Skip to content

Hornkohl Retires from UTSI After 30 Years of Research

James O. Hornkohl, a research associate, is retiring after 30 years with The University of Tennessee Space Institute, but will continue working part-time with UTSI’s Center of Excellence for Laser Applications (CLA).

A native of Springfield, Mo., Hornkohl joined the staff of the Space Institute in January 1977 as a research engineer.

From June 1963 until June 1974, he was employed by ARO, Inc. at Arnold Engineering Development Center. Before joining the Space Institute, he was with Science Applications Inc. and Spectron Developments Labs, both located at that time on the UTSI campus near CLA.

After graduating from high school in Rollo, Mo., Hornkohl earned bachelor and master’s degrees from the University of Missouri.

At a recent retirement party held for Hornkohl, James Goodman, director of UTSI’s Technical Research Group, and Bill Hofmeister, director of the laser center, praised Hornkohl, citing his major contributions including being responsible for all computer purchases, hardware and software, developing software and materials for CLA’s computers.

Hofmeister said Hornkohl played a “major part” in his own decision to move from Vanderbilt University to UTSI in the fall of 2005.

“Jim published 12 papers in archival journals, and his work has been cited in 54 other journal articles,” Hofmeister said.

“His work on temperature measurement in fluorescence spectra has been cited 24 times, a significant contribution to science.”

In reviewing Hornkohl’s career, Goodman said it would be appropriate to emphasize “his formal education and training, technical skills or notable accomplishments; however, his humility in every area of his life makes him one of the most special individuals I have known.”

Fellow workers gave Hornkohl a gift certificate, coffee and coffee-maker.

Hornkohl and his wife Jeri reside in Tullahoma. They have three children, Jola, Jason, and Justin, and two grandchildren.

“UTSI has been good to me,” Hornkohl said in wishing his fellow workers success.

Jeri Hornkohl and Donald C. Daniel with Jim Hornkohl at his retirement party.

Celebrating with Jim Hornkohl and his wife Jeri are co-workers Carole Thomas, left, and Penny Oliver and Diane Chellstorp, right.

Jim and Jeri Hornkohl stand beside Jim’s “retirement” cake.

Newt Wright of Manchester and Keith Walker, center, co-workers for years with Jim Hornkohl of Tullahoma chat with him at his retirement party.
–UTSI Photos