LUCKIEST ENGINEER

What does it take to design and build the world’s most sophisticated aerospace hardware?

The coordinated efforts of thousands of people at all levels of design, fabrication, manufacturing, and test. In this memoir, a farm boy-turned-engineer relates with humor and aplomb 40 years of work in the aerospace industry. Specializing in rescuing troubled efforts that were over budget and behind schedule, he relates his own stories of pulling a project’s bacon out of the fire while sharing insights about growing up in a values-driven Western Pennsylvania community and working his way through technical school and college.

He reflects on life’s idiosyncrasies, the knowledge he’s collected, and struggles with spirituality. As an added bonus, the story illustrates the humorous side of aerospace engineering, with hilarious personal anecdotes coloring the pages. Aspiring engineers, seasoned professionals, and anyone fascinated by the history of aerospace will find this enjoyable memoir both inspirational and informative.

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Here is what readers are saying about “Luckiest Engineer

“This is a unique, no nonsense book of what aerospace engineering is really about, compared to calculating the answers to equations.  Bob’s writing and editing style is really appealing.  Most important is his frankness, and calling a spade a spade.  His integrity comes through clearly.  This book is a first-rate accomplishment”


Sherm Mullin, Retired President, Lockheed Advanced Development Company (Skunk Works)

Luckiest Engineer is a very enjoyable read, well written and organized.  He has a humorous writing style that makes his points while making the reader laugh.  The book has lots of advice for young engineers and is great to see “Lessons Learned” written down.  Mr. Retsch has left a great legacy for future generations of engineers.”

James “Micky” Blackwell, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Executive Vice President of the Aeronautical Systems Business Aread Advanced Development Company (Skunk Works)

This was an enjoyable book to read. It flowed really well and provided insight into what it takes to be a successful engineer on some of the world’s most advanced development programs. As much about life lessons as it was about his professional path, I enjoyed reading about his progression and really enjoyed how he mixed in the practical jokes throughout the story. I would recommend it to anyone interesting in engineering or development programs or just a good story about life”

Dave Goodall, Program Manager, Missile Defense Agency

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