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Anahy Diaz | June 28, 2021

Our Success Story: Eric Chaidez

Our Success Story Eric Chaidez


Ever since he was a young boy attending elementary school, Eric Chaidez embraced his passion for mathematics. That passion carried on throughout his middle and high school years as he actively participated in numerous math, science, and robotic competitions.

Certain a career in engineering was for him, the Chapin High School student began searching for engineering programs at different colleges that would suit his passion for the field. However, Chaidez recalls not having to look far.

“I found UTEP’s engineering program to be a great match for my academic and career endeavors,” said Chaidez, who pursued a career in electrical and computer engineering at The University of Texas at El Paso. “UTEP provided me with a bridge between my academic studies and my eventual engineering career through multiple rewarding scholarship opportunities, including its Academic Scholars Program.”

While at UTEP, Chaidez carried with him the fondness he had always felt for engineering. He participated in the university’s Student Leadership Institute (SLI) program through the University Honors Program. He was also involved in composite materials and fiber optics sensors technology research led by Virgilio Gonzalez, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

“I participated in many beneficial college experiences that prepared me for my career,” Chaidez said. “This included participating in outside-the-classroom experiences and academic conferences, where I presented my research work.”

Chaidez’s participation within school organizations such as UTEP’s Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers chapter and Club Zero, led him to internship opportunities with Raytheon, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, and NASA Johnson Space Center.

“My most rewarding college experience would have to be when I received my first internship with NASA. During this experience, I received my first on-site training opportunity as an engineering intern working alongside experienced engineers and scientists,” said Chaidez, whose internship experience included analyzing data and designing technologies for NASA's Space Shuttle’s successors, Ares V rocket and the Space Launch System.

Although Chaidez’s academic career was filled with successes, it was also filled with challenges. From finding transportation to attend class, to finding the correct circuit design for completing his senior capstone project. Chaidez recalls the obstacles he faced as a college student trying to navigate an unfamiliar system.

“One of the biggest challenges I had as a student while at UTEP was adjusting to many of the expectations of reaching success in college,” Chaidez said. “Looking back, I overcame many obstacles over the course of my undergraduate education. At the end of the day, I was able to overcome many of these challenges through perseverance and with support from my network.”

A network involving professors, supervisors, fellow and emerging engineers who would describe Chaidez as diligent, hard-working and committed. His love for engineering has led him to a career in the MIT Lincoln Laboratory, a United States Department of Defense federally funded research and development center focused on applying advanced technology to problems of national security.

After serving as a leading recruitment representative at MIT Lincoln Laboratories he has gone on to designing launch software for the SpaceX Falcon 9 and NASA’s Jason-3 Payload at the Kennedy Space Center. Chaidez has continued his steady streak of success since leaving UTEP.

The young boy who once embraced his passion for mathematics in elementary school, went on to receive his bachelor’s in electrical and computer engineering at UTEP in 2013. He has since gone on to obtain his master’s degree at Texas A&M University.

“UTEP and the College of Engineering will forever serve as the backbone and foundation of where I received my background and knowledge,” Chaidez said. “UTEP was important in guiding me to having a successful STEM career. Overall, I am proud to be an alumnus of this prestigious university.”

To learn more about UTEP’s College of Engineering Electrical and Computer Engineering department, please visit

College of Engineering Communications

[Engineering News Archive]