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Documentary Screening at Proctors to Pay Tribute to GE Niskayuna Research Trailblazer


SCHENECTADY — The illustrious journey ​of a local‌ trailblazer, Dr. Marshall Jones, a GE Aerospace researcher, will be showcased in two documentary screenings⁢ at ⁢Proctors Theatre​ this Wednesday.

The public‍ is invited to a complimentary screening of​ “Never Give Up – the Marshall⁣ Jones Story” at 6 p.m. on Feb. 28 in ​the​ GE Theatre. The film traces Jones’ life‍ from his modest upbringing on a Long Island duck farm‍ to his groundbreaking work in laser technology.

Over​ his five-decade career at GE’s Niskayuna research facility, Jones⁣ has accumulated 70 ‌patents ​and⁣ continues to contribute to the site, currently focusing on additive ‌manufacturing. This process, as described by ⁣the company, uses 3D object scanners to guide hardware in⁤ depositing material⁢ in exact​ geometric shapes. Jones is also collaborating with a ‌team in Cambridge, England on supersonic laser‌ deposition.

At⁣ 82, ‍Jones maintains a vigorous workload, having ‌visited China ​last year for a technology conference.

Wednesday will mark Jones’⁣ first viewing ‍of ⁣the complete 47-minute documentary.

“I ​felt incredibly fortunate that‌ they ‍wanted to create⁢ this documentary. I hope it⁢ can inspire⁤ those who watch it,” Jones said.

A group of Schenectady High ⁤School ⁤students will attend ⁢a screening of the documentary and participate in a Q&A session with Jones at Proctors on Wednesday afternoon, before the general public screening.

“My hope ‍is that the ‌students see him as a ​living legend and⁢ feel⁤ inspired to ⁣pursue a career in aerospace or science,” said Ronnie Gardner, Schenectady Director of Diversity​ and Affirmative Action. “We aim to motivate the young⁤ minds in our ‍community to explore⁤ science and technology.”

The Sankofa African​ American 3D Museum produced the documentary ⁣after discovering Jones’ remarkable career last ⁣year.

“As I delved into the research and uncovered information and interviews about him, I ‍was ​surprised that no one had made a full documentary or even a movie about ⁤him before,” said museum president Lawrence ⁣Walker.

Walker, who also served as the assistant director of the film, spent several hours‍ interviewing Jones for ​the documentary.

“I was amazed ‍when he told ⁤me about his ⁢70 patents and ⁢that he’s ​still working at 82,”‍ Walker ‌said. “I suggested he should retire ‍and enjoy life with his wife, but he insisted on continuing his work.”

“His‍ legacy​ is one that may ⁢be surpassed someday, but I highly doubt it.”

Walker noted the ‌significance of screening the documentary during Black History Month.

“We’re honoring a man who is a pioneer in his field,” he ‍said.

The film’s producers are ​hoping to secure a future broadcast television airing of ⁣the documentary.

Jones was inducted into the National ⁤Inventors Hall of Fame in⁣ 2017 and serves as an ambassador for the hall of fame’s Camp Invention program, which hosts STEM camps ‍for children in grades​ K-6 nationwide.

Jones expressed his​ hope that ⁢the film will inspire the local students who watch⁤ the documentary ⁤on Wednesday.

“I hope it encourages them to believe in their ability to achieve their⁢ dreams,” he said. “I think adults may be surprised by my humble beginnings. I started as a farm ‍boy ⁣raising ducks ​on⁢ Long Island. No one could have imagined I would end up where I am now.”

Free tickets for ⁣the film screening are available ‍to the public on the Proctors website.

Kiara Thomas
Kiara Thomas
I uncover quirky and compelling stories. Always on the lookout for the 'why' behind the 'what'.
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