About Me

About Me

“Scientists study the world as it is; Engineers create the world that has never been.” —Theodore von Kármán

In 1955 I was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the USAF.


I was allowed for a couple of years to continue in graduate school where I studied both the science of and engineering applications of aeronautics.  In 1957 I went on active duty in the Air Force assigned to the Experimental Flight Test Branch at Edwards Air Force Base.  In just less than two years I had an early out and went back to the civilian world.  While I was figuring out how to get back into graduate school I worked at Aerojet-General Corporation, a place that built rocket engines.  One of their engines failed in the flight of a Thor Able Star rocket.  Studying that failure gave me the ticket back to school, and a topic for my doctoral thesis.

In the years that followed my education gave me entrée to a lot of different jobs.  I was an assistant professor at UCLA, and a member of the senior technical staff at the Institute for Defense Analyses.  I worked at a couple of think tanks and for one of them went to Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.

Ultimately, I went to work at the U.S. Army’s Ballistics Research Laboratory (BRL) at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland.  For more than 20 years I worked there as a GS-15, not only in the BRL but in the U. S. Army’s Human Engineering Laboratory as well.

An now I am retired.


One Response to About Me

  1. Mark Joyce says:

    Ben –
    I clicked through to your blog tonight when I was reading Roger’s Daily Tips Blog and saw him say, “I’m very impressed by the writing of Published & Profitable member Ben Cummings in his Winning the Army Way blog.” I can see why he said that.

    I appreciate the organizational clarity of your blog and the way you’re extending axioms to make larger points! Way to identify and blend sources of passion, experience and timeless, transferable ideas!

    I’ll be making it a point to drop by now and then.

    As I was reading, I got to thinking that I believe we’ve dialed in to some of the same P&P calls, in the past. Your name and background seem familiar. My schedule doesn’t allow for that this semester and I do miss the out-of-field conversation.

    Keep up the insightful blogging!

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