Ricardo's Open Road

RICARDO LARA

Specialty Engineer
Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems

“Keep yourself curious. You only have as much power as you have knowledge.”

INTERESTS:

Science Engineering

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Self-Reflection Struggle Success Experience Failure Hard Work Education Support & Encouragement Exploration

FOUNDATION:

Problem Solving

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Was born in the U.S., but grew up in Ecuador—moved back to the U.S. when he was in high school.
  • Attended the University of California, Irvine, where he received his bachelor’s degree in physics and materials science engineering.
  • Was originally a pre-med major with the dream of becoming a doctor—in preparation, he gathered references and volunteered at a hospital in high school.
  • Says his dreams of becoming a doctor were derailed after he took a physics class and discovered that he loved the problems and challenges it offered him.
  • Early on, he switched his major several times before finally settling on physics.
  • During his junior year, he began interning with Northrop Grumman in aerospace and contamination engineering, which inspired him to double major in materials science.
  • He captained the soccer team throughout college—credits this experience with helping him get the job at Northrop Grumman because it demonstrated leadership and his ability to deal with failures.
  • After his internship was over, he accepted a full-time position at Northrop Grumman—has been working in contamination control engineering on the James Webb Space Telescope ever since.

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