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Boricuas on Mars: Nicole Gonzalez & Elio Morillo, Engineers @ NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)

Last updated on June 10, 2019

In this first episode, Hugo welcomes Nicole Gonzalez and Elio Morillo, Puerto Rican engineers working at Nasa JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory). Nicole is an electronic engineer who develops electronic systems for both the Mars 2020 and Psyche exploration missions, and Elio is a testbed engineer that verifies avionics, payloads, and software, to ensure that operations on route and on the surface of Mars are fully characterized. Dive in as they talk about how difficult living and growing up in Puerto Rico is, their talented and diligent work in the NASA and the week they spent back in a school of Puerto Rico, after having been recovered from hurricane wreckage and gang destruction, voluntarily giving STEM workshops to school students in between eight and fourteen years old. This is a story about how Puerto Rico rises #PRseLevanta

#PRseLevanta

Boricuas On Mars Cover

Show notes:

  • 00:01 – Welcoming Nicole Gonzalez Cejo and Elio Morillo
  • 02:28 – Nicole’s role at Nasa JPL
  • 05:08 – Elio’s role at Nasa JPL
  • 06:30 – Aspect of redundancy
  • 07:30 – Robot or human missions (JPL robotic space exploration hub)
  • 09:48 – About Puerto Rico and the lack of their daily supply of power
  • 13:55 – STEM Program; Voluntarily teaching kids from 8 to 14 years old STEM back in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico
  • 19:46 – Projects and things Elio and Nicole built with the kids in Marisa’s community centre “Sinergia Los Naranjos”
  • 23:16 – The story about Marisa “La Guerrera” and how she recovered the school from hurricane wreckage and gang destruction
  • 27:57 – Next steps with projects to continue showing what engineering is
  • 31:33 – Sharing stories during their week in Puerto Rico
  • 38:35 – If you want to help, connect with Elio and Nicole on their program Stemcoqui, via linkedin: Nicole Gonzalez Cejo Elio Morillo, or instagram: Elio Morillo

Key Takeaways:

  • “Sleep one hour less and use it for your side hustle”
  • Everybody’s background can find a solution to problems
  • Rethink with what there is accessible in order to elaborate new things and create new solutions

Mentioned resources:

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Who is Hugo Castellanos? Find out about him on linkedinThanks so much for listening to the show! If you want to know more about this or comment on the show, please join us on LatinosWhoTech or go to Conexiones

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