Joe Weingarten

After graduating Tech in 1962 I went on to NYU to study Mechanical Engineering. Four years later, with a degree in hand, I received an offer from the USAF that I could not refuse. A direct commission with no boot camp, no training at all. I was sworn in as lieutenant, put on a uniform on, and went to work as an engineer. My first job was to design the US mail system for Vietnam as it had been taking two months to get a letter to a solider in the field. I developed a containerized system and got delivery down to two weeks. But in doing that I kept asking questions about why are we doing this and that. Those questions led to my being given time off to study the ‘why’ to one of my questions. I found that aircraft were being built for a crash that would never happen and I changed the internal structural criteria for aircraft by 2/3. Since 1974 every aircraft and spacecraft in the world uses my criteria, so when you buckle your seat belt remember its structural criteria started at BTHS. For this work I was selected at the top young Aerospace Engineer in the nation by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). One day, the USAF  told me they were withdrawing my ME in the records and changing it to Aerospace. NASA had me develop the criteria for the shuttle and now every spacecraft uses it. I remained with the AF in R&D for the next 30 years, resulting in 11 patents and lots of other inventions and papers. I credit this in a big way to Tech and Mr. Marx, my German teacher, as he used to use his favorite word, beobachten (to observe).

Yes, I observe and ask why, then find solutions. If I tell you many of the USAF solutions I would have to….

After the USAF I opened an Apple Computer store and it grew to one of the largest in the nation. Apple executives showed up to see what I was doing.“You don’t charge for tech support even to people who did not buy from you.” “That’s right and next time they will buy from me.” Today Apple calls it the Genius Bar. Today, I write books on aviation and military insignia and enjoy seven grandchildren. By the way, I knew how to wear that uniform from my many years in the Boy Scouts and am still a Scout.