Robb Larson - Personal Bio.
I grew up in Bozeman, Montana and attended Longfellow, Willson Middle School and Bozeman Junior High before graduating from Bozeman High in 1977. A knack for math & science and my love of tinkering with cars, bikes, engines and mechanisms led me to enroll in the Mechanical Engineering program at Montana State University. I graduated in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science in M.E. - despite strong competition for study time from southwest Montana's plentiful outdoor distractions.
In August 1982 I began my professional career with a move to San Diego, California to work as a design engineer for General Dynamics Convair Division. Daily experience with product design and manufacturing, high-performance materials including metals, polymers and advanced composites, low observable technologies, and project management reinforced my career decisions. Six years later I joined McDonnell Douglas Technologies Division to specialize in aerospace structures, mechanism & system design, and in utilization of low observable technologies in various aerospace and Department of Defense applications. All told, my employment in California consisted of over eight years of concentrated aerospace engineering design and project work.
Personal areas of growth during my eight years in San Diego included marriage, fatherhood, and home ownership. My Southern California experience helped to shape some my engineering and social viewpoints, and provided many close friends and good times. Recreational pursuits such as cycling and waterskiing were especially revitalizing and occupied a large part of my free time. Ocean play, beach volleyball, softball, golf, camping, backpacking & skiing excursions - as well as tinkering with cars, boats, motorcycles, and bicycles - filled the remaining hours. After 8 years my desire to pursue a graduate degree and to leave the crowds of Southern California led me back to Montana and to MSU.
I returned to Bozeman in 1990 with my wife and two young boys, and started my Master's degree program in Mechanical Engineering. Upon graduation I fully expected to return to the engineering workforce, but when offered a teaching position as adjunct professor in the MIE department I decided to stay on for a while. Months turned to years, and - well - I'm still here! Between 1993 and 2005 I advanced in rank from adjunct instructor to adjunct full professor, primarily teaching Mechanical Engineering classes. Then in 2005 department retirements and a change in program direction created a tenure track opportunity in the Mechanical Engineering Technology program: I applied for and was hired as a tenure track assistant professor in MET. In doing so I lost a little ground in rank but gained some new challenges and opportunities for advancement. I completed the process and was granted tenure in Spring 2011. I presently serve as an Associate Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, with diverse research, teaching and service challenges in a popular and rapidly growing program. Employment in a university environment remains a complex and engaging experience that keeps one in tune with the profession while receiving inspiration from some of the best students and researchers.
So I'm now 54 years old and counting - but I'm still in no hurry to grow up! I've been married to my wife Teresa for over 29 years: Son Scott (26) graduated with highest honors from my own M&IE department and is employed as a Mechanical Engineer in Keyport WA. Son Austin (23) has obtained his pilot's license and is presently in the Gallatin College Aviation program working on instrument and multi-engine commercial ratings. As a family our motto has always been that you better get your money's worth in life by taking full advantage of the rich recreational opportunities available: With that thought in mind, Spring & Summer favorite activities include fly-fishing the area's many blue-ribbon trout streams, bicycling the hundreds of miles of local single-track mountain trails and scenic road bike routes, river float trips, and backpacking excursions to the high country and desert. In Fall I'm torn between obsessions of chasing big game with gun or bow, or fly fishing in pursuit of big trout on local blue ribbon rivers. Or there is always the option of simply playing with the dog!
Winter means snow skiing, usually at Bridger Bowl where I've skied since the mid 1960s and now serve on the Board of Directors. Snowmobiling and sled-supported skiing in remote back-country locations adds another dimension to the fabulous winter season in Montana. Nordic touring and back-country ski trips complete the winter scene.Then as Spring struggles back into command the weather dictates the activity - usually it comes down to a tough choice between the various snow sports, boating or fishing the rivers, bicycling, or desert trips. Then the seasons turn and around we go again.
No wonder time goes by so quickly - I just can't wait for the next season to arrive! Here's to more seasons of fun for us all... Stop by and say hello.