It is rocket science: Engineer talks to OHS students

Enterprise Staff

May 21, 2015

OCONOMOWOC — Rocket Engineer Eric Jacob with Gloyer-Taylor Laboratories in Tennessee spoke to students at Oconomowoc High School on Friday about his career, the state of space travel and how his time at OHS benefitted him.

Jacob graduated from OHS in the 1990s. He was a member of one of the first robotics teams in the country and is currently an engineer at a private rocket engineering firm.

“The idea of a rocket is easy,” Jacob said. “Now if someone who knows how rockets work tells you they understand rocket science that’s silly.”

As for the future of space, Jacob doesn’t want to make any predictions, but he said space mining and possibly commercial space flight both aren’t out of the possibilities.

Jacob stressed to the students on hand the importance of math when starting a career in engineering of any sort. He added problems with math can make or break a future engineer.

“People sometimes ask questions like what am I going to use this for?” Jacob said. “But to me, someone in the field, that’s a crazy question because I’m like what do you mean? What isn’t it useful for? It’s useful for everything. You use it everywhere.”

Jacob said he frequently tells people how “awesome” his time was at OHS.

“I tell people that I had four years of electronics in high school, and they’re like ‘what?’” Jacob said. “I also took drafting and other things as well. I think it helped me a tremendous amount.”