This Day in History – November 29, 1963

Electrical engineer Edward Tunstel is born in Harlem, New York


On this day in 1963, electrical engineer Edward Tunstel was born in Harlem, New York.

From a young age, Tunstel was interested in art, inspiring him to pursue a career in architecture. He graduated from Springfield Gardens High School in Queens, New York in 1981 and then went on to continue his education at Howard University, where he received his B.S. and M.E. degrees in mechanical engineering.

Upon graduation, Tunstel took a position with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Granted the JPL Minority Fellowship in 1992, he was then admitted to the University of New Mexico, earning his Ph.D. in 1996.

Following his graduation, Tunstel chose to continue working with the JPL. Serving as a Flight Systems Engineer during the NASA Mars Exploration, he gained nationwide fame and admiration among those aspiring to peruse a career in the field. Additionally, Tunstel served as the mobility and robotic arm lead for the surface operations on Mars.


In 1997, he was appointed Space Robotics and Autonomous Control Lead at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. There, he conducted research on autonomous control systems, cooperative robotics, and mobile robot navigation. He wrote multiple articles on intelligent control and robotics throughout his career, as well as editing and contributing to several books related to engineering.

He is currently a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, three prestigious organizations in the engineering and aeronautics fields.


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