Meet Jessica, one of our Engineers! Her inspiring story is definitely a highlight for Women’s History Month.
I grew up in Miami, Florida and am first generation American. My dad fled from Cuba in the 1960s and my mother was born in Antofagasta, Chile. Their sacrifices gave me the opportunity to live a fuller life marked by a wide range of experiences that would have otherwise not been available to me. After a rocky childhood I was given a second chance at Miami Dade Community College: as my parents saw coming to America as their opportunity for a better life, I saw education as my opportunity to live with a purpose and I pursued it with everything I had. This opened many doors for me and I am fortunate enough to have been able to work on a variety of interesting scientific projects including theoretical quantum chemistry, experimental spectroscopy and building novel ultrafast laser systems.
While working on my doctorate in Colorado I discovered a passion for being outdoors, I fell in love with everything from rock climbing, back country snowboarding, flying bush planes and navigating whitewater rivers. This has drastically shaped my life and has taken me into lines of work and places that fall well outside of what is traditional: including working on an ecological crew in the remote backcountry of Alaska, to working as a rope access technician performing composite repairs on wind turbines hanging 300’ off the ground. I have been lucky enough to be able to pursue work which is both satisfying to my intellectual curiosities and to the passions that define who I am at a deeper level. In my free time I enjoy training Brazilian jiu-jitsu, getting outdoors and taking classes on programming and machine learning.