James L Grimsley earned a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Oklahoma in 1990 and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma in 1993. Mr. Grimsley has been active in the aerospace and defense industries for the past two decades. Mr. Grimsley joined OU in August 2011 as Assistant Vice President for Research and founding director of the Center for Applied Research and Development (CARD). Mr. Grimsley is currently an Associate Vice President for Research at OU.
Prior to joining OU, Mr. Grimsley founded Design Intelligence Incorporated, LLC (DII) in 2003 to focus on unique research and development challenges for the Department of Defense. Mr. Grimsley is currently the President and CEO of DII. DII is currently involved in the unmanned aerial systems (UAS) industry in Oklahoma working primarily with the U.S. Air Force on the development of micro air vehicles (MAV) and small remotely-piloted aircraft (RPA). Prior to starting DII, Mr. Grimsley was a Division Chief Engineer and later an Assistant Vice President with Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). While at SAIC, Mr. Grimsley was directly involved in the capture of over $4 billion in contract vehicle wins. Mr. Grimsley worked with both commercial and government clients while at SAIC including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, U.S. Department of Defense, and U.S. Department of Transportation. Mr. Grimsley also served as a proposal and capture strategist with Shipley Associates and supported various defense prime contractors in large proposal development efforts. Prior to SAIC, Mr. Grimsley was an electronics engineer with the U.S. Air Force and worked on various cruise missile and other programs.
Mr. Grimsley has been active in a variety of state organizations and initiatives. Mr. Grimsley organized the Unmanned Systems Alliance of Oklahoma (USA-OK) that is now a state chapter of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI). Mr. Grimsley currently serves as President of the USA-OK chapter. Mr. Grimsley also organized and led Oklahoma’s first two UAS Summits in 2009 and 2010. From 2009 to 2010 Mr. Grimsley served as the Manager of Unmanned Systems for the Oklahoma Aerospace Institute. Mr. Grimsley also serves as the chair of the SBIR/STTR Advisory Committee for the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST). Recently Mr. Grimsley was appointed by Governor Mary Fallin to the Governor’s UAS Advisory Council.
Mr. Grimsley was selected as the "AUVSI Member of the Year" for 2014 for advocacy on behalf of the UAS industry.
Mr. Grimsley is an active entrepreneur and was selected for the Oklahoma Journal Record Innovator of the Year Award in 2006, 2008 and 2014. Mr. Grimsley has served on the advisory boards of several small high-technology companies.
Mr. Grimsley has served as a volunteer mentor for the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics (OSSM) and also the Oklahoma CareerTech system where he has served on committees and advisory groups. Mr. Grimsley has also served on multiple committees at OU including the VPR Advisory Committee and the School of Computer Science Board of Advisors.