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Engineering The Future: A Star Wars Story

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away….

Those were the words that forever changed my life and my career — although I didn’t know it at the time.

When the original Star Wars trilogy was re-mastered and re-released in 1997 I got my first glimpse into a universe that my Dad had often fondly talked about.

As I watched the movies I couldn’t help but to be pulled in by the classic story of good versus evil, but something was different than other movies I had seen. To this day, I don’t know if it was the lack of a backstory, or the random references to things that were not in the films, but as I left the theaters there was only one thought on my mind …

I want more.

I became obsessed with the franchise and spent countless hours at the library or on the Internet reading books and articles that were part of the official Star Wars story. I was always careful to only look for authors that had been approved by the universe creator George Lucas.

I wanted to know ever character, every ship, and every detail I could about a universe that seemed so close to home, while also so far advanced from what I had around me.

With each new character and story line I read, I began to focus my attention on the technological wonders that connected and spanned the entire series. Could something as powerful as the Death Star really exist? Or better yet, what would it take to get my hands on a real life lightsaber. I began to research the physics behind the universe I loved and quickly hit with a simple realization. None of it was truly possible … yet.

This realization led me to look around at how much technology and engineering had soared to new heights around me, and I became obsessed with a new universe, one much more down to Earth, the universe of physics and engineering. I had realized that it was only through research in these two fields that I would ever be able to one-day see a real lightsaber in action.

It is with this passion and obsession that I look forward to starting our engineering program at Concordia. When I first heard about the new pathways to graduation, I quickly saw an opportunity to expand the horizons of both the students and myself.

Engineering is so important to the future of mankind, and there truly is no limit to what we can study and create as a species if only someone is there to dream it and work hard to make that dream a reality.

We are called as God’s children to be good stewards of our gifts and talents, and I hope that this new engineering program can show the next generation of Concordia graduates that they can truly change the world when they put the mind to it.

Whether it is making our transportation more environmentally friendly or simply streamlining ways to manufacture pieces of machinery to be more cost affective each new advancement brings us closer to a real-life Star Wars universe.

Josh Mertz,
Physics Teacher