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AEDC Spotlight: AEDC Turbines CTF Lead Operations Engineer recognized for exemplary support during complex engine test

Ryan Allen, at right, a lead test operations engineer, and Troy Stokes, lead outside machinist, set up a GN2 panel for system checkouts prior to a test in one of the jet engine test facilities at Arnold Air Force Base. In his position as operations engineer, Allen leads and coordinates activities of the test cell, plant and test article during a test. (U.S. Air Force photos/Deidre Ortiz)

Ryan Allen, a lead test operations engineer, and Troy Stokes, lead outside machinist, set up a GN2 panel for system checkouts prior to a test in one of the jet engine test facilities at Arnold Air Force Base. As a test operations engineer, Allen safely leads and coordinates activities of the test cell, plant and test article to meet project objectives. Allen was recently recognized for his support during the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s Adaptive Engine Technology Development core program. (U.S. Air Force photos/Deidre Ortiz)

Ryan Allen, at right, a lead test operations engineer, and Troy Stokes, lead outside machinist, set up a GN2 panel for system checkouts prior to a test in one of the jet engine test facilities at Arnold Air Force Base. In his position as operations engineer, Allen leads and coordinates activities of the test cell, plant and test article during a test. (U.S. Air Force photos/Deidre Ortiz)

Ryan Allen, at right, a lead test operations engineer, and Troy Stokes, lead outside machinist, set up a GN2 panel for system checkouts prior to a test in one of the jet engine test facilities at Arnold Air Force Base. In his position as operations engineer, Allen leads and coordinates activities of the test cell, plant and test article during a test. (U.S. Air Force photos/Deidre Ortiz)

Ryan Allen, at right, a lead test operations engineer, and Troy Stokes, lead outside machinist, set up a GN2 panel for system checkouts prior to a test in one of the jet engine test facilities at Arnold Air Force Base. In his position as operations engineer, Allen leads and coordinates activities of the test cell, plant and test article during a test. (U.S. Air Force photos/Deidre Ortiz)

Ryan Allen, at right, a lead test operations engineer, and Troy Stokes, lead outside machinist, set up a GN2 panel for system checkouts prior to a test in one of the jet engine test facilities at Arnold Air Force Base. In his position as operations engineer, Allen leads and coordinates activities of the test cell, plant and test article during a test. (U.S. Air Force photos/Deidre Ortiz)

ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, Tenn. -- A Lead Operations Engineer of one of the AEDC jet engine test cells at Arnold Air Force Base is applauded for his support during the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s Adaptive Engine Technology Development (AETD) core program.

According to Scott Grigsby, an Aeropropulsion test cell supervisor at Arnold Air Force Base, Ryan Allen’s “thoroughness and attention to detail” was on full display throughout the AETD Fan demonstration test, which was conducted at the AEDC J2 Engine Test Facility last summer.

As the J1 Lead Test Operations Engineer, Allen mentioned he’s responsible for leading the mechanical portion of the test team through all phases of the project.

“During testing, Test Operations Engineers safely lead and coordinate activities of the test cell, plant and test article to meet project objectives,” he said.

The AETD testing is unique in that military turbofan engines typically have two airstreams, one that passes through the core of the engine and another that bypasses the core. The development of a third stream will provide an additional source of air flow to improve propulsive efficiency, lower fuel burn and provide additional cooling air, or to deliver additional air flow through the core for higher thrust. Having a third stream of air that can be modulated to adapt the engine’s performance across the flight envelope means a fighter can access an on-demand increase in thrust or smoothly shift to highly efficient operations during cruise, and the capability provides an ideal balance for combat scenarios requiring both high-end acceleration and increased range.

Of the test program Allen said, “The AETD core demonstration test is one of the most complex turbine engine tests ever performed at Arnold.”

Grigsby added, “With its multitude of unique support systems, the test required top-notch skills that Allen consistently demonstrates for safe, efficient and effective execution of all phases of the test program.”
He further mentioned Allen has gone above and beyond to ensure the success of the team on other projects as well.

“Allen provides solid leadership, not only in his primary area of responsibility, but within his entire Jet and Turbines group, often providing mentoring for apprentice test operations engineers,” Grigsby said.

Allen came to work at AEDC after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Tennessee Technology University, and has been working on base for 13 years.

Aspects of his job he likes the most include “the unique and interesting work, working with great people and that we get to contribute to our national defense.”

Supporting several test projects over the years, he said there’s not one that stands out more than the others.

“Every project is different in some way, which makes them all enjoyable,” he said.