STEM Professional of the week

Tony Castilleja, Jr.      
The Boeing Company

Raised in Baytown, Texas, Tony Castilleja, Jr. grew up witnessing his father's hard work in highway construction and was consistently encouraged by his mother's credo, "the key to success is education." With that in mind, Tony became the first in his family to become an engineer and after completing a three-summer internship with The Boeing Company, was hired full-time as a systems engineer for the Commercial Crew Development Rotation Program. In this role, he supported the Boeing CST-100 Space Transportation Vehicle providing technical design and program integration of the development of the vehicle that will provide U.S. based transportation to the International Space Station. Tony was also involved with wind tunnel testing technical support for the CST-100 model at NASA Ames where he conducted CST-100 Mass Properties Analysis in support of the Preliminary Design Review to identify spacecraft updates and achieve on-time delivery of the Mass Properties Report which exceeded NASA customer expectations.

Two months into the new year, Tony is now looking forward to a new challenge, representing the entire portfolio of Space Exploration Division in Business Development where he will not only use his engineering background toward growing the business but also enable the next generation of human spaceflight through safe, innovative, and transformational systems for transportation beyond gravity.

Tony has exceptional leadership capabilities and has shown increasing impact to Great Minds in STEM both as a student and as a professional. While at Rice University he served as a College Captain for GMiS's Viva Technology Program for several years and has continued his involvement with the organization now as a professional with the Boeing Company. His commitment to establishing research-based best practices to introduce STEM early on to high school students has resulted in five conference publications at the American Society of Engineering Education, talks at the Department of Education, and his recent distinction as a Regional Finalist for the White House Fellows Program, a recognition of the top 100 leaders in the United States. His well-rounded technical experience and his strong leadership skills have been extremely beneficial to Boeing. Out of more than 170,000 employees, his impact was recognized in 2011 with the Boeing Volunteer Service Award, the highest award across all of Boeing for skills-based volunteerism. Tony consistently helps build STEM communities with his talents, time and spirit.

In addition to his incredible work with the Boeing Company, Tony wanted to repay Rice University for the support he received as a student. Therefore, five years ago, he co-founded Designing with Rice Engineers, Achievement through Mentorship or DREAM program. This is one of his proudest accomplishments, as the program matches disadvantaged and minority students in the Houston area with Rice University engineering undergraduates who mentor them.

Tony is currently President of the Boeing Hispanic Employees Network, Houston Chapter. He earned his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in mechanical engineering from Rice University in Houston, Texas.

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