Class of 1998

Jonathan Colby

1996-1998, witness

UC Berkeley, B.S. in Mechanical Engineering

Georgia Tech, M.S. in Aerospace Engineering.

When you hear "Grady Mock Trial" what is the first thing that pops in your head?


What is a particular moment or event  that you recall from your time on mock trial that is most memorable? It could be a "favorite moment" or a "not-so-favorite" moment.

Winning the regionals (1996 or 1997) and making it to state was incredible.  The impassioned opening and closing arguments.  Early morning donuts and coffee on Ponce before heading to the courthouse for regionals.

I could have sworn we made it to the State Semi-Finals or Finals one year (1996 or 1997) but looking at the GHS Mock Trial website it doesn't appear so.

Hearing that we won the State competition for the first time was a highlight.  I was in college at the time but I was so proud of the team!

Have you found that any of your experiences during your time on the Mock Trial Team have had an impact on you? If so, please tell us about that.

Made me a much better public speaker which is critical in my career.  Encouraged analytical thinking, working as a team and required sacrifice and commitment to be successful, all useful in further education and in life.

Other than Mock Trial, how do you recall your time at Grady HS? The classes, classmates and teacher, the other extra-curriculars and non-academic activities? 

I had a fantastic time at Grady HS.  I had a great group of friends and was involved in sports, drama and art outside of Mock Trial.

What did you do after graduating from Grady? College, travel, work, etc.

Went to college and graduate school for engineering.  Currently work as an engineer in Renewable Energy development, specifically, Tidal and Marine Energy.

If you went to college or graduate school- please tell us where you went, the degrees you earned, and what you were looking for from your college experience and what you actually took from it? 

I went to undergrad as a declared engineering major, I knew in high school that I wanted to be an engineer.  I combined mechanical engineering (fluids) with astronomy at Berkeley and wanted to design satellites and space telescopes.  At GT I ended up working on the high-temperature gas dynamics of jet and rocket engines.  While I loved the science and engineering of combustion and propulsion, I decided to pursue a career in Renewable Energy using my training in experimental fluid mechanics.

If you have finished with your formal education, please let us know what you've done since? Career? Family? Social or Political or Community or Religious Involvement?

Since graduating, I have been working for Verdant Power, a Tidal Energy developer based in NYC.  I have been with the company since 2006 and I currently live in San Francisco.  I am actively involved in the development of International Standards for the Marine Energy industry and in the development of a global Certification System for Renewable Energy equipment through an organization known as the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).  I have taught math and physics off and on since college.

What are some experiences that have helped you get where you are today?

Learning how to write code.

Learning how to work and interact with people that are different from you.

Traveling the US and the world and learning about other cultures.

Living in different cities and countries.

Attending Grady HS!

Any advice or words of wisdom that you have for current  Grady Mock Trial Team Members or more recent alumni?

Stay active on Mock Trial and as many teams/clubs/groups as you can.  Explore a diverse range of activities to stay well rounded and culturally aware.

Keep a positive, open mind and be patient in new situations.

Try the local food everywhere you go.

We are learning that Grady Mock Trial has its own language and each year's team tends to develop its own catchphrases or terms. What are some of the catchphrases or terms that you recall from your time on Grady Mock Trial? And if there's a story that goes with it, please share it.

Great question - one of our cases had a character named Perry Foil and the weapon involved was an epee.  There was plenty of epee humor and fencing references that year.

Would you be willing to act as a mentor or guide in certain areas? If so, in what areas would you be willing to mentor or guide students or younger alumni?

Absolutely - I would be happy to do anything I can to support Grady alumni or current students on the Mock Trial Team.  

Please email Chandler Morris at if you'd like Jonathan's contact information.