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Ehresman, Charles M., 1922-2012



  • Existence: 1922 - 2012

Biographical Information

Charles M. “Chuck” Ehresman was born on May 23, 1922, in Elkhart, Indiana. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University in 1949 and a Masters in Aeronautical Engineering from Purdue in 1951.

Between 1951 and 1964, Ehresman was employed in California with the Aerojet-General Engineering Corporation, working on liquid assist takeoff rockets for the Boeing B-47, F-84F, and F-84G, as well as liquid propellant boosters for the Bomarc and Titan I and II missiles and Atlas/Able, Delta II, Saturn V, and Nerva Nuclear rockets. While at Aerojet, Ehresman served as test engineer, group leader, research department head, research and development supervisor, and test operations manager.

In 1964, Ehresman returned to Purdue to oversee the design and construction of the University’s High Pressure Rocket Laboratory at the Thermal Sciences and Propulsion Center (today’s Zucrow Laboratories), later serving as its operations manager (1977-1981). He was promoted from visiting professor to associate professor of Mechanical Engineering in 1966 and in 1992, was awarded the academic rank of emeritus professor. Ehresman taught several courses related to system design, analysis of dynamic systems, control systems, and rocket propulsion for spaceflight, including Modeling and Analysis of Physical Systems (ME 375), Modeling and Instrumentation of Physical Systems (ME 385), Propulsion for Space Flight (ME 439), Automatic Control Systems (ME 475), and Liquid Rocket Propulsion Systems (ME 579E), and served on various School of Mechanical Engineering committees. His interests and work activities in instrumentation and application, facility design and system interaction, rocket propulsion, and water and hail ingestion in air breathing engines produced several dozen professional presentations and lectures and article-length publications, including many papers presented at American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) conferences between the 1980s and 2000s.

Ehresman also performed consultant work for the U.S. Research Office (Durham, NC, 1969), General Medical Instrument Division (El Monte, CA, 1970), Design & Manufacturing Company (Connersville, IN, 1971), Roper Corporation (West Lafayette, IN, 1975), and Zion Nuclear Power Station (Chicago, IL, 1980), and was a member of various academic, professional, and scholarly societies, including the AIAA, the Sigma Xi scientific research society, and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).

Professor Ehresman died in August 2012 at the age of 90.


Collection file and materials within the collection.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Charles M. Ehresman papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSF 490
Scope and Contents The Charles M. Ehresman papers document the work and professional activities of Charles M. Ehresman, designer of Purdue University's High Pressure Rocket Laboratory, associate professor of Mechanical Engineering, and operations manager of Purdue's Thermal Sciences and Propulsion Center (known today as Zucrow Laboratories). The collection also documents the design and construction of the High Pressure Rocket Laboratory and its early administration and operations, as well as materials pertaining...
Dates: 1897 - 2011; Other: Majority of material found within 1960 - 1972; Other: Majority of material found within 1997 - 2009