NU TO TENNESSEE
But in addition I was not certain I would be staying at Northwestern
and I resisted making long term commitments. I had a very interesting
job, did valuable work for the department and the University yet I, to
some extent, was still regarded as a student rather than a faculty
So in 1956, I wrote Norm Parker Head of ME at the University of
Illinois Urbana about a position in his department. Subsequently I
visited his department and he offered me a 9 month job at a salary and
rank no greater than I had at NU. The only bright spot was a Chinese
heat transfer professor Hand who I knew by reputation and who
encouraged me to join the faculty and work with him in research and
book writing. On the other hand, I was not sure I wanted to be that
close to my farm home and chances for summer employment there were much
less than in the Chicago area.
I also interviewed at Michigan State and Wisconsin. At Michigan State,
Dean Ryder ran the engineering college like a fiefdom and offers from
them were no better if equal to my situation at Northwestern. Phyllis,
Ronnie and I went to Pine Point Lodge in Ely, Minnesota with the folks
in the summer of 1956 and the ME Department Head at Michigan State
called me there to ask if I was interested in the job in his department
and I told him no to end that opportunity. The people at Wisconsin
wanted me to commute to Milwaukee and teach a heat transfer course
there. I did not wsh to take the time to do that although with the
trains it wouldhave been possible.
In the spring of 1956 Nathan W. Dougherty, Dean of Engineering at The
University of Tennessee and boss of my former Northwestern Colleagues
Joel Bailey and Pete Pasqua called to see if I would be interested in
joining UT to start and run a graduate program in Tullahoma for he U.
S. Air Forces Arnold Engineering Development Center. He asked if I was
coming to the ASEE meeting at Iowa State in June. To his
disappointment, I told him I could not come to the meeting because of
my teaching schedule and I was not interested iin a move at that time.
Joel Bailey started the UT/AEDC Graduate Study Program in the fall of
1956.. Joel Bailey had been my professor at Northwestern, He got his
PhD degree from Lehigh and the he became Head of ME at UT. Joel had
suggested me to Dean Dougherty. When the AEDC program developed, Dean
Dougherty asked Joel and Pete to ensider moving to Tullahoma to start
the program. Joel and Pete agreed to tell Dean Dougherty that either
would be willing to go and that he should make the selection. Joel
thought that the Dean would choose Pete because Joel was Department
Head and Pete thought the Dean would choose Joel because he had
department head experience.
Dean Dougherty chose Joel because of experience and Joel on short
notice moved his wife and two school age children to Tullahoma in late
August 1956. Joel hired Virginiia Richardson as secretary and Dr.
Bruton of Sewanee as math teaher. AEDC had predicted more than 100
students would enroll for graduate study while Joel had predicted less
than 20. At Fall quarter registration some 35 students registered for
either math taught by Dr. Bruton or an engineering course taught by
Joel. Later Joel hired Leith Potter to teach an aerodynamics course on
a part-time basis. Based on their initial surveys, AEDC had decided
that graduate study in Electrical Engineering was not needed. The EE
types at AEDC petitioned and Joel hired Dr. Matrtin Grabau PhD in
Physics from Harvard to teach EE courses.
Joel enjoyed Tullahoma and got the UT -AEDC Graduate Studay Program off
to a great start but after a year he wanted to return to UTK and his
home in Alcoa. During his absence Pete Pasqua had served very well as
Interim Department Head but the new Dean Granger wanted to start an
undergraduate program in Nuclear Engineering and he had Pete in mind to
be Department Head of the new program. With Pete leaving, Joel had a
faculty position open in his department and then there was the AEDC
So in March 1956, Joel asked me to visit his department in Knoxville.
Phyllis, Ronnie and I got in our big green 1950 Pontiac and headed for
Knoxville and Pete's home in Alcoa. I visited Joel's Department in old
Estrabrook Hall and enjoyed the people but noted that the departmental
housing and laboratories were in very bad condition. I had a nice talk
with Dean of Engineering Granger a big friendly Texan.
Joel took us out fishing just below Norris Dam, a beautiful spring day
with a lot of striped bass caught. Joel told me that he would be
pleased to have me on the faculty at Knoxville or at AEDC Tullahoma. I
had to get back to my job at Northwestern so did not have time to go to
In early April I drove down Cicero Avenue (very rough) to Midaway and
flew in a DC3 to Nashville Tennessee where Joel Bailey met me to take
me to his house and the next morning to AEDC. It was a very pleasant
evening and Joel grilled steaks outside for dinner. He drove me around
Tullahoma some which was a small town rapidly expanding becaise of
Next day we went to AEDC where I met Virginia Richardson, Victor Mizell
the math professor, Martin Grabau who taught EE part time and Leith
Potter who taught aero part time. All were very pleasant and had high
hopes for the graduate program. I also met the AEDC Commander General
Troop Miller and the ARO Managing Director John Wild They also
expressed their strong support for the UT AEDC Program.
Joel told me later that John Wild questioned whether or not I had
enough experience to run the program. There was one other candidate
suggested by ARO but Joel felt that he would not be acceptable to UT.
Joel assured John Wild that I could run the effort. John became a very
good friend later and much to his pleasure and our benefit I got him
involved later as an AIAA-ABET Aerospace Engineerin accreditation
I also visited some of the AEDC facilities and spent quite a bit of
time with Bob Perry who was in charge of the hotshot facility. The
hotshot facility was a shock tunnel driven by an electrocal discgarge
in a nitrogen filled chamber. For a short time supersonic or hypersonic
speeds were obtained in the test section with veyr high instantaneeous
temperatures. Perry showed me pictures od the test section flow about a
reentry cone and claimed that the bright glow was caused by the
temperatures being so high that the nitrogen glowed. I knew that
nitrogen was not a strong emitter and would require extremely high
temperatures to glow. Later they found that most of the glow was from
liquid copper particles spalled off of the electric discharge chamber
and temperatures and speeeds were less than anticipated. Still the
tunnel was quite useful in the development of reentry nose cones. I
also talked to ARO employee Clark Lewos who was designing a wind tunnel
to simulate reentry conditions and was usin Joel Bailey as consultant
on heat ttansfer and fluid flow aspects
Through Dean Granger, Joel made me an offer as Assocoiate Professor of
Mechanical Engineering in his department at either Knoxvile or AEDC. At
AEDC, I would be on a 12 month appointment at 12,000 dollars per year.
Joel would stay at AEDC until December 1957 when he would go back to
Knoxville and I would be in charge of the AEDC program. In the
positiopn, I was to report to Dean Granger. In Knoxvi;lle, I would be
on a nine month appointment at about 9000 dollars for 9 months.If I
went to AEDC the USAF would pay my moving expenses. After discussing it
with Phyllis, we decided to accept the AEDC opportubity. I liked the
opportunity to do research, the twelve month appointment, the small
town and the fact that I would not be dominated by Joel and Pete. So I
accepted in April 1957 with a reporting date of September 1, 1957.
Thanks to the kindness of the ME faculty, I taught kinematics for extra
pay for the summer.
Phyllis and I wanted another child and wonders upon wonders she was
found to be pregnant in June. She valued highly the Evanston Hospital
where Ronnie was born and her Doctor for Ronnie. So she with a lot of
courage said let us go ahead and move to TuUahoma. Had she not been so
courageous, I would have called Joel Bailey, apologized and said we
could not come to Tullahoma because of the condition of Phyllis.
But we did sell the house for a little profit, I finished paying the
folks back what l owed them for the house and about September 1 we left
for Neoga then to Tullahoma. During our last days in Evanston, the
faculty gave a nice party for us at Professor Obert's hoiuse. They gave
us a fine clock and a Northwestern ashtray. Just before I left,
Professor Jennings gave me papers to show that I had been promoted to
Associate Professor of ME. And he insisted that I take a year's leave
rather than simply resigning.
We found that moving was quite trying. We had everything ready for the
day Mayflower said they would be there but they did not come until
three days later. Joel Bailey had rented me a house on Stone Boulevard
built and owned by a Captain Simeon Pate who had recently been
transferred from AEDC. Joel helped the movers move my stuff in. I had
so much golfing and fishing equipment that Joel wondered if he had
hired an engineer or an athelete. We arrived at that house late on a
September afternoon and Joel took me to AEDC to work the next day.