For release: 10/28/02
Release #: 02-274
Evansville, Ind., native Ronald Tepool named chief engineer of NASA's Space Shuttle Main Engine
Ronald E. Tepool, a native of Evansville, Ind., and a 39-year NASA veteran, has been named chief engineer of the Space Shuttle Main Engine Project Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
Photo: Tepool (NASA/MSFC)
In his new position, Tepool is responsible for the technical success of the Space Shuttle Main Engines, the most advanced liquid-fueled rocket engines ever built and the first reusable ones. Temperatures inside the engines reach 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit -- hot enough to melt iron -- and the pressure mounts to as high as 6,000 pounds per square inch. During the eight-and-a-half minutes the Shuttle's three Main Engines burn, they produce energy equivalent to 23 Hoover Dams - about 37 million horsepower.
As chief engineer, Tepool is responsible for more than a dozen engine components; their operation, design, development and flight verification requirements; and implementation of upgrades to the engines to increase safety and reliability of the Shuttle system.
Tepool began his career with NASA in 1963 as a propulsion test engineer at the Marshall Center. From 1963 to 1993, he served in various capacities, including chief of the Systems Test Branch and chief of the Propulsion Test Division. In 1993, he transferred to the Space Shuttle Main Engine Project Office as chief of the Requirements and Integration Team. In 1998, Tepool was named to lead the Main Engine's Design Engineering Team.
During his career, Tepool has received both the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. He has also received numerous outstanding performance and achievement awards.
Tepool received his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Evansville 1963. He also earned four varsity letters at the university -- three in football and one in baseball, and was named the football team's Most Valuable Player and to the 1961 All-Conference Team in the Indiana Collegiate Conference.
Tepool is a 1958 graduate of Mater Dei High School in Evansville.
He and his wife Sarah reside in Huntsville.
The Marshall Center is carrying out its vision of being the world leader in space transportation systems. With its rich history spanning more than four decades, Marshall remains one of NASA's largest field centers, occupying over 1,800 acres and employing more than 2,700 civil servants. More than 23,000 contractor personnel are engaged in work for the Center, which has an annual budget of more than $2.3 billion.
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