Air Force Captain Named Most Promising Military Engineer
By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service
ANAHEIM, Calif., Oct. 8, 2005 An officer assigned to Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., was named this year's most promising military engineer at the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference here Oct. 7.
Air Force Capt. Eduardo D. Aguilar said he's proud to have worked in programs that support the troops and help to defend the country. He was named most promising military engineer at the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference in Anaheim, Calif., Oct. 7. Photo by Rudi Williams
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Air Force Capt. Eduardo D. Aguilar received the honor at the annual conference's awards show.
HENAAC's mission is to enlighten the nation about the achievements of Hispanics in engineering, science, technology and math, conference officials said. The conference also strives to motivate and educate more students to pursue careers in these fields, and to increase the role the Hispanic community plays in maintaining America's status as the world's technology leader, officials added.
"Eduardo Aguilar began his career in the U.S. Air Force in 1999 with enough energy to launch a rocket," said Air Force Brig. Gen. William N. McCasland, vice commander of the Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base. "Soon the young aeronautical engineer was, in fact, launching rockets carrying payloads that affected everything from our nation's national security to international humanitarian relief operations." The general said Aguilar excelled as a test engineer, leading to a special three-month assignment at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. There, he worked on the joint NASA-Air Force F/A-18A active aeroelastic wing research program. His responsibilities included ground test data monitoring, test data reduction and verifying test data accuracy. "His significant contributions were credited with preventing schedule delays that would have cost over a half million dollars," McCasland said.
Promoted to captain in 2002, Aguilar was assigned to the Directorate of Launch Programs at the Space and Missile Systems Center. "He served as the lead Titan avionics and electrical engineer for all Titan IV, Centaur and Titan II launch vehicle avionics and battery hardware," McCasland said. "His ability to meet the level of perfection that these systems required led to the flawless performance on five critical space launches."
Aguilar now is chief of the 50-member Block IIF space integration team for the Global Positioning System. Block IIF satellites are the next generation of GPS space vehicles. Improvements include an extended design life of 12 years, faster processors with more memory, and a new civil signal on a third frequency. The first Block IIF satellite is scheduled to launch in 2007.
Accepting his award, Aguilar said each path one takes in life leads to challenges, but the path that leads to success will always be the most difficult.
"My education always remained my priority," he said. "I'm very proud that I've worked in programs that support our troops and help to defense our country."
Aguilar is a frequent participant in the outreach program of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers of Greater Los Angeles. "As a proud Mexican American," he said, "I enjoy working with our Hispanic youth to share my enthusiasm for rocketry and satellites."