Juan A. Duran

Mechanical Engineer, Sandia National Laboratories

Juan A. Duran has graduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of Texas at El Paso. As an undergraduate, Duran served as a rocket propulsion research assistant where he developed expertise on theoretical rocket performance and gained insight into mission design and attitude control systems. Upon graduation, Duran joined Honda R&D as an electrical test technician in Raymond, Ohio. He gained experience in automobile ECU hardware troubleshooting and focused on EMS testing for the 2015 Acura TLX and NSX sports model. Duran then enrolled for a master’s in mechanical engineering degree. He was selected by the NSF PREM program in January 2015 and was granted an opportunity to explore the materials science world. While in graduate school, Duran was selected by NASA Marshall Space Flight Center for an internship in Huntsville, Alabama. During this assignment, he supported the Space Launch System (SLS) program and developed expertise in space launch and transportation systems. He was also selected as a teaching assistant for an undergraduate class ‘materials and manufacturing processes’ to further develop his interest in materials science. Duran often held one-on-one student sessions to solve course-related problems and conduct intensive student workshops. His thesis work addressed the investigation of the crystal structure, morphology, and tunability of dielectric properties of barium titanate modified ceramics. In January 2017, Duran was offered a full-time position at Sandia National Laboratories in the mechanisms group where he works as a surveillance and production support engineer.



Interest in Science

Duran developed an interest in Materials Science thanks to the opportunity the NSF PREM program granted him while working towards my graduate engineering degree. During his appointment as a graduate research assistant, Duran researched semiconductors and gained expertise in synthetizing electro-ceramics. He was responsible for the study of electrical properties of barium titanate modified ceramics.



Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME), UTEP 2015-2016.

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (BSME), UTEP 2007-2012.


Current Experience

Mechanical Engineer at Sandia National Laboratories. Duran supports the mechanisms group at the labs.



SHPE Professional Scholarship. November 2016

Great Minds in STEM, The Boeing Company Scholarship. October 2016

Hispanic Scholarship Fund, HSF Scholarship Award. September 2016

UTEP Graduate Scholarship. August 2016

NSF PREM Director’s meeting, Arlington, VA, Poster presentation 1stplace winner. Oct 2016

NSF PREM Conference, Texas State University, Oral presentation 2ndplace winner. June 2016

NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Outstanding poster presentation. August 2015

NASA MSFC Space Launch and Transportation Systems (SLaTS) course certification. July 2015



Education, Environment, Poverty Alleviation, Science, and Technology.


Future Goals

Duran hopes to have a rewarding career at Sandia National Laboratories.