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Louis G. Dunn
was a South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...
An engineer is a professional practitioner of engineering, concerned with applying scientific knowledge, mathematics and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical problems. Engineers design materials, structures, machines and systems while considering the limitations imposed by practicality,...
who played a key role in the development of early American missile
Though a missile may be any thrown or launched object, it colloquially almost always refers to a self-propelled guided weapon system.-Etymology:The word missile comes from the Latin verb mittere, meaning "to send"...
s and launch vehicle
In spaceflight, a launch vehicle or carrier rocket is a rocket used to carry a payload from the Earth's surface into outer space. A launch system includes the launch vehicle, the launch pad and other infrastructure....
Dunn received both undergraduate and graduate degrees in aeronautical engineering from the California Institute of Technology
The California Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Pasadena, California, United States. Caltech has six academic divisions with strong emphases on science and engineering...
(Caltech) in Pasadena, CA. During that time the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory
The Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology , was a research institute created in 1926, at first specializing in aeronautics research. In 1930, Hungarian scientist Theodore von Kármán accepted the directorship of the lab and emigrated to the United States. Under...
at Caltech (GALCIT), a prestigious aeronatuical engineering research facility, was led by Theodore von Kármán
Theodore von Kármán was a Hungarian-American mathematician, aerospace engineer and physicist who was active primarily in the fields of aeronautics and astronautics. He is responsible for many key advances in aerodynamics, notably his work on supersonic and hypersonic airflow characterization...
. By 1943 Dunn had joined the Caltech faculty and become a naturalized U.S. citizen.
In 1943 and 1944, von Kármán and Frank Malina
Frank Joseph Malina was an American aeronautical engineer and painter, especially known for becoming both a pioneer in the art world and the realm of scientific engineering.-Early life:...
, who had been doing rocket research at GALCIT, began using Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a federally funded research and development center and NASA field center located in the San Gabriel Valley area of Los Angeles County, California, United States. The facility is headquartered in the city of Pasadena on the border of La Cañada Flintridge and Pasadena...
(JPL) in the names of their projects. Malina hired Dunn to be the assistant director of JPL in 1945. Dunn took over as acting director when Malina left and was formally appointed as director in 1947. Dunn resigned from this position in 1954. William Hayward Pickering
William Hayward Pickering ONZ KBE was a New Zealand born rocket scientist who headed Pasadena, California's Jet Propulsion Laboratory for 22 years, retiring in 1976...
, who had been project manager for the Corporal missile under Dunn, succeeded him as JPL director.
Ramo-Woolridge and Aerojet General
After leaving JPL Dunn led the Atlas missile program at the Ramo-Woolridge Corporation, a predecessor of TRW
TRW Inc. was an American corporation involved in a variety of businesses, mainly aerospace, automotive, and credit reporting. It was a pioneer in multiple fields including electronic components, integrated circuits, computers, software and systems engineering. TRW built many spacecraft,...
In 1963 he moved to Aerojet General, and he died in 1979.