• 2019 GMiS Luminary •
Rafael A. Gonzalez joined Sandia National Laboratories in 2015 as a Research & Development Science and Engineering manager. He is a factory manager for the Microsystems & Engineering Science Applications Silicon and III-V semiconductor microfabrication fabs, guiding the Silicon Fabrication facility’s $100M, multiyear infrastructure project.
As deputy co-chair of Sandia’s Hispanic Outreach for Leadership and Awareness, Mr. Gonzalez is responsible for the HOLA strategy to retain, develop, and recognize Hispanic employees at Sandia Labs.
After growing up in Chihuahua, Mexico, Mr. Gonzalez attended the University of Texas El Paso and excelled at his engineering classes, receiving teaching and research assistant positions as well as grants/stipends from the National Science Foundation. He completed his B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering at UTEP. Giving back to his community, his senior team project created an automated water purification system using programmable logic controllers to solve water bacterial problems in Juarez, Mexico, and Latin America.
From 2004 to 2015, Mr. Gonzalez worked for Intel Corporation, holding multiple staff and management positions in the Technology and Manufacturing Group. As the Inclusion and Diversity Leadership Team chair for the Intel New Mexico site, he managed 12 onsite Employee Resource Groups. He also served as the Intel Latino Network president and the Intel Hispanic Leadership Council chair.
Serving on several external boards and committees locally and nationally, Mr. Gonzalez is past president of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, NM chapter, and the New Mexico Society of Professional Engineers. He also served as council member of the United Way Hispano Philanthropic Society from 2015-2018, helping to establish a mentoring program and the Middle School Initiative Fund for low-income, Hispanic middle school students.
Mr. Gonzalez is on the board of directors of New Mexico Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement, a group that helps prepare students for college and careers in STEM fields, and also is on the board of directors at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science foundation. Among his numerous awards is the “40 under Forty” award from Albuquerque Business First, honoring the state’s top young professionals based on leadership, professional achievement, and community involvement.