to the United States in 1969, he established the company’s Dallas office for college recruiting in eight southwestern states. He was a charter member and the second chairman of the Industrial Engineering Advisory Board at Texas Tech University. He has served as secretary and conference chairman for the Southwest Placement Association. He co–founded what is now the Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering.

During the 1970’s, James D’Acosta organized and led several General Electric Management Practices Course sessions in the United States and played a major role in staging management courses in Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela which eventually served more than 1,250 managers. In 1974, he was named Program Manager on the Professional Recruiting Staff and is now located at General Electric Headquarters at Fairfield, Connecticut.

During his career, James D’Acosta found time to serve church and fraternal organizations and to achieve the status of senior member of the American Institute of Industrial Engineers.

For his outstanding achievements and the honor he has brought to the engineering profession, Texas Tech University takes pride in recognizing James L. D’Acosta: DISTINGUISHED ENGINEER.

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