James Edward Machek passed away peacefully on September 10, 2021. He is survived by his wife Jana Machek; a stepson Brad Borne and his wife Jennifer and their children (Talon Borne, Tate Borne and Tenley Borne); and stepdaughter Brittany Borne as well as a host of friends whom he cherished each one over his lifetime.
Jim's career in the Medical Device field spanned over 35 years as an engineer, manager, executive and educator. He led engineering product development teams in many multi-national companies including Schneider, Intermedics, Medtronic, St. Jude Medical and Covidien creating innovative medical devices and taking them from concept to market to improve the lives of countless patients around the world. Jim's leadership of product development efforts for more than a decade within Medtronic resulted in the innovative therapy for the minimally-invasive treatment of Aortic Aneurysms going from an unproven concept to the current standard of care for the treatment of the vascular disease referred to as a 'silent killer'. The medical devices developed under Jim's leadership at Medtronic have helped hundreds of thousands of patients with aortic aneurysms live longer and healthier lives.
Jim was well-known for recognizing and developing engineering talent, driving accountability and enabling his teams to solve complex problems. Jim was passionate about mentorship, and shaped the careers of hundreds of engineers, many of whom went on to become leaders of worldwide organizations themselves. His presence is felt wide across the medical device field and he will surely be missed. Jim had a unique blend of humor, tough love and a knack for framing complex issues in simple and understandable ways enabling him to gain trust, mentor, and promote younger engineers.
Even in semi-retirement, Jim still felt the urge to impart his knowledge on the next generation, leading him to a Professor of Practice position in the Biomedical Engineering Department at Texas A&M University. He taught and mentored over 500 new engineers by connecting complicated engineering principles with the practical experience that students need to succeed in today's environment. Jim was always teaching his students to approach problems from different perspectives, and was always willing to have both group and individual mentoring sessions (many students even had his personal phone number). He was instrumental in formulating new design curriculum based on his years of industry experience. To younger faculty, Jim also provided perspective: theory without application is for naught. He challenged faculty and students to connect all theory with end user applications. He will be missed.
Many owe their critical and design thinking to the wonderful person that was Jim Machek. Jim has left a rich legacy on the landscape of the Medical Device space through his lifelong work with the devices that save lives as well as the individuals who create and produce them.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to the biomedical engineering department to support student scholarships or the BME Design Studio, one of Jim's initiatives. To contribute, visit the Texas A&M Foundation website at http://tx.ag/MachekMemoriam
where the donation fields have been pre-filled for Jim's memoriam. At the bottom of the page in section 3 check the "This gift is in honor of someone special" box and enter "Jim Machek".