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Jeff Jortner

1. What do you do, and how long have you been doing it?

For three years I have been the Solution Architect for Secure Collaboration Solutions at Sandia National Laboratories. Previously at Sandia I was a applied researcher in Computer Graphics and Scientific Visualization for 27 years. 

2. What was your first job?

Early on I was a pool lifeguard during the summer, but after high school I worked as a roustabout on offshore oil production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. My first job after college was as a design engineer at Brown & Root working on oil rig designs.

3. Where did you complete your formal education?

I received my BS, MS and Ph.D degrees in Mechanical Engineering at Lousiana State University

4. How did you first get involved with ACM SIGGRAPH?

My Ph.D advisor had a SIGGRAPH paper published and encouraged me to attend SIGGRAPH 81. I was just a conference attendee until around 1990 when I helped start the ACM SIGGRAPH Professional chapter in Albuquerque, NM.

5. What is your favorite memory of a SIGGRAPH conference?

It has to be my first SIGGRAPH Electronic Theater. What I saw during the show hooked me on Computer Graphics and SIGGRAPH.

6. Describe a project that you would like to share with the ACM SIGGRAPH community.

During my tenure as ACM SIGGRAPH President, the Executive Committee (EC) has put in a lot of effort in developing a future strategy for SIGGRAPH. We have made significant strides and the work is continuing. 

7. If you could have dinner with one living or non-living person, who would it be and why?

I would like to have met Leonardo Da Vinci. I cannot imagine what he could have accomplished with the tools we have today. He was an artist, engineer and forward thinker. To me that embodies what SIGGRAPH is all about.

8. What is something most people don’t know about you?

My wife and I are really in to Barn Hunt dog competition with our Airedale Terrier and Welsh Terrier. Both breeds are natural hunters and have earned ribbons at the Senior level.

9. From which single individual have you learned the most in your life? What did they teach you?

I would have to say my mother. She was a successful business owner in a number of different areas and I had the opportunity to work with her for a few years. I learned through her that gender and ethnicity are unimportant and what matters is what people can accomplish when given a chance.

10. Is there someone in particular who has influenced your decision to work with ACM SIGGRAPH?

Ray Elliot was the first Rio Grande SIGGRAPH chair and both a SIGGRAPH and Supercomputing chair. 
Ray got me involved in all three activities and both mentored and encouraged my 
participation at higher levels of the organization.

11. What can you point to in your career as your proudest moment?

I received an Individual Recognition Award from Sandia Laboratories for my work on the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). I led the integration and deployment of an IPAWS test system in all of Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi. 

For SIGGRAPH, I would have to say being elected President of the organization twice.