Sandia LabNews

National Hispanic technical honor goes to Sandia engineer

Rudy Garcia’s software, remote sensing work earns award

Image of Sandia data engineer Rudy Garcia
VISIONARY DATA ENGINEER — Data engineer Rudy Garcia said his greatest professional strength is the ability to see the big picture and work collaboratively with his colleagues to meet Sandia’s mission. (Photo by Craig Fritz)

Sandia data engineer Rudy Garcia received the 2022 Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Technical Achievement and Recognition, or STAR, Award for his work in research and engineering of large software systems and remote-sensing applications, along with his expertise in cloud computing and big geospatial-data architectures.

The Hispanic in Technology, Government, STAR award honors outstanding professionals and students for their dedication, commitment and selfless efforts to advance Hispanics in STEM careers. Rudy, who has been with Sandia for nearly 25 years, developed and executed the Overhead Persistent Ground Architecture Data Integration and Exposure project, a one-stop-shop for tasking, collecting, processing, exploiting and disseminating metadata. The project provided transparency, fast search results and standardized interfaces that dramatically accelerated metadata results for government analysts. Rudy has also been a vital contributor in Sandia research areas that include space programs, cloud computing, data standards and satellite ground systems.

“I couldn’t have accomplished what I have without my family, friends and colleagues,” Rudy said. “I was the first in my immediate family to attend college and graduate with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in computer engineering. Being recognized at the national level with the Hispanic in Technology award is truly one of my proudest career achievements.”

In addition to recognizing Hispanics in work and research, the STAR awards recognize those in STEM who are changing lives through their community outreach.

Image of Rudy Garcia stands behind a structure that says "familia" at the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers national conference
SOCIETY SUPPORTER — Rudy Garcia said the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers prepares Hispanic students and professionals to lead in engineering and science fields. (Photo courtesy of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers)

“I’m a native New Mexican and want to help my community,” Rudy said. His involvement in Hispanic Outreach for Leadership and Awareness, Hispanic Heritage Month, MANOS, Noche de Ciencias, Hands-On Minds-On Technologies sessions for middle school and high school students, and other community service organizations speaks to his commitment to improving opportunities for local students and colleagues alike.

“I feel it’s important to be a role model for future Hispanic students considering engineering or science,” Rudy said. “I was introduced to the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers a long time ago, and through the organization I could see and relate to other Hispanics and some of their challenges in pursuing an engineering degree. The society provides and prepares Hispanic students and professionals opportunities to lead in engineering and science fields.”

Rudy said his time with the society has helped him to complete his education and with hard work, determination and persistence, become a distinguished research and development technical staff member at Sandia.

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