Gerardo Flores earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington. He is currently working as a mechanical engineer in the Antenna Mechanical and Structural Engineering Group of the Deep Space Network. He is also working on a new structural design concept for the antenna array project.
Born in the small agricultural town of Toppenish, Washington, Flores spent the majority of his youth moving from state to state following his parents who were migrant farm workers. The oldest of five brothers, he completed high school in Yakima Valley, in central Washington, where his family took permanent residence.
Through high school, Flores played in the varsity baseball team and he was an all-state first baseman and pitcher. His athletic abilities led him to an academic and athletic scholarship at Washington State University. Always interested in math, science and "how things work," Flores opted to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering. Eventually, he realized that taking engineering classes and playing collegiate baseball dont always mix well. Flower decided to study instead of play and completed his studies at the University of Washington.
While in college, he served as president of the school's chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professionals. The experience gave him the opportunity to help and to inspire youngsters that, much like it was the case for him, knew very little about how to go to college and to succeed in life. He also completed co-ops over three years at Johnson Space Center in Houston and at JPL.
At JPL, he worked on the Mars program, on the FIDO and the Mars Exploration Rover. He was responsible for the development, design, testing, fabrication and assembly of the Mars Exploration Rover Lander Outriggers/Rock Protection mechanical flight hardware.
His hobbies include practicing a variety of sports and he loves to dance, especially salsa and meringue. He also loves to watch movies with people who dont fall a sleep while watching them.