Company History

We recognize ERC's birthday on March 16, 1988 - the day our founder, Dr. Y.C.L. Susan Wu, boldly left the security of her professorship at the University of Tennessee Space Institute (UTSI) in Tullahoma, TN to go to work full-time as Chairman and CEO of a company without any employees or any business.

An entity known as Engineering Research and Consulting, Inc. was actually established in 1977 by Susan, her husband, Dr. Jimmy Wu, and Dr. Ahmad Vakili. The three UTSI professors formed the company to provide engineering consultation services to large aerospace and defense firms. By 1988, the company was dormant and had no business. Susan took over and renamed the company "ERC, Incorporated."

Susan was born in Beijing, China in 1932.   China wasn’t a safe place to live as the country was ravaged with civil war and Japanese occupation.  

Susan’s family moved to the eastern coast of China then settled in Taiwan. While in Taiwan, Susan finished high school and earned a BS degree in engineering – keeping the vow she made to herself in the 8th grade to become an engineer and remedy China's struggles. Unfortunately, China was now under communist control, so Susan and her future husband Jimmy set off for the United States of America in 1957.

Susan attended Ohio State University and Jimmy attended the University of Minnesota. In 1959, Susan earned her MS in engineering and married Jimmy. She enrolled in the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), one of the most prestigious engineering institutions in the United States, where Jimmy was already attending. In 1963, Susan became the first woman to be awarded a Ph.D. in Aeronautical Engineering at Caltech. In 1965, Jimmy, and Susan moved to Tullahoma, TN, where they served as professors at UTSI for nearly 25 years.

ERC's growth was slow, but steady for the first several years.

By 1995, the company's business base was over $10M with contracts with the Army, NASA, Department of Energy, and the Air Force.

Susan moved the family and the company headquarters to Huntsville, AL in 1996. Just four years later, Susan suffered a stroke. For health reasons, she stepped down as Chairman and CEO. She persuaded her oldest son, Dr. Ernie Wu, to leave his research at Harvard University and take over as President and CEO of ERC.

Today, the ERC family has more than 850 employees and generates annual revenues of more than $100M.

The ERC Family is extremely proud to be a part of an organization whose founding roots epitomize the American Dream, perseverance, and engineering excellence. As we move forward, we know our company can be anything we want it to be, because we all recognize we are standing on the shoulders of a 5 foot 1 inch giant. Susan is, and will always be, the soul and inspiration of the ERC Family.

 

1932: Susan Wu is born in Beijing, China.

1955: Susan earns BS in Engineering from college in Taiwan.

1957: Susan and future husband Jimmy move to the United States.

1959: Susan earns her MS in Engineering from Ohio State University and marries Jimmy.

1963: Susan becomes the first woman to be awarded a Ph.D. in Aeronautical Engineering from the prestigious California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

1965: Susan and Jimmy move to Tullahoma, TN to serve as professors at University of Tennessee Space Institute (UTSI).

1977: While still teaching at UTSI, Susan, Jimmy, and Dr. Ahmad Vakili establish Engineering Research and Consulting, Inc.

1988: ERC is founded by Y.C.L. Susan Wu, Ph.D. in its present high tech business arena. She expresses the company's mission of fostering high technology development in a small business sector. The University of Tennessee awards ERC its first contract supporting UTs Energy Conversion Program.

Company History Timeline

1988

ERC is founded by Y.C.L. Susan Wu, Ph.D. in its present high tech business arena. She expresses the company’s mission of fostering high technology development in a small business sector. The University of Tennessee awards ERC its first contract supporting UTs Energy Conversion Program.

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1989

ERC receives its first NASA contract: a three-year contract (SBIR Phase I & II) with NASA Ames Research Center. ERC performs research and develops a system to store the knowledge and expertise of wind tunnel engineers and support personnel.

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1990

ERC hires its first full-time technical employee.

ERC is admitted to the SBA’s 8(a) program.

ERC opens Huntsville Operations in order to offer Engineering and Management Support Services to a high tech community including NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) and U.S. Army Redstone Arsenal.

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1991

ERC is awarded two contracts with NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). ERC is responsible for development of an automated data screening system to identify anomalies in the Space Shuttle Main Engine data for ground and flight firings. A neural network is used for training of the software.

ERC begins support of solid rocket motor testing and development at NASA MSFC.

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1992

ERC receives its first major engineering service contract from the Department of Energy. The duties are to support a multi-faceted task order contract for information systems, environmental management, safety reviews, and technical program development for minority institutions.

ERC begins Knowledge-Based System Developer for capturing testing expertise.

ERC is awarded the NASA MSFC contract to support Technology Transfer Program, named one of “Best and Brightest in Nation.”

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1993

ERC receives NASA’s MSFC Minority Contractor of the Year Award.

ERC begins its first commercial venture by establishing the EDGENET Internet service to the local surrounding community — the first local ISP in middle Tennessee.

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1994

ERC is awarded the Static Test Facilities Support contract at the Redstone Arsenal.

For the second consecutive year, ERC receives the NASA MSFC Minority Contractor of the Year Award.

ERC receives the national NASA Minority Contractor of the Year Award.

ERC moves to larger quarters and establishes an R&D center in Tullahoma, TN with in-house laboratory facilities.

ERC engineers perform engine pre-test, testing, post-test and data system support to the Pratt & Whitney F100 turbojet…

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1995

ERC spins-off EDGENET Internet Service as a separate business with relocation to Nashville, TN.

The U.S. Department of Energy awards ERC a four-year contract to operate and manage the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Southern Great Plains Cloud and Radiation Test-bed Site. This is a field research site covering a 50,000 square mile area for study of the global energy balance and effect of greenhouse gases on climate change.

ERC is awarded a contract for test planning of missile…

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1996

ERC moves Corporate Headquarters and business operations to Huntsville, AL.

ERC receives SBA Administrator’s Award for Excellence.

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1997

During a two-year contract with NASA MSFC, ERC initiates Advanced Rocket Propulsion Research, performing applied research and development and evaluation of new concepts and systems.

ERC is nominated for NASA George M. Low Quality Award by MSFC.

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1998

ERC is nominated for Tibbitt’s Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Award.

ERC is awarded its largest contract to date from U. S. Army Redstone Technical Test Center (RTTC): A five-year contract consisting of modeling, simulation, and testing of electrical, electronic, and mechanical components, subsystems, systems for weapons.

ERC is awarded a five-year contract with the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, Propulsion and Propellant contract; ERC is responsible for on-site…

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1999

ERC is a member of the Sverdrup Team which is awarded a 10 year contract with the U.S. Air Force at Edwards AFB for Research Operations Support Services.

ERC begins work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in flight operations as a subcontractor to Lockheed Martin under the Consolidated Space Operations Contract (CSOC).

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2000

ERC acquires heavy construction assets. The new commercial division, Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC), specializes in engineering design and construction services.

ERC is designated by U. S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research as Year 2000 “Star Team”

ERC begins work in system administration in Pasadena at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and in Denver at Lockheed Martin Astronautics under the Consolidated Space Operations Contract (CSOC) contract awarded to Lockheed…

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2001

ERC is chosen by Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) to support the Jet Propulsion Laboratory with network engineering, network administration and system administration.

ERC was part of the Jacobs Sverdrup team that received NASA’s “Software of the Year” award for work performed at Marshall Space Flight Center.

ERC is re-awarded a sole-source support contract to Marshall Space Flight Center to support the Reusable Solid Rocket Motor Project Office.

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2002

ERC is awarded a five-year contract with the U.S. Army Redstone Technical Test Center supporting the Firing Test Division. This contract consists of test, evaluation, and analysis support for aircraft mounted systems, missiles and warheads, and development of data acquisition and telemetry systems.

ERC wins the follow-on contract to the 1998 award to support the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Commands Propulsion and Structures Directorate. Propulsion systems supported include solids,…

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2003

ERC is awarded Marshall Space Flight Center’s Contractor Excellence Award in the small business – service category.

ERC is selected by Teledyne Brown Engineering (TBE) to support Marshall Space Flight Center’s calibration laboratory. Support involves all electrical and mechanical system calibration.

ERC is awarded the follow-on contract to the 1998 award from the U.S. Army Redstone Technical Test Center (RTTC). The support includes missile component testing in laboratories and…

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2004

ERC receives NASA’s George M. Low Award.

ERC is selected by Jacobs Sverdrup (JS) to support Stennis Space Center’s (SSC) Test Operations Contract. Support includes development, construction, and operation of test systems of various test programs at SSC as well as Marshall Space Flight Center.

ERC’s President and CEO, Dr. Ernest H. Wu, receives the Asian Entrepreneur of the Year Award (Engineering Category) from Asian Enterprise Magazine.

Ernest H. Wu, receives special…

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2005

ERC receives the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Region 4 Sub-Prime Contractor of the Year Award.

ERC is selected by Jacobs Sverdrup (JS) to support Johnson Space Center’s Engineering and Science Contract. Support involves engineering and technical support including a broad range of activities in the Engineering Directorate and the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science Office.

ERC is awarded the Technical Support for Propulsion and Structures Directorate contract….

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2006

ERC is awarded the nine-year Research in Propulsion Sciences 2 contract to support the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Propulsion Directorate at Edwards Air Force Base, California. This is the follow-on contract to ERC’s Research in Propulsion Sciences contract awarded in 1998. ERC’s support on RPS-2 includes scientific and engineering research as well as development and testing related to rocket propulsion.

ERC is selected by Jacobs Sverdrup (JS) to support Johnson Space…

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2007

ERC moves the corporate office to Huntsville’s Cummings Research Park.

Mr. Kenny Frame joins ERC as President. Dr. Ernest Wu continues as CEO and Dr. Susan Wu as Chairman.

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2008

ERC University is created to offer courses that enhance the personal and professional development of ERC family members. Our flagship program “Purpose-Driven Leadership” focuses on what it means to be an ERC leader and how to treat customers and employees the ERC way.

ERC, as a 49% partner to Info Pro Corporation, begins work at Marshall Space Flight Center under the Marshall Engineering Technicians and Trade Support (METTS) contract.

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2010

ERC is awarded the Space Technology Research and Development (STRAD) contract at NASA/Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA.

ERC is awarded a seaport-e contract vehicle.

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2011

ERC is awarded a contract under the U.S. Air Force’s Acquisition of Consolidated Enterprise Support Services (ACCESS) program at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH.

ERC is awarded a contract in the Small Business Set-Aside Engineering Support Capability Group of the Missile Defense Agency’s MDA Engineering and Support Services (MiDAESS) Program.

ERC is awarded a contract in the Full and Open Engineering Support Capability Group of the Missile Defense Agency’s MDA Engineering and Support…

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2012

ERC is awarded a contract on the U.S. Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command’s (SMDC/ARSTRAT) System Engineering and Technical Assistance Contract (SETAC).

ERC is a primary subcontractor on the winning Jacobs team for the Test and Operations Support Contract (TOSC) at Kennedy Space Center.

ERC is a primary subcontractor on the winning Jacobs team for the Engineering and Science Services and Skills Augmentation (ESSSA) contract for MSFC. ESSSA is the…

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2013

ERC moves to newer and larger office space in Cummings Research Park.

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2014

ERC is awarded the Engineering and Test Support Services contract (ETSS) under the One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services (OASIS) small business contract. We support planning, conducting, analyzing, and reporting on airworthiness qualification and developmental testing of Army fixed and rotary wing aircraft, aviation systems, Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) and associated aviation support equipment.

ERC is awarded a contract by the General Services Administration for the new One…

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2015

August 21, 2015
CONTRACT RELEASE C15-031
NASA Awards Contract for Engineering, Trades Support Services

NASA has selected Aerie Aerospace LLC of Huntsville, Alabama to provide engineering technicians and trades support services at the Marshall Space Flight Center, also in Huntsville, and Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.

The contract begins on Oct. 1 with a one-year base period, followed by four one-year options. The performance-based, cost-plus-award-fee, mission services…

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