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Edward Tunstel

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Information about Edward Tunstel

Profile image of Edward Tunstel

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Electrical Engineer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Brown
Favorite Food:
Cookies
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Monterey, California
Favorite Quote:
Keep It Moving, Fair Enough.

Birthplace

Born:
11/29/1963
Birth Location:
New York, New York

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Electrical Engineer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Brown
Favorite Food:
Cookies
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Monterey, California
Favorite Quote:
Keep It Moving, Fair Enough.

Birthplace

Born:
11/29/1963
Birth Location:
New York
See how Edward Tunstel is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Robotics engineer and technology developer Edward Tunstel, Jr. was born on November 29, 1963 in Harlem, New York to Agnes Tunstel and Edward Tunstel, Sr. As a child, Tunstel was very interested in art, which led him to pursue an initial interest in architecture. However, after he attended a seminar held by the New York Academy of Sciences the summer of his junior year in high school, he decided to shift his focus to engineering instead due to his curiosity in learning how things worked. He graduated from Springfield Gardens High School in Queens, New York in 1981 and received his B.S. and M.E. degrees in mechanical engineering from Howard University in 1986 and 1989, respectively.

Upon his graduation from Howard University, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recruited Tunstel. In 1992, he was granted the JPL Minority Fellowship to further his education at the University of New Mexico, where he received his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering in 1996. Tunstel has continued to work with the JPL following the completion of his Ph.D. program, and he has served in various roles. One of his larger projects was to serve as a Flight Systems Engineer for autonomous surface navigation of the NASA Mars Exploration Rovers. He has also served as the mobility and robotic arm lead on the Spacecraft/Rover Engineering Team for the Spirit and Opportunity rovers’ surface operations on Mars. Since 1997, he worked as the Space Robotics and Autonomous Control Lead at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, where he continued to solve robotics problems for NASA. His research interests include: autonomous control systems, cooperative robotics, and mobile robot navigation.

Throughout his career, Tunstel has written a number of articles on the subject of robotics and intelligent control. He has also edited and contributed to several books related to robotics and engineering. Tunstel is a member of several professional organizations, including the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He has also been honored for his contributions to the science of robotics and space exploration. Tunstel is married to Jan Harwell Tunstel.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Edward Tunstel's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Edward Tunstel lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Edward Tunstel describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Edward Tunstel talks about his mother's upbringing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Edward Tunstel describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Edward Tunstel talks about his father's career in the supermarket business
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Edward Tunstel recalls how his parents met and describes their personalities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Edward Tunstel talks about his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Edward Tunstel describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Edward Tunstel describes his early neighborhood in Harlem
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Edward Tunstel describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood in Harlem
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Edward Tunstel talks about his interest in art and how it influenced his aspirations in engineering
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Edward Tunstel describes his interest in science fiction and comic books
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Edward Tunstel talks about his early perceptions of African American scientists
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Edward Tunstel talks about his early education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Edward Tunstel recalls his favorite subjects and field trips during school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Edward Tunstel talks about moving to Jamaica, Queens in New York City
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Edward Tunstel describes his interest in basketball and the game's influence on his social skills
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Edward Tunstel talks about his experience at St. Catherine of Siena School in Queens, New York
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Edward Tunstel describes his childhood aspirations of becoming a scientist
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Edward Tunstel talks about his parents' encouragement and his reading interests
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Edward Tunstel recalls being inspired by science and technology during his youth
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Edward Tunstel talks about his favorite teacher at St. Catherine of Siena School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Edward Tunstel recalls entering Springfield Gardens High School in Queens, New York
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Edward Tunstel talks about his early religious experiences
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Edward Tunstel describes his science instruction at Springfield Gardens High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Edward Tunstel talks about the racial demographics of Springfield Gardens High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Edward Tunstel recalls the New York Academy of Sciences' influence on his career aspirations
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Edward Tunstel describes his personality and academic performance in high school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Edward Tunstel recalls his decision to apply to Howard University in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Edward Tunstel talks about the historic African American administrators at Howard University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Edward Tunstel describes his experience at Howard University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Edward Tunstel recalls the protests at Howard University in the 1980s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Edward Tunstel remembers his professors and role models at Howard University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Edward Tunstel talks about how he improved his study habits at Howard University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Edward Tunstel describes his decision to pursue mechanical engineering at Howard University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Edward Tunstel talks about his experience of studying robotics at Howard University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Edward Tunstel recalls pursuing his master's degree in robotics at Howard University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Edward Tunstel recalls the social challenges in Washington D.C. in the 1980s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Edward Tunstel talks about the relationship between the students at Howard University and the neighboring community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Edward Tunstel describes his master's thesis at Howard University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Edward Tunstel talks about being recruited by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Edward Tunstel describes his early experiences at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Edward Tunstel talks about the work environment at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Edward Tunstel describes his work with NASA's Robby and Rocky rovers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Edward Tunstel talks about NASA's robotic spacecraft
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Edward Tunstel describes his work with the Mars Pathfinder Rover
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Edward Tunstel talks about his JPL Minority Fellowship
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Edward Tunstel describes the concept of fuzzy logic based navigation of mobile robots
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Edward Tunstel describes the development of the LOBOT mobile robot
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Edward Tunstel describes his work with robotic rovers
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Edward Tunstel talks about his role as the lead system engineer for the Field Integrated Design and Operations (FIDO) rover
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Edward Tunstel recalls acting as the flight systems engineer for the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Surface Mission Phase team
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Edward Tunstel talks about the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) surface mission of 2003
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Edward Tunstel describes the Mars Exploration Rovers
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Edward Tunstel talks about the Mars Exploration Rover Curiosity and its mission in 2012
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Edward Tunstel talks about the range finding capacity of robotic rovers
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Edward Tunstel describes the technological advances at NASA
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Edward Tunstel recalls working on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) program
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Edward Tunstel talks about leaving the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Edward Tunstel describes his experience at Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Edward Tunstel talks about his membership at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Edward Tunstel describes the advancements in cybernetics and robotics
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Edward Tunstel describes his robotics hobby
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Edward Tunstel shares his predictions on the future of robotics
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Edward Tunstel talks about his predictions for artificial intelligence
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Edward Tunstel reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Edward Tunstel describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Edward Tunstel talks about the socio-economic impact of having a society serviced by robots
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Edward Tunstel reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Edward Tunstel talks about his family
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Edward Tunstel describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Edward Tunstel narrates his photographs