Inspiring Engineer—Leticia Montanez
I grew up in El Sereno, California where I attended El Sereno Junior High School and Woodrow Wilson High School. However, even living somewhat of a distance from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), I was drawn to it like a bee is to honey. It was evident that sooner or later I would end up working there when I toured JPL through my high school's MESA club function (Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement). The JPL tour exposed me to all the different disciplines that are necessary for Space Exploration to occur. It even encompassed my desire — Art. It was obvious artists are needed at JPL, not only for artist conceptual drawings but also in computer visualization. I decided to major in Computer Science that allowed me to do both Engineering and use my creative mind.
I attended New Mexico Institute of Technology and finished up my degree at Cal State Los Angeles in Engineering. While I attended Cal State LA, was I able to work part-time at JPL as a test aid for the Galileo Project Mission
to Jupiter and its icy satellites. Since then, I have worked on several
other Projects. However, since I play ice hockey, I am drawn to ice and
decided to work on Deep Impact — which explores the icy comet 9P/Tempel 1. I
am currently working as the Testbed Manager on the EPOXI Project.