By now, most of you know that engineers don’t exactly look like the nerds Hollywood portrays in the movie. Not all of them wear glasses and they are not exactly socially awkward either. Millennial engineers have shown us that anyone who’s part of this profession can look or dress however they want and still get the job done. They even give the phrase, smart is the new sexy, a whole new meaning.
That is exactly why Bobak Ferdowsi makes an interesting example of the hot engineer. This systems engineer works for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and when the iconic Curiosity Rover was landing on Mars, Ferdowsi caught the attention of many women and has intrigued a lot of men with his rocker hairdo. Just shows that engineers know how to rock it as well!
He was the mystery “mohawk guy” in 2013 but as soon as he hit big time, he was able to visit the White House for the state of the union address and walked in the second inauguration parade of former POTUS Barack Obama. He even had the opportunity to meet former First Lady Michelle Obama and Bo, the former First Dog.
The 37-year-old systems engineer is of Persian descent and attended University of Washington where he got a degree in aerospace engineering. He said it has always been his childhood dream to be an engineer specializing in aerospace studies. He did his research under Nobel Laureate Hans Dehmelt in the physics department. He later took his master’s degree in MIT.
He first joined the Lean Aerospace Initiative in 2001 and worked there for almost three years. He later became the flight director of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Mission at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He was involved in the Cassini-Huygens mission and the Europa Multiple-Flyby Mission.
He enjoyed his 15-minutes of fame when he caught the attention of people who watched the landing of the Curiosity rover on Mars back in 2012. HIs mohawk hairstyle even became an iconic image and Ferdowsi became a media meme. Ferdowsi shared that he gets a new haircut during a new mission and his team chose the mohawk look by his team by popular vote.
Even former POTUS Barack Obama had a say with Ferdowsi’s hair. He said, “it does seem NASA has come a long way from the white shirts, dark-rimmed glasses, and pocket protectors. You guys are a little cooler than you used to be.” Ferdowsi shared, “If my mohawk gets a few more people excited about science and this mission, that’s awesome.”