Growing up, John Blausen always knew he wanted to be an engineer. What motivated him to follow that dream was his time at Grace School. His exposure to the STEM concepts during his Middle School years inspired him to pursue engineering in college. Now, John is a Structural and Mechanical Design Engineer at SpaceX working on programs and projects with the potential to impact lives beyond the stars. We sat down with John to learn more about what he does at SpaceX, his time at Grace School and his future goals.
Alum Interview with John Blausen
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in Houston, Texas. I graduated from Grace Middle School and attended both Houston Christian High School and Stratford High School. I graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. Currently, I work in Los Angeles at Starlink, an internet constellation operated by SpaceX. Growing up, I always knew I wanted to be an engineer. As I was exposed more to STEM-related projects, I realized that a career in STEM would inevitably be my future. My years in college helped shape my career path. In 2021, I was a part of the SAE Aero Design competition. It was my fourth year on the team, second year as Chief Engineer, and second year finishing first in overall and placing in design, presentation and performance. To be honest, my performance on SAE Aero Design led to my employment at SpaceX. To date, it is my greatest achievement, and I couldn’t be prouder of that accomplishment.
Share with us one of your most favorite Grace School memories.
My favorite memory from Grace Middle School is Christian Studies, specifically chapel. When I shadowed the school, it was my experience at chapel that compelled me to choose Grace over the other schools we were considering. Being able to have the opportunity to worship, sing and then learn about God in the middle of the school day is something I always cherished and made my day better. It wasn’t until later in my life that I came to recognize the greater impact the lessons had on my subconscious which has helped me live a life closer to God.
What was the name of one Grace School teacher who truly made an impact in your life?
My math teacher, Ms. Bosch, made a huge impact on my life, leading the way to my career. Luckily, I had her for all three years in Middle School, and she truly made me fall in love with math. She made learning exciting for her students and set a strong foundation for us to be successful. The foundation I built in Middle School allowed me to excel in college and beyond. Ms. Bosch made it her mission to ensure her students were prepared. If I didn’t have that experience, I’m sure my outcome would have been different.
How did going to a STEM school impact your decision for your career?
STEM at Grace School exposed me to numerous different opportunities in Science and Engineering. It prepared me for college and beyond. The STEM classes I took provided the knowledge required to succeed in my career. I didn’t come to the realization the of importance of each STEM class, lesson and project until my time in college. Growing up, I was so intrigued by science and math that I knew I wanted to do something in that field, and Grace really molded and encouraged that for me.
What was one lesson you learned during your time at Grace School that helped you in your career and beyond?
Two of the most important concepts I learned at Grace are integrity and initiative. Integrity was an important component reinforced in Middle School from a biblical and personal stance, and that helped me through different stages of life. It taught me to take responsibility, be a better person and look at my future with integrity. Taking initiative for what I did academically and personally was important to me, too. When I was in the aerospace club at Grace, I knew that standing around and wasting my time or waiting for someone else to take initiative was not going to help me move forward. I had to step in and take the initiative, lead my classmates and get things done. These were two very important lessons that I learned during my years at Grace Middle School, and they continue to help me with each step in life after Grace.
Can you tell us a little bit about your current job?
Currently, I am a Structural and Mechanical Design Engineer at Starlink, a division of SpaceX. I am working on designing the entire Consumer Electronic System which in the future will help bring safelight and internet in space. I love working for SpaceX as we solve hard problems that can impact our future in space.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years and beyond?
I see myself working at SpaceX for the foreseeable future. However, I do hope to be an entrepreneur one day and create a product that serves autonomous solar aircraft.
What advice do you have for our 8th Graders looking for a High School and beyond?
After Middle School, we tend to make significant personal decisions and take on new responsibilities. Life will become intense and bring greater struggles and challenges. Moving to high school and then beyond, many friends and emotions will come and go, which is why it is important to have a strong and consistent relationship with God. When you prioritize God, life will go exactly as it should. Following His will for us guarantees we live the most perfect and enjoyable life possible. It’s especially easy to stray from God during high school and college.
When that happens, and you feel upset, anxious, stressed, or sad, reflect on the way you are fitting God into your life. Often, the source of the problems is marked with an absence of God. In one sentence- life will try to pull you away from God but draw as near to Him as possible; often it will feel like holding onto an umbrella in a hurricane. Matthew 6:33 is a great reference for this advice.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
During my time at Grace Middle School, I was a part of the Christian School Leadership, and we took Bible classes that taught us to lead our lives with faith and Jesus in mind. Being a part of this leadership group really made a huge impact on my life and was more important to me than any history or math class I ever took. Christian fundamentals instilled in us led us to be good, helpful and ambitious leaders. The ideas we were taught during our time in Middle School impacted my life in such an important way that I can’t even begin to explain. Being at Grace set me up for success and instilled in me that no matter where I go in life – God is watching, helping and will put me where I’m meant to be. My journey during college was not easy. Keeping up with my grades, taking Engineering and Aerospace classes and being a part of the SAE design team got difficult at times. I knew in these tough times that I didn’t give up because God was carrying me through it. I give the credit of my success to God. What I learned is that when you work with him, he puts you where you deserve to be and where you belong. I am so happy for every single opportunity I have received. Each of them has been so fulfilling in ways that are hard to explain, and all I know is I owe it all to the Grace of God.
About Grace School
Grace School is a private, Christian school in Houston, Texas serving students from ages 20 months through Grade 8. Uniquely combining a faith-based STEM curriculum, Grace School fosters an environment where children develop the skills and mindsets to become compassionate innovators, problem solvers, creators, and changemakers.