From the Air Force Lab to the classroom

Tiffany Skinner

Emerson McMullen served in The United States Air Force for more than 20 years. He is currently the historian of science technology and medicine at Georgia Southern University.

McMullen joined the Air Force just after the Vietnam War. He contributed his services in many ways. Major McMullen spent most of his time in the military doing historical and scientific research. He worked at Rocket propellants testing at Rocket explosive lab at Edwards Air Force base in California He also worked on nuclear devices at Lawrence Livermore National laboratory. He was Chief Equipment Engineer of the Life Support Systems Project Office at Wright Patterson Air Force base in Ohio. This involved everything that touches the aircrew, including oxygen masks and ejection seats.

McMullen was also the Deputy Director of the Plasma Physics at the Aerospace Research Laboratory. He also had the opportunity to pass down some of his research skills while teach at the Air Force institute of Technology. He also worked on the advanced medium range air to air missile at Eglin Air Force base where he was head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Being a part of the military McMullen to travel to the Great Wall of China, the Egyptian pyramids the Ukraine and Japan.

“For me being a veteran is like being in a band of brothers. These are people who are responsible and disciplined, and whom I respect and trust,” Dr. McMullen said.

McMullen was born in Pennsylvania and raised in Washington State. Being a member of the military is deeply rooted in his family. His biological father and stepfather were in the United States army during WW2. He met his wife at Edwards Air Force Base in California where his son was born. He adopted his daughter when he moved to Dallas Texas. Both of his Children have followed their father’s footsteps and joined the military.

McMullen earned a degree from Washington State University in Chemical Engineering. He then went on to earn a Master’s of Science in Engineering Management from Southern Methodist University in Dallas Texas. He received a doctorate History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Indiana after retiring from the Air Force. 

“As a co-worker Dr. McMullen is very timely and organized. He is even better as a friend. Sometimes people tend to forget about assistants. Every year on Administrative professionals day he finds a way to make me feel special he never forgets about me,” the History department Administrative assistant Joyce Baldwin said.