STEM Professional of the week

Pablo Gonzalez      
Northrop Grumman

Pablo Gonzalez II was raised in New York City, part of a tight-knit family that displayed a strong Puerto Rican identity.  When Pablo was very young, his father enlisted in the U.S. Army and moved the family to Europe .  Pablo’s understanding of his biculturalism began on the school yard of the International School of Allied Forces in Europe where he attended classes with children of many different backgrounds. He would develop his intense pride and patriotism here, recognizing that as an “army brat” he was surrounded by kids who also found themselves teetering between two cultures. By the 80’s, with an established appreciation for the military, discipline and tradition, he enrolled in a preparatory summer program at the United States Naval Academy in the summer of 1986. 

Here, Pablo chose to pursue his first love – flying a passion he developed at the age of 13 when his father, who held a private pilot’s license, would allow him to fly periodically. Pablo chose to seek a commission in the Navy with aspirations to become a Naval Aviator. He worked diligently to secure a nomination, unfortunately a year later, he was informed that his eyesight was too poor and  he would not be eligible for admission. Not one to give up, Pablo enlisted in the Navy Reserve and quickly rose to positions of authority and responsibility, and was called to serve in hostile circumstance in command positions with the Expeditionary Warfare community. During the first Gulf War, he served with distinction leading a section of 15 sailors as a Watch Officer of a Radar Sonar Surveillance Central with the Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit 113.

Between assignments, Pablo opted to pursue what seemed to come natural to him − an aeronautical engineering degree at the University of Oklahoma. Shortly after graduating, he was hired by Northrop Grumman Corporation as part of the Flight Controls Technology Group and so began his professional career.

Today, Pablo continues to live out his dreams, serving as the Program Manager for the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Carrier Demonstration at Northrop Grumman. He manages a team of over 150 engineers and leads them through a complex transition from a technology demonstration program to an operational risk reduction program. Pablo provided the vision and technical direction to layout both near-term and range objectives and executed a comprehensive reorganization of the program staff to reduce cost while providing advancement opportunities.

Beyond his professional career, he is actively engaged in STEM activities involving aviation. Having earned his Commercial Pilot’s certificate, Pablo is committed to introducing youth to the exciting world of aviation through the Experimental Aircraft’s Association Young Eagles program.

Pablo is also actively engaged in engineering cohort programs which provide mentorship and guidance to students in pursuit of engineering education. A devoted husband and father to his special needs step-son, he engages regularly in a variety of youth mentorship programs  ranging from elementary school students to University interns. He earned a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Oklahoma and was honored with a HENAAC Luminary award by Great Minds in STEM in October of 2014.

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