Ed Mooney began his career as a Research Engineer in the Industrial and Management Engineering Program at Montana State University (MSU) after completing his BSIE degree at MSU in 1973 and his MSIE degree at Purdue University in 1974. He worked on several projects developing models for decision support. Areas studied included forest logging operations and their environmental effects, wildlife population dynamics, and surface coal mining operations. He also taught several courses in Industrial Engineering and Computer Science. From 1974 to 1984 his work at MSU was punctuated with stints in the private sector. The arrival of a son in 1979 heralded the start of his family.

In 1984, Ed and his family (now including a daughter) returned to West Lafayette, Indiana where Ed was employed at Purdue as an instructor and began work on his doctorate. Completing the necessary course work in 1986, he accepted a job with EG&G, the prime contractor at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) in Idaho Falls. As a Senior Industrial Engineer and Engineering Specialist, he worked on and led several interesting lab operations and research and development program projects, some requiring top-level security clearance. Within two years at INEL he was promoted to the manager of the Industrial Engineering unit. Several of the projects piqued Ed's interest in methods for solving scheduling problems, an interest ignited in Randy Sadowski's class at Purdue. One of the disappointments during this period was his failure to find the time to work on a dissertation for his Ph.D.

In 1989, with some of the doctoral course work approaching the relevant time limit, an opportunity to complete his Ph.D. arose. With the support of his family and the help of many people at Purdue including the Director of Space Management and Academic Scheduling (SMAS), Jim Blakesley, Ferdinand Leimkuhler, then head of the School of Industrial Engineering, Jim Barany, and Ron Rardin, Ed returned to Purdue on leave from the INEL. At this juncture, he was employed at SMAS as a Senior Research Engineer and over the next two years developed a prototype course and classroom scheduling decision support system and completed his dissertation titled " Tabu search heuristics for resource scheduling with course scheduling applications."

Upon completion of his third tour at Purdue, and with the sheepskin in hand, Ed and his family chose to return to Bozeman, Montana and Dr. Mooney began a 20 year stint as a professor in the Industrial and Management Engineering (I&ME) program. In the years that followed, he taught many courses and supervised graduate students' work on a wide range of scheduling and routing related projects. The best part was clearly working one-on-one with the students and seeing them mature and grow during their time at MSU. In 2011, Dr. Mooney made the decision to retire from MSU, but continues his relationship as an emeritus member of the I&ME (IMSE) faculty.