STEM Professional of the week

Gustavo Colmenares      
Rockwell Collins

Gustavo Colmenares was born and raised to humble beginnings in a small town in the Andes Mountains of Venezuela. Family unity, discipline, the importance of an education and hard work were qualities instilled in Gustavo early on. Those attributes led him to the United States in pursuit of a college degree. He earned both his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Electrical Engineering from Florida Institute of Technology. Shortly after these accomplishments, Gustavo began his professional career in his home country as an Instrumentation Engineer.

In 1985, Gustavo headed back to the United States and began what is now his 28-year relationship with Rockwell Collins. Throughout his career, he has gone above and beyond his duties as an engineer for the company. In his current role as Senior Engineering Manager, Gustavo makes an impact in the professional development of engineering resources through mentoring and training as well as hiring. He continuously puts maximum effort into his day to day responsibilities of managing all Navigation Systems software development and provides leadership and guidance in preparing proposals for new business that range anywhere from $500k to $15M.

As an engineering leader, Gustavo uses his passion for product improvement and drives the use of state-of-the-art-technology, so products can surpass expected performance while minimizing the cost. Two examples of this achievement are the recently TSO approved unit DME-2100 (Distance Measuring Equipment) and the LRA-2100. Both products provide the performance level required to succeed in the market, while reducing costs by 50% when compared to their predecessors. None of these efforts would've been a success without a strong emphasis in teamwork. His exemplary performance is due in great part to his relentless effort to build stronger teams, all while making sure the company's ultimate goals are met.

Gustavo has been married to his wife, Marta for the better part of 30 years and together have raised two sons, who are currently in college and a daughter who is a practicing architect. Along with family responsibilities, Gustavo is also the Professional Development Leader for Rockwell Collins' Latino Employee Network (LEN) chapter in Melbourne, Florida. During these events he shares his career path and key to success with entry level engineers and manufacturing operators that are looking to advance in their careers. He continues to be a mentor for several employees in a formal and non-formal setting. In October of 2013, Gustavo was honored by Great Minds in STEM with a 2013 Luminary Award.

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