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2022 HENAAC Award Winners

Fernando Signorini

Engineer of the Year

Vice President of Operations
Dow U.S. Gulf Coast Site Director
Dow Texas Operations


Kimberly R. Kukurba, Ph.D.

Scientist of the Year

Fellow & Lead, Applied AI/ML& Analytics Products
Raytheon Missiles & Defense

Raytheon Technologies

Diana Natalicio, Ph.D.

Chairman’s Award

President Emeritus

University of Texas at El Paso
1988 – 2019

RADM David Goggins

Executive Excellence

Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research
Development and Acquisition (ASN (RD&A)) for the Australian-United Kingdom-United States (AUKUS) Partnership 

U.S. Navy

Frank W. DelRio, Ph.D,

Outstanding Technical Achievement – National Laboratory

Principal Member of the Technical Staff 
Research & Development Science & Engineering Materials Science Department

Sandia National Laboratories

Diego Cristancho, Ph.D.

Outstanding Technical Achievement – Industry 

Research Scientist 
Industrial Solutions Division


Macarena P. Parra, Ph.D.

Outstanding Technical Achievement – Government 

Branch Chief, Instrument and Engineering Technology Research & Development Technical Area Engineering Systems Division

NASA Ames Research Center

Douglas W. Orellana, Ph.D.

Professional Achievement – Industry

Vice President of Intelligent Systems Engineering
Innovation and Capabilities Office   

ManTech International Corporation

Diana Santiago de Jesus, Ph.D.

Professional Achievement – Government

Research Materials Engineer
Materials and Structure Division

NASA Glenn Research Center

Luz E. Virgen  

Lifetime Achievement 

Engineering Manager, RMS
FLIGHT – Engineering Center

Virgin Galactic  

*Nominated by and formally of The Boeing Company 

Edgar Yzquierdo 

Lifetime Achievement 

Tech Codes & Standards Deployment Engineer 

Chevron Corporation 

Ricardo Garcia de Alba 

Professional Achievement II

Vice President – Global Row Crop Herbicides and Nitrogen Management 
Crop Protection Business Unit

Corteva Agriscience 

Imelda E. Siegelson

Professional Achievement II

Lead Industrial Engineer 

General Motors

José Javier Colón-Rodriguez 

Most Promising Scientist – Undergraduate Degree

Research Assistant
Advance Systems Integration Team

National Energy Technology Laboratory,
U.S. Department of Energy

Erwin S. Morales

Most Promising Engineer – Undergraduate Degree

Principal Engineer Mission Assurance Lead
Strategic Space System Division of Safety & Mission Assurance Leadership

Northrop Grumman

Nathalie Quintero 

Most Promising Engineer- Master’s Degree

Core Stage 1 Operations Lead Systems Engineer 
Space Launch System 

The Boeing Company

Anthony Lopez 

Most Promising Scientist – Master’s Degree

Senior Energy Researcher
Geospatial Data Science Division 

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Nayomi Z. Plaza, Ph.D.

Most Promising Scientist – Ph.D. 

Materials Research Engineer
Forest Biopolymer Science and Engineering Research Work Unit
Forest Products Laboratory

USDA Forest Service

Olga Reyes Valdes, Ph.D.

Most Promising Engineer – Ph.D. 

Project Topsides HSSE Lead 

Shell USA

Justin F. Vàzquez-Poritz, Ph.D. 


Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences

New York City College of Technology
The City University of New York 

Adeeba A. Raheem, Ph.D. 


Associate Professor
Department of Civil Engineering 

University of Texas at El Paso 

Javier Garcia

Community Service  

Afterschool Centers on Education (ACE) Project Director 
21st Century Community Learning Centers

Communities In Schools of Cameron County 

Abigail McFiggins

Community Service  

Hardware Engineering Manager

Lockheed Martin