|Michael T. Huggins
Class of ’85 Aerospace Engineering
Research Site Director & Chief, Space and Missile Propulsion Directorate
Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Edwards AFB, California
MICHAEL T. HUGGINS graduated from Cal Poly Pomona in 1985 with a B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering, and directly went to work for Rockwell International as a Test Engineer for the B1-B Bomber and F-101 engine programs. He entered the DoD Civil Service in 1987 when he joined the Air Force Astronautics Laboratory, and three years later the Phillips Lab – both at Edwards AFB, California. He started as a program manager and quickly rose to Director of the Propulsion Business Resources Division by 1997. In that 10-year period, he managed, directed or had oversight over several multi-million dollar rocket propulsion and strategic missile projects. In 1997, “Mike” as his friends and colleagues call him, was named California’s Air Force Civilian Employee of the Year, by the Air Force Association. In less than 10 years, Mike had been promoted from GS-7 to his present pay grade of DR-IV – a meteoric climb of 6 pay grades.
After two brief assignments to the Air Force Research Lab at Wright Patterson AFB in Ohio, Mike came back to Edwards, and became Chief of the 145 person Rocket Propulsion Division, directing work such as a new re-usable liquid rocket engine cycle and new propellants for the “Peacekeeper” missile and the “Minuteman” replacement. In 1999, Mike Huggins was named, Chief of the Space and Missile Propulsion Division. His areas of accomplishment here, included the first successful ground demonstration of a hydrocarbon scramjet system and the development of a pulse detonation engine for aircraft operations – this is truly “Rocket Science”.
Currently Mike Huggins directs the planning, formulation, and execution for $120 M annually in exploratory research and advanced development programs at the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) at Edwards. He is Research Site Director as well as Chief of Space and Missile Propulsion Programs, which reports to USAF Material Command. As Site Director, Mike is responsible for over 500 personnel, including many Ph.D. Chemists, Scientists, and Engineers.
Mike Huggins also serves as the lead USAF representative to the National Defense Rocket Propulsion Committee and is Chairman of the NATO Applied Vehicle Technologies Panel which oversees land, sea, and air platform technology transfer amongst NATO allies.
Additionally, Mike has received the USAF Exceptional Civilian Service Medal, which is the highest possible Air Force Civilian recognition, and was named the 2003 Aerospace Engineering Alumnus of the Year at Cal Poly Pomona. Most importantly, Mike was instrumental in obtaining USAF funding/grants for construction of new Sub- and Supersonic Wind Tunnels for the College of Engineering. These two research-grade tunnels are of great significance to the College, the University, and the Region. Mike confessed that while he was an engineering student at CPP, he once broke one of the old wind tunnels during an experiment. He felt compelled to help the College obtain new and better ones.
Mike and his wife Kelly have two daughters, Alexandra (12) and MacKenzie (10), and live in Lancaster, California.
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