• 2018 HENAAC Luminary •
After Alejandro Salazar’s immigrant parents spent their entire retirement savings on their children’s college education, he had no option but to succeed. Today, in his dream job as a Logistics System Engineer at Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, he has more than fulfilled his parents’—and his own—aspirations.
In his position, Mr. Salazar plays a critical role reviewing technical data packages, developing maintenance task analyses, and producing provisioning data reports for multiple programs to support sustainment activities for the company. On his current assignment, he conducts supportability analyses for Electronic Support Measures and Early Warning Self Protection for the U.S. Navy P-8A program.
After overcoming early academic challenges California State University, Northridge (CSUN), Mr. Salazar went on to earn his B.S. in Computer Engineering. A tour of the Northrop Grumman facility in Palmdale, however, fed a renewed determination to join the aerospace industry and instilled a strong commitment to mentor Hispanics in STEM. He fulfills that commitment through his involvement in the Adelante Hispanic Employee Resource Group, where he has led the coordination of four visits to Northrop Grumman for young aspiring engineers from local universities.
After Mr. Salazar became the first in his family to graduate from college, he accepted a position at Evolving Resources, Inc. (ERI), where he wrote technical manuals for unmanned aerial targets and ground control stations. At that point, he decided to return to CSUN at night while working full-time to support his wife and new-born daughter, writing technical manuals by day and doing homework and changing diapers in the evening. His hard work was soon rewarded with an M.S. degree in Engineering Management with distinction.
During his five years at ERI, Mr. Salazar became the first engineer to work on the next generation of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems, developing innovative repair and upgrade procedures that enabled the government to operate an organic maintenance and training operation, saving millions of dollars in taxpayer money. He eventually rose to Lead Logistics Engineer at the company before joining Northrop Grumman in his current position where he has received numerous awards and now has a patent pending.