Technical Director for Aerospace Systems Design and Analysis at Wright Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB), Joe Lusczek, Jr. presented to students about careers in engineering and science as CJ STEMM’s Idol Speaker Tuesday, Oct. 19 in the CIL.
Lusczek works with the United States Air Force and the Department of Defense to design and acquire airplanes for use by the military. During his distinguished career in the civil service, he has played key roles in the development of numerous integral aircraft and weapons systems still in use today, including work on the F-15 Eagle, the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the B-2 Stealth Bomber, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, and the air-launched cruise missile.
The Saint Louis University alum emphasized the importance of getting a degree and continuing education through high school and even after college, but focused on the aerospace engineering field of study. According to Lusczek, college graduates of aerospace engineering programs can expect to earn a starting salary of $96,000 on average, whereas those with only high school diplomas are currently experiencing a 10 percent unemployment rate.
“Whatever you want to do, you got to work at it,” Lusczek advised, encouraging students to set a goal and try to learn from those who are the best at what they do. He concluded his presentation with a glimpse into the future of airplane design, discussing and showing photos of blended-wing-body aircraft and flying cars with retractable wings.
In an effort to promote his industry, Lusczek tries to encourage more students in the U.S. to study aeronautical engineering by speaking with grade school, high school, and college students across the country. At WPAFB, he lectures to students in the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) and works with the STARBASE Educational Outreach program.
According to WPAFB’s Web site, STARBASE is offered to fifth grade students attending Dayton-area schools, providing them with an opportunity to participate in a variety of learning experiences designed to increase interest in and knowledge of math, science and technology. This free 25-hour program spans five days and is a hands-on learning experience emphasizing teamwork for those interested in careers in flight.
Mr. Lusczek is no stranger to the Chaminade Julienne community. His son, Joseph Lusczek III, graduated from CJ in 2000 and went on to earn a degree in Biology from Wright State University.