Professor Dave Forliti
Mark Brown / University of St. Thomas

In the News: David Forliti, Rocket Scientist, Finds New Hope for the Vikings in the 'Passtronaut'

David Forliti, mechanical engineering associate professor at the University of St. Thomas, recently spoke with Sports Illustrated's Fan Nation about his thoughts on fellow aerospace engineer (and the Minnesota Vikings' new starting quarterback), Josh Dobbs.

From the story:

When Dr. David Forliti watched quarterback Josh Dobbs lead the Minnesota Vikings to a 31-28 win over the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday, it struck him differently than it would most of the population.

Like all Minnesota natives, he has been bogged down by heartbreaks over the years and sometimes has chosen to do other things on Sundays because of all the almost-was seasons and missed field goals but Dobbs’ victory gave him new life as a Vikings fan for reasons that go beyond the sudden jump in hope for the 2023 season.



♬ original sound - Josh Dobbs

Dr. Forliti, who is currently an associate professor teaching mechanical engineering at University of St. Thomas, spent just over four years (2010-2014) as a rocket scientist for the Air Force. If you haven’t heard by now, Dobbs has a degree in aerospace engineering and interned at NASA.

“I thoroughly enjoyed Sunday’s game,” Dr. Forliti said over the phone. “I felt like I was back on the bandwagon.”...

(Mark Brown/University of St. Thomas)

“Engineers are primarily problem solvers…they apply science and math to solve problems…they love to tinker with things,” he said.

Dobbs found himself reaching back to his problem solving and study skills when arriving on the Vikings’ campus midway through last week and learning enough of the offense to get on the field on Sunday against the Falcons.

“We’re not out there doing engineering equations out there on the field but the study habits for sure, I had to cram for a lot of engineering tests and procrastinated a little bit in college, this is very similar to that,” Dobbs said.