"I grew up in bush Alaska where my family ran a hunting lodge. Our only access was by float plane, ski plane, or snowmobile."
I grew up in bush Alaska where my family ran a hunting lodge. Our only access was by float plane, ski plane, or snowmobile. I learned to hunt, fish, trap, and survive alone in the backcountry from a very early age. I also learned to work on motors, because the nearest mechanic was an airplane-ride away.
I was home-schooled through a program created specifically for off-grid families like ours. When I was ready to leave Alaska for college, my interest in motors drew me to Flint, Michigan where I earned a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering. As a student I was offered an internship at Insitu, a fast-growing manufacturer of aerial drones for the military, located in the Columbia River Gorge. After graduation, Insitu offered me a full time engineering position in their propulsion department, which I accepted.
The propulsion challenges we faced at Insitu were totally unique, many had never been solved on any prior mass-produced engine platform. My work centered on improving heavy fuel engines, and specifically how to burn heavy fuel in a spark-ignited two-stroke. It was fun to break new ground as an engineer, but as Insitu grew into a much larger company (and eventually became a division of Boeing) I missed working in a smaller, scrappier environment. When the operations & engineering position opened up at Mosko, I jumped at it.
Riding my KTM390 Adventure - or my Vespa with knobbies - through the NW backcountry reminds me of hunting, trapping, and exploring the Alaskan wilderness by snowmobile as a kid. It's great to work in a business I love, and I'm happy to call the Columbia River Gorge home.