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AEDC Fellow Dr. Grant Patterson’s contributions remembered

  • Published
  • By Bradley Hicks

AEDC Fellow Dr. Grant T. Patterson will be remembered for his contributions to Arnold Engineering Development Complex following his passing on July 11 at the age of 77.

Patterson, an aerospace engineering specialist and consultant, was recognized over his 38-year AEDC career for demonstrating outstanding technical leadership, an innovative approach and analytical skills. He was honored as an AEDC Fellow in 2015. The AEDC Fellows program, established in 1989, recognizes AEDC personnel who have made substantial and exceptionally distinguished contributions to the nation’s aerospace ground testing capability.

His work with turbine engine and aerospace aircraft systems garnered Patterson much praise. He led the effort to establish a turbine engine augmentor test capability and served as the analysis engineer for engine tests involving systems such as the Pratt & Whitney F100, General Electric F110, General Electric F414 and others.

During the 1970s and 1980s, Patterson led the effort to analyze acoustic resonances in the AEDC turbine engine test cells at Arnold Air Force Base in an effort to better understand their effects on an engine during a test.

He also helped develop the Non-recoverable Stall Program, which defined engine stall characteristics to establish recovery techniques for an engine manufacturer.

Patterson is credited with saving millions of dollars in instrumentation costs due to his leadership involvement with the Snap-In/Snap-Out instrumentation capability. This process, which has become standard between engine manufacturers and AEDC, streamlined the hookups between engine instrumentation and AEDC data acquisition ports.

Following his retirement, Patterson continued to work on a part-time basis for 10 additional years, spending a great deal of this time serving as a mentor to younger engineers. He provided his analysis expertise to the development of a best practice publication for data validation in turbine engine test cells and hypersonic aerodynamic tests.

Patterson’s activities and interests outside of work included efforts to support Tullahoma High School. He served as Parent Teacher Association president, Band Booster president and THS Singers Parent Support Group president. He was also active in in the Tullahoma Community Playhouse and South Jackson Civic Center. He was a founding member of the Hands-On Science Center and served as president on that board.

Patterson was a member of King’s Cross Church in Tullahoma and was a member of the worship team for 12 years.