In celebration of Latinx Heritage Month, we’re excited to spotlight innovators in Engineering of Latin American heritage!
As of 2015, only 6% of jobs in Engineering fields were held by Latino professionals (NSF), but there are amazing Hispanic engineers who are paving the way for the next generation of Latinx engineering professionals. We can always use more role models to look up to, so these three trailblazers are names to know in engineering -- and a little about their work re-imagining solutions to everyday problems.
Christina Díaz is currently a Systems Engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory working on the Mars 2020 mission. She’s the daughter of Mexican immigrants, and a major proponent of exploring all that space and engineering have to offer. In school, she struggled with bullying, racism and sexism, but grew up determined to make a more equitable world for Latinx girls in STEM fields as a result. Her inspiring work is shaping the future of space exploration as she designs tools and tests for planet-exploring robots to conduct in various parts of our solar system.
Evelyn Miralles, also a NASA superstar, worked as the Principal Engineer and Lead Innovator at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Texas for nearly 20 years. Born in Venezuela, Miralles eventually moved to the US, went to school in Houston and began working as an engineer, specializing in virtual reality and adapting to micro-gravity, when she made her way to NASA. Now, she’s the associate vice president of her alma mater, University of Houston - Clear Lake, educating young engineers and inspiring them to reach beyond the stars.
Juan Daniel Mastretta Guzmán is the Mexican innovator, engineer and designer of the country’s first sports car, Mastretta MXT, in 2008. Only 200 of the hand-made cars are produced per year from the company, which calls itself Mexico’s only automaker. His work as a designer and engineer helped him to come up with concepts for 17 different models of buses, earning him an incredible engineering reputation and the professional merit award by the College of Industrial and Graphic Designers of Mexico.
Are there other amazing innovators in Engineering of Latin American heritage you’d like us to celebrate this month? Add them in the Comments below!