Southern Research Names Jim Tucker Director of Materials Research

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – July 13, 2015 – Southern Research announced, today, that James R. Tucker joined its Engineering division as director of materials research. Tucker will lead a team of engineers and experimentalist technicians who specialize in materials characterization and precision testing of materials and structures for industrial, aerospace, and military applications. Southern Research has a decades-long legacy in materials research supporting commercial and government customers, most notably NASA’s space flight missions to include the Space Launch System, and the Department of Defense’s hypersonics program.

“Jim’s strong technical and management experience with advanced composites and materials make him a significant asset to Southern Research’s materials research team, and we are pleased to have him on board,” said Southern Research Vice President, Engineering Michael D. Johns.

Tucker is a physicist with more than 30 years of experience in the development, characterization, and data analysis of advanced composite materials and structures, with specific expertise in non-destructive testing and metrology. He was formerly at Southern Research in the Nondestructive Characterization Group until 2004, when he went to San Diego to work with Orbital ATK.

At Orbital ATK, Tucker worked in its space systems group as senior metrology and testing engineer where he founded and directed the ATK Verification Science Lab (VSL) . The VSL developed technology including construction of the ATK Interferometric Metrology Facility, a world leader in thermal expansion capability used to test materials for the James Webb Space Telescope.

“It’s an exciting time to be at Southern Research, particularly with respect to the latest developments in the aerospace and defense industries,” said Tucker. “I look forward to working with exceptional peers in state-of-the-art facilities.”

About Southern Research
Southern Research is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization with nearly 500 scientists and engineers working across four divisions: drug discovery, drug development, engineering, and energy and environment.

  • We’re developing 18 drugs to combat various forms of cancer, ALS, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, kidney disease, and Parkinson’s, among others.
  • We’ve developed seven FDA-approved cancer drugs.
  • We’re developing new medical devices.
  • We’re helping to launch manned missions to Mars.
  • We’re making the air and water cleaner here on Earth.

We work on behalf of the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Energy, NASA, major aerospace firms, utility companies, and other private and government organizations as we solve the world’s hardest problems.

Southern Research, founded in 1941, is headquartered in Birmingham with additional laboratories and offices in Wilsonville and Huntsville, Frederick, Maryland, Durham, North Carolina, Cartersville, Georgia, and Houston. Visit for more information.