James D. Brooks

Chair, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering
All FacultyElectrical & Computer Engineering

Contact Information
Phone: 724-264-4625
Email: BrooksJD@gcc.edu

James D. Brooks


  • Ph.D. Systems Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • M.S. Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • B.S. Electrical Engineering, Grove City College

Areas of Research
My research focuses on two areas:

  1. Human automation interaction: Specifically understanding how the design of a control system impacts the role and performance of a human operator, and thus the entire system (e.g., how does the designed behavior of an industrial crane automation impact an operator’s willingness to trust it?)
  2. Queueing systems with agents: How can we develop mathematical models of interesting systems around us that include the behavior of people and use these models to improve the world (e.g., what policies could reduce the cost and time of hurricane debris removal response?)

I teach courses in control systems (two semester sequence), systems engineering (foundations of systems engineering, systems simulation, and decision analysis), senior design, and circuits.

I’ve always enjoyed thinking about complex systems and the relationships between their components. The two fields of systems and controls have been tightly linked since their early development and provide a framework for designing and analyzing complex systems.

What is the most important piece of advice you give students to help them succeed?
To succeed as an engineer requires curiosity, creativity, and a willingness to wrestle with complex problems – and above all a commitment to integrity. Dive in to deeply understanding systems which interest you and will impact the world!

Selected Publications

  • "Efficacy of Incentive Structures for Boundedly Rational Dispatchers in Large-Scale Queueing Networks." IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems, 50.1 (2020).
  • "Measuring the Time Course of Engineer Workload during Automation Mode Transitions." Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting. Vol. 63. No. 1. Sage CA: Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications, 2019.
  • "A distributed simulator platform for rapid industrial user experience prototyping." Winter Simulation Conference. IEEE, 2017.
  • "Scheduling distributed locomotives for optimal train handling." American Control Conference (ACC). IEEE, 2017.
  • "Allocation of flows in closed bipartite queueing networks." European Journal of Operational Research 255.2 (2016).
  • "Shipboard power management using constrained nonlinear model predictive control." IEEE Electric Ship Technologies Symposium (ESTS). IEEE, 2015.
  • "Model predictive building thermostatic controls of small-to-medium commercial buildings for optimal peak load reduction incorporating dynamic human comfort models: Algorithm and implementation." IEEE Conference on Control Applications (CCA). IEEE, 2014.

Additional Experience 
I spent 17 years at General Electric Transportation (now Wabtec) and GE Research working on autonomous trains, ships, and mining vehicles, building automation systems, and electronics design (both micro and power). I’ve enjoyed and learned a lot from working with stakeholders to design systems which are usable and valuable in the real world. 

I also have 30+ issued U.S. patents in the areas of vehicle and building automation systems.