2022 Engineering Leader Under 40: James Tacey, 35

James Tacey, Controls + Automation Engineer, Hargrove Controls + Automation, Concord, CA

By CFE Media September 6, 2022
James Tacey, Controls + Automation Engineer, Hargrove Controls + Automation, Concord, CA

James Tacey, 35
Controls + Automation Engineer
Hargrove Controls + Automation
Concord, CA, United States
BS Electrical Engineering, University of Alabama

Why James is an Engineering Leader

James Tacey is highly respected by his teammates and clients alike. His strong morals, integrity and empathy show in everything he says and does. He truly leads by example and works hard in the best interests of his team. No task is too difficult – James will find a way. James is an out-of-the-box thinker with a positive attitude, helping teammates to understand his vision and follow. James has been technical lead on numerous projects that were highly successful. His communication skills and effort have brought about continued ongoing business for Hargrove. He is “what good looks like!”

Achievements, Advancement & Career-related Industry Contributions

As a systems integrator, James has worked in industries ranging from steel to hydrogen, bringing modern software practices to industrial controls. After a decade as a Controls + Automation Engineer, he enjoys teaching junior engineers and bringing creative solutions to plant infrastructure. James also loves to teach his daughters skills he developed as an Eagle Scout.

Non-work-related Activities & Hobbies

James and his wife run a handmade pottery stand at their local farmer’s market. He enjoys creating in his spare time and loves to share that creative time with his family. He thinks that pottery is an excellent way to exercise both creativity and craftsmanship, which are essential to both personal and professional aspects of life. Making pottery from clay is safe and fun for his small children, and it also provides an opportunity to spend time with them and foster these creative interests.

Interesting Details

James has been working on fluency in Japanese since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. He and his wife visited Japan before having children, and they want to give their children an international upbringing to better understand other people and cultures.

He also enjoys taking work-related skills and applying them to his everyday life and hobbies. More than one board game enjoyed in his household has been improved by a self-made app.

Why James chose this career

James was an active member of his high school’s robotics team and enjoyed the ability to work on both electrical hardware and software. In college, he went on to co-op as a controls engineer and found that automation and systems integration were the perfect blending of both fields. Being able to see physical equipment running and utilizing software he wrote is extremely rewarding for him.


Author Bio: Since its founding in 2010, CFE Media and Technology has provided engineers in manufacturing, commercial and industrial buildings, and manufacturing control systems with the knowledge they need to improve their operational efficiency. CFE delivers the right information at the right time around the world through a variety of platforms.