GE Engineer Credits Grandfather for Introducing Him to Aircraft, Flying
At the young age of two, Joshua Mook fell in love with aircraft — his grandfather, a pilot, introduced him to flying by taking him on a ride in the family plane. Little did Mook know his passion for aircraft and flying would put him on the path to become an engineering leader at GE Additive — the division of GE dedicated to additive manufacturing, which is a way of printing parts layer by layer as one piece that’s expected to revolutionize manufacturing. (For more on Josh's story and on additive manufacturing, see him on YouTube).
“My grandfather flew for pleasure … he would use any excuse to fly,” said Mook. “It was 1984 when I went on my first airplane ride with my grandfather. He gave me a certificate for flying that day — that is something I will always remember. Flying turned out to be our weekend thing that we did together — we bonded during flying.”
Besides introducing Mook to flying, his grandfather also taught him one of the most valuable lessons in life — to help others and treat them as you would want to be treated.
“The number one thing I remember about my grandfather is that he was always looking for a way to help other people,” said Mook. “That was really influential on me and how I treat people today.”
As a rite of passage for soon-to-be adults, many teenagers look forward to getting their driver’s license, but for Mook a pilot’s license came before that. “I got my pilot’s license at the age of 16,” chuckled Mook.
Even though he became a pilot during his high school years, Mook considered himself a typical kid — an “engineering kid” that is. “I was always taking things apart and putting them back together.
“I’ve always wanted to learn what makes something tick, perform, and work,” said Mook. “There is something in my personality that draws me to solve problems. And besides having a passion for flying I also love math and science.”
For some time Mook considered a career as a pilot, but he decided to study engineering. Mook went to Purdue University and received a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering. He then attended the University of Cincinnati and received a Master of Science in the same field.
“I wanted to do something where I could combine all my passions — flying, math and science — and engineering allowed me to do just that. Art is also another passion of mine, and that has made me a successful designer. Having skills from these disciplines has given me a unique perspective in my field. As an engineer, design motivates me — designing things that no one has created before.”
Yet, Mook credits his love of flying to putting him on the path to having an engineering career in the aerospace industry. “My time as a pilot made me respect the technology,” said Mook. “Jet engines are a symphony of complex components working together.”
Mook finds his job in additive manufacturing exciting, because this new method of production is changing the way everything is designed. “There is so much science in this that at times designing the perfect combustion engine feels like magic,” said Mook.
“Every industry is ripe for design disruption, and this is completely shifting how engineers approach a problem, which is really exciting,” added Mook. “The next generation will grow up with possibilities we couldn’t have imagined.”
For more on Josh's story and on additive manufacturing, check out the video below.