James A. Parsons was an American chemical engineer.
Parsons was born in Hand County, South Dakota. Upon graduation from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, B.S., ChE., 1944, James was hired by the Carbide and Carbon Chemical Company to assist in the development of the gaseous diffusion barrier membranes for the K-25 plant in the SAM Laboratories at Columbia University from February 1944 to June 1944. From June 1944 to September 1944, he was transferred to the R & D facilities of the Linde Co., to assist in the operation of a barrier pilot plant in Tonawanda, NY. From September 1944 until October 1945, he was assigned to the Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant to assist in staff training, plant startup, and operations development and remained there in the Engineering Division until 1985.