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James Borders


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 107
Pasadena, CA 91109





James W. Borders, PE

Member of Technical Staff


James Borders is a Senior Engineer in the Robotic Actuation and Sensing Group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He has worked on several flight projects as well as research related tasks. His background includes mechanical, electrical and software design, with specific emphasis on dynamics and control systems.
Currently, he is the Integrated Motion Control System lead for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), NASAs newest and greatest Mars rover project.


B.S. in Mechanical Engineering
University of Southern California, 2001
M.S. in Mechanical Engineering
Topic of study: Dynamics & Controls
University of Southern California, 2006
Professional Engineer, Mechanical Branch
State of California; License No. M32891
Professional Engineer, Electrical Branch
State of California; License No. E17769

Professional Experience

Planck Mission: Developed software to operate a first-of-its-kind 20 Kelvin cryocooler with no moving parts.
Aquarius Mission: Performed thermal, mechanical and control system design for JPLs first PID-based thermal controller.
Technology Development: Developed distributed motor control electronics for operating brushless DC motors in space environment.
Mars Science Laboratory (MSL): Lead Integrated Motion Control System Engineer


  1. S. Karumanchi, K. Edelberg, I. Baldwin, J. Nash, J. Reid, C. Bergh, J. Leichty, K. Carpenter, M. Shekels, M. Gildner, D. Newill-Smith, J. Carlton, J. Koehler, T. Dobreva, M. Frost, P. Hebert, J, Borders, J. Ma, B. Douillard, P. Backes, B. Kennedy, B. Satzinger, C. Lau, K. Byl, K. Shankar, J. Burdick, "Team RoboSimian: Semi-autonomous Mobile Manipulation at the 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals," Journal of Field Robotics: Special Issue on the 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals, vol 34, issue 2, pp. 305-332, 18 October 2016.