John graduated from a rural Arkansas high school in 1991 in a class of 21 students.
He received a scholarship from both the University of Arkansas and the Arkansas Academy
of Mechanical Engineers. In college, he worked three 6-month cooperative education
tours at the Arkansas Nuclear One in Russelleville, Arkansas, performing licensing
tasks and fuel failure analuses. John won a Porter-Stone Award for this work.
John graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1997 with a B.S.M.E. specializing
in thermal and fluid system studies. He joined Swales Aerospace as a thermal systems
engineer in early 1998. Projects worked on include EO-1, Triana, EOS Aura MLS instrument
and flight operations for the HEAT payload on STS-IOS and EOS Aqua.