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Test squadron home of Air Force’s top propulsion engineer

Ed Tucker

Ed Tucker

ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, Tenn. -- An engineer from Arnold Engineering Development Center was selected as the Air Force Propulsion Engineer of the Year during a ceremony at the base today.

Ed Tucker, responsible test organization action officer for the 717th Test Squadron, provides technical oversight to program offices on various Department of Defense and civilian aircraft engines.

"Our role is to help solve their technical engine problems through test and evaluation," said Mr. Tucker, a former Air Force officer. "I help facilitate that."

He recommends and advocates advanced technology methods to improve AEDC test and analysis capabilities to support weapon system acquisition, development and deployment, according to Col. Arthur Huber, the center's commander.

Mr. Tucker was selected for the award, in part, for his work assisting NASA prepare and execute an F100 test, fostering a new level of cooperation between national engine test facilities.

He also spearheaded the engine test planning group responsible for qualifying the B-52 Stratofortress on Fischer-Tropsch alternative fuel. Mr. Tucker's superiors said the test methodology he helped pioneer will smooth the progress of qualifying all DoD engines on the alternative fuel, eventually reducing the U.S. military's dependency on foreign oil.

After a two-year stint as an active-duty research engineer at NASA Ames Research Center in California, he came to Arnold as a test program manager in 1991 for two years before leaving the service.

After his enlistment was up, Mr. Tucker took over as senior engineer for gas turbine engine testing at AEDC as an Aerospace Testing Alliance contractor. He started working in civil service in 2004 for the 717th and has served in a variety of positions.