Undergraduate Student Spotlight – Gerardo Morado

Many children grow up thinking they will follow in their parents’ footsteps. Gerardo Morado was no different. “Initially, I did not grow up thinking I wanted to become an engineer,” recalled Morado. He grew up in a migrant farm working family, and Morado always assumed he would follow his father and pursue agriculture. While he admired those who work in agriculture, he realized it was not what he wanted to do. He enjoyed studying math and science and wanted to apply that knowledge in another field.

Later in high school, he learned that engineers use math and science to design and develop new technologies. “They help the world prosper through incredible inventions that serve a promising future,” explained Morado. “I want to contribute to this future.” So, during his senior year of high school, he applied to numerous colleges and received acceptance to all except one, NC State. “I wanted to attend NC State,” said Morado. “I knew NC State held a better future for me.” He decided to delay attending a four-year university to take the transfer path through Wake Technical Community College (WTCC). After much hard work, he received the news that he had not only been accepted to NC State but received a Goodnight Scholarship as well.

Now that he was on campus, he needed to decide which type of engineering he wanted to pursue. It was a couple of experiences he had while attending WTCC that drew him towards industrial engineering. The first was visiting the Bridgestone manufacturing plant in Wilson, NC. There, an employee gave him a tour and described the process of fabricating a tire. “The process seemed impossible for one person to handle,” recalled Morado. “But he showed the different robotics the company used to assist with heavy loads and assemblies.” Watching and understanding the process of how Bridgestone made tires was fascinating to Morado.

The second event that drew him towards industrial engineering was the introduction to CAD modeling. “Overall, I want to pursue a career that entails designing a product and developing its manufacturing process,” said Morado.

After graduation, he plans to work in the Raleigh area and pursue his professional engineering license. Then, if a company offers tuition reimbursement, he will go on to graduate school to increase his opportunities as an engineer. “After seeking advice from Dr. Paul Cohen, I became more open to pursuing graduate school,” Morado said. “He shared the vast experiences and projects he has been able to work on because of his degree.”

Morado realized that the Latino community is underrepresented when it comes to STEM careers and hopes that his efforts will influence other Latinos to pursue engineering as well. “I am eager to work with professional engineers on projects while I continue to pay it forward to the community.”


Gerardo Morado is a junior who graduated from Wake Technical Community College, where he was a Stewart Engineering Scholarship recipient, President’s List honoree and member of Phi Theta Kappa. Gerardo was also elected a STEM promoter for the North Carolina Society of Hispanic Professionals.