Fernando sees engineering as possessing the capability of helping people understand their environments better, especially the built ones. To him, it's not about how much you make at the end of the day, it's about knowing things outside yourself. SMILab (Smart Management of Infrastructure), run by Fernando, tests motion. This could be testing the shake of a bridge when a train passes or even the wobble of a building’s foundation during an earthquake. Beyond safe and intelligent design, his hope for the lab is to provide mentorship in a lineage of builders that cherish creative teamwork.
Originally, Fernando wanted to be a pro skateboarder. However, with the guidance of his father, he understood that if he wanted to travel the world he should study engineering. The laws of physics work more or less the same across the globe fortunately. This universality broke down barriers for him and allowed Fernando to move from Granada, Spain to the United States. He has seen engineering promote international awareness through the universality of tools. External differences matter less when all have to learn the fundamentals of Arduino technology.
As an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at UNM, Fernando hopes to pioneer a collaboration between dance and engineering. A seminar on this interdisciplinary approach could highlight how both art production and engineering have an ability to express ideas into material form. While they are separated, he says, we can see the individual value. When integrated, the differences are blurred and barriers are broken so that we may find new meaning. He envisions a HoloLens project to collect data on bodily movements.