Quincy native Dave Duesterhaus named NFAC director
Release Number: 208153
Published December 29, 2008
Quincy native Dave Duesterhaus, quality manager at the U.S. Air Force's Arnold Engineering Development Center's (AE¬DC) in Tullahoma, Tenn., Plans and Programs directorate, has been selected to become the new site director at AEDC's National Full Scale Aerodynamics Com¬plex (NFAC) at Moffett Field, Calif., effective Sept. 1.
The NFAC wind tunnel facility, located at NASA's Ames Research Center, is the largest wind tunnel in the world and is composed of two large test sections and a common, six-fan drive system. A wide range of available support systems combine with the unique facility to allow successful completion of aerodynamic and acoustic experiments that cannot be achieved anywhere else. AEDC took over operation of the wind tunnel in 2006.
He and his wife, Debra (Elam), will leave the small town, quiet life of Estill Springs, Tenn., to Mountain View, Calif., near San Jose.
Duesterhaus, who has been at AEDC for 36 years, sees this new position as a great opportu¬nity and a new challenge.
"It will be an opportunity to step forward in a leadership position," he said. "And really be able to impact what we can bring to the aerospace community."
Now that NFAC is up and run¬ning, one of Duesterhaus' main goals is to make sure the facility maintains its viability.
"Even though NFAC is opera¬tional, one of my goals is to try to ensure the facility will continue to provide a capability that's needed," he commented. "I also want to expand its market niche a little better and help broaden the customer base."
With his years of service, Duesterhaus feels he brings knowledge of AEDC processes and personnel to the table, es¬pecially in the aeropropulsion area.
"A lot of background I had in the propulsion area was in terms of how to operate and maintain the propulsion area in a business manner," he said. "NFAC direc¬tor will be similar in that role in that I am trying to operate and maintain a business unit and make sure that it is adequately funded and investing in the right things in order to maintain its operable capability."
He continued, "I also want to have some vision of what the facility will be capable of in the future--making a long-term plan to ensure viability."
The biggest adjustment Duesterhaus says he and his wife will have to make is mov¬ing from rural Tennessee to the flashy-style of California.
"That will be a big change," he admitted. "But, with opportu¬nity come some risks and we are ready to face them."
Duesterhaus said the hardest thing will be leaving behind their three children and six grandchil¬dren, all who live in Tennessee.
"There will be some hard¬ships," he admitted. "We will have to find out different ways to keep engaged with our children and grandchildren, but we see this is an opportunity to help them grow at the same time be¬cause they will be able to explore new worlds when they come and visit. It will be a shared experi¬ence for all of us."
Duesterhaus started working at AEDC in 1972, employed first by Sverdrup Technology, Inc., where he conducted ap¬plied research on advanced test techniques for propulsion systems and analysis of do¬mestic and foreign test facility capabilities.
He was a member of the support team during the con¬struction of ASTF, before join-ing the government side of the house in 1981. After joining the directorate of technology staff, he continued to work the propulsion system test techniques managing projects in turbine engine compressor analysis, free jet testing and diffuser development and new instrumentation techniques such as the use of high energy X-rays for solid rocket motor propellant burn rate measurements.
In 1986, he was selected for a two-year exchange program with the Federal Republic of Germany where he was employed by the German Aerospace Establishment at Lampholdshausen. While there he conducted research on the de¬sign and combustion stability of solid fuel ramjet combustors.
From 1988 to 2005 he was the Air Force test project manager of numerous aeropropulsion proj¬ects: the $24 million subsonic free jet test system, National Aerospace Plane, F414, Adour, Trent 800, Trent 900, Trent 1000, JSF CDA Propulsion, PW 6000, PW 4092, and GP7200. Since 2006, he has been assigned to the plans and programs director-ate representing AEDC on the AFSO21 program while serving as the quality manager and lead¬ing the center's development strategic planning and balanced scoreboard development.
He is an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, (AIAA) and has been an active member of the AIAA Tennessee Section where he has served in several positions including sec¬tion chairman.