University at Buffalo - The State University of New York
Skip to Content

Sometimes, it IS rocket science

May 2016

Joseph Bell, EMBA ’99, says the skills he learned in the UB School of Management’s Executive MBA program provided the foundation for his success in the aerospace industry.

It’s a career he began as a design and quality engineer at Scott Aviation, and continued in positions as a quality engineer and a manufacturing engineer General Electric.

Bell joined his current employer, Moog Inc., in 1987 as a quality engineer in the company’s Missile Division. Moog provides engines, electronic and mechanical controls for a wide variety of rockets, satellites, submarines and aircraft. 

He went on to serve as quality manager in the Electronics and Systems Division and as product line manager for the company’s International Industrial Electric Drives business.

After completing his EMBA degree in 1999, Bell ascended rapidly through the ranks at Moog. He served as quality manager for the Space and Defense Group, managing director of facilities in Bangalore, India, corporate vice president of quality assurance and group vice president of acquisitions and integration in the Space and Defense Group.

Along the way, Bell traveled the country—and the world.

“I visited 42 U.S. states and 25 countries,” says Bell. “I was also fortunate enough to take on temporary assignments of six to 18 months in India, England, Utah and Ohio.”

Today, Bell is group vice president and general manager in Moog’s Space and Defense Group, where he is responsible for the internal facing strategic planning and coordination for lean and quality activities in 16 facilities in the U.S., U.K., Netherlands, Germany and Ireland.

He also manages special projects including acquisitions, divestitures and major facility construction planning—including a $12 million expansion of its Elma campus that is expected to add 100 jobs in the next five years.

“I remember being told many times during my MBA education that the real value of what we learned will only be understood several years after we graduate,” says Bell. “Building relationships, learning to listen and understanding how and when to apply those tools has been absolutely key to my career. There is so much more to an MBA than the degree itself.”

Bell cites professors Frank Krystofiak and Philip Perry, Assistant Dean of Executive Education Courtney Walsh and former School of Management Dean Arjang Assad as those who especially influenced his career.

“All of these people and many more have been so instrumental in opening doors for me in the local community that I never even knew existed,” he says.

Outside the office, Bell enjoys hiking, canoeing, reading, going to the movies and spending time with his new grandson.

“For such a small person, he seems to be taking up a lot of my interest,” says Bell.

Written by Kevin Manne