​B.S.E. cum laude, Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science, Duke University, 1990​M.S. Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Virginia, 1992​Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering, University of Virginia, 1998

"My primary focus is upon undergraduate education, teaching students at the intersection of leadership, design, and value(s)."

James F. Groves, Associate Professor

James Groves has scholarly interests in the areas of engineering education and materials science. While working on his Ph.D., he co-invented directed vapor deposition technology and subsequently co-founded Directed Vapor Technologies International. In the area of materials science his greatest interest lies in the use of materials for sustainable energy solutions.

For more than a decade, Dr. Groves administered distance learning in UVA’s engineering school, serving two years as Associate Dean for Online Innovation. Those administrative efforts have translated into broad university adoption of a set of technology solutions that he initially conceived of and designed. They have also allowed the engineering school to now place among the top 15 in multiple rankings of online graduate engineering programs.

Dr. Groves was founder of Engineers PRODUCED in Virginia, an initiative which explored the use of state-of-the-art online communication and collaboration solutions for the delivery of undergraduate education to underserved communities. The PRODUCED program demonstrated a strong ability to attract non-traditional, first generation, and low and moderate income students. The program also demonstrated how engineering corporations and higher education could work together for collaborative preparation of students for the workforce, educating and ultimately employing students in their home communities.

Dr. Groves now focuses his efforts upon undergraduate education in the multidisciplinary area of leadership, design, and value(s). Working with collaborators, he has developed a simple, structured framework for engineering design and project management. He teaches students how that framework can be used to guide not only the design of engineering products but also the management of a broader array of professional projects. He also helps students to consider how alignment of their personal values with their project and design activities can increase their opportunity to make a positive impact upon the world.


  • Hartfield-Jefferson Scholars Teaching Prize - For excellence in undergraduate teaching and curriculum development in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia. Jefferson Scholars Foundation, Charlottesville, VA. 2015
  • Leadership in Education Award - For the use of technology to promote and enhance educational opportunities in southern Virginia through the Engineers PRODUCED in Virginia program. Southern Piedmont Technology Council, Danville, VA. 2011
  • Outstanding Young Engineering Graduate Award - To recognize alumni who have made significant achievements and contributions in the early phase of their careers. 2003

Selected Publications

  • “Directed vapor deposition of electron beam evaporant,” U.S. Patent 5,534,314, Issued 1996. H.N.G. Wadley and J.F. Groves
  • “A process and apparatus for plasma activated depositions in a vacuum,” U.S. Patent 7,014,889, Issued 2006. J.F. Groves, D.D. Hass, H.N.G.Wadley, G. Mattausch, H. Morgner, and S. Schiller
  • “Method and apparatus for efficient application of substrate coating,” U.S. Patent 7,879,411, Issued 2011. D.D. Hass, J.F. Groves, and H.N.G. Wadley
  • “Focused Ion Beam Directed Self-Assembly of Cu2O islands on SrTiO3 (100),” Applied Physics Letters, 84(25), pp. 5213-5215, 2004. Y. Du, S. Atha, R. Hull, J. F. Groves, I. Lyubinetsky, and D. R. Baer
  • “Work-in-Progress – Expansion of an undergraduate engineering degree program to include fully online studies at a distance,” Proceedings of the ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, pp. T4D-1 – T4D-3, 2010. S.L. Moore and J.F. Groves
  • “Integrating ethics and policy into nanotechnology education,” Journal of Nano Education, 4(1-2), pp. 25-32, 2012. M.E. Gorman, N. Swami, J.M.G. Cohoon, J. Groves, K. Squibbs, and P.H. Werhane
  • “Using an engineering design process portfolio scoring rubric to structure online high school engineering education,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference, 7 pages, 2014. J.F. Groves, L.R. Abts, G.L. Goldberg

Courses Taught

  • STS 2500 Leadership, Design, and Value(s)
  • ENGR 1520 Explorations in Engineering (an outreach course for 11th and 12th grade students)
  • ENGR 4010/4020 Multidisciplinary Design and Development I and II
  • MSE 2090 Introduction to the Science and Engineering of Materials
  • ENGR 1559 / GSVS 2050 Introduction to Sustainable Energy Systems