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Dr. Thomas A. Jackson, a member of the scientific and professional cadre of senior executives, is Senior Scientist for Hypersonics, Aerospace Systems Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. His primary responsibilities are to advance technologies used by Air Force missiles, aircraft and space access platforms in sustained operations above Mach 5 and to enable transition to acquisition development programs.

Prior to this appointment Dr. Jackson served as the Deputy for Science for AFRL’s High Speed Systems Division, contributing extensively to research and development in air-breathing hypersonic propulsion, vehicle aerodynamics and advanced structures for use in extreme environments. He supported major programs including high speed strike weapon in collaboration with DARPA, medium scale critical component investment in large scramjet engines, and hypersonic T&E re-investment collaboration with Office of the Secretary of Defense Test Resource Management Center. Dr. Jackson led a predecessor division, Aerospace Propulsion Division of the former Propulsion Directorate, and executed the very successful X-51 scramjet engine flight demonstration and Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation programs. Dr. Jackson’s early research focused on combustion, fuel injection processes, and two-phase flows. An important result of his research was the Air Force’s worldwide conversion from JP-4 to JP-8 as the primary fleet fuel. He also contributed to aircraft survivability studies for ruptured fuel tanks and damaged hydraulic lines, as well as the elimination of halogen as an on-board fire suppressant. For high-speed propulsion his research in two-phase fuel injection and supercritical-to-subcritical fluid injection with its attendant challenge of spontaneous condensation during injection continues to underpin combustor development for hydrocarbon-fueled scramjet engines.

Dr. Jackson has published over 60 papers in national and international journals or conferences.

1975 Bachelor of Science, Aerospace Engineering, University of Cincinnati, Ohio
1982 Master of Science, Aerospace Engineering, University of Dayton, Ohio
1985 Doctor of Philosophy, Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Irvine
1992 Master of Science, Management of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

1. 1975-1982, Research Engineer for fuels/combustion processes, Fuel Combustion Branch, Fuels & Lubrication Division, Propulsion Laboratory.
2. 1982-1985, PhD Student, University of California, Irvine CA
3. 1985-1991, Research Engineer for fuels/combustion processes, Fuel Combustion Branch, Fuels & Lubrication Division, Propulsion & Power Directorate, AFRL.
4. 1991-1992, AF-selected Student, Sloan School of Management, Management of Technology Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
5. 1992-1994, Research Engineer for fuels/combustion processes, Fuel Combustion Branch, Fuels & Lubrication Division, Propulsion & Power Directorate, AFRL.
6. 1994-1998, Chief, Lubrication Branch, Fuels & Lubrication Division, Propulsion & Power Directorate, AFRL.
7. 1998-2008, Deputy for Science, Aerospace Propulsion Division, Propulsion Directorate, AFRL.
8. 2008-2012, Chief, Aerospace Propulsion Division, Propulsion Directorate, AFRL.
9. 2012-2016, Deputy for Science, High Speed Systems Division, Aerospace Systems Directorate, AFRL.
10. February 2016-Present, Senior Scientist, Hypersonics, Aerospace Systems Directorate, AFRL.

1991 Selected by Aeronautical Systems Center to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan Management of Technology Program
2002 Institute for Liquid Atomization and Spray Systems (North and South America) W.R. Marshall Award for Most Significant Contribution to Annual Conference
2007 Air Force Science and Engineering Award for Exploratory Development


Joint Army Navy NASA Air Force (JANNAF), Engine Testing & Validation Panel, Chair
American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics, Associate Fellow

(Current as of March 2017)


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