Lorenzo Morata, director of the Tankers and Commercial Derivatives Program Office in the Military Transport Aircraft Division of The Boeing Company, was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference (HENAAC) in Houston on Oct. 2.
HENAAC recognizes Hispanic men and women who make significant contributions to the fields of engineering, science and technology. The organization also encourages Latino students from middle school through college to pursue careers in engineering and science. A portrait and biography of Morata will join those of 14 other inductees as part of a traveling Hispanic Achievement Award Display scheduled for universities, museums, corporate locations and government agencies around the United States. The Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., will be the first stop for the display.
Morata has spent his 35-year Boeing career in the aerospace and military transport aircraft industry. He has held the position of vice president - general manager for the Space Station Division, directed and managed the Space Station Freedom Product for Work Package 2, and has worked on a variety of programs, including Delta, Saturn S-IV and V, Skylab and Apollo/Soyuz.
He was born in Huercal Overa, Spain and came to the United States with his parents when he was seven years old. After a tour in the Navy, he spent a year as a field engineer, installing instrument landing systems and radar systems at Air Force bases, then decided to go to college.
Morata earned an electrical engineering degree from the University of Oklahoma while working full time to support his wife and baby daughter. After graduating in 1960, Morata joined Douglas Aircraft Company. He earned a master's degree in engineering from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1967.
Morata described the award as a great honor. "It's proof to the Hispanic community that you can achieve a lot by just applying the hard work ethic that we derive from our parents," he said.