Hello! My name is Elisa Castillo and I am a recent graduate of the Mechanical Engineering program here at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. My degree focused on High Performance Vehicles, and I also minored in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics. I finished my first year as a graduate student in the accelerated masters program this spring, and am looking forward to my final year as a student this upcoming academic year.

Throughout my five years at ERAU, I have had the pleasure of holding multiple leadership positions. I have worked with the Women’s Baja SAE Team for four years now! I started as the Chief Technical Officer and held that position for three years. This past year, I became the Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) for the Baja senior design class, where one of my primary roles was to advise and guide the students throughout the semester on various engineering principles. I also served as the Chassis Lead, where I redesigned the chassis of the vehicle our team builds every year for competition to fit the new all-wheel drive (AWD) design that was developed. I have also worked as a Physical Sciences Tutor at the Academic Advancement Center (AAC) for three years, a Thermodynamics Teaching Assistant, and recently, as the GTA for the Engineering Fundamentals Lab, where EGR101 and EGR120 students come to seek help on projects that they are currently working on in those classes.

During my time at ERAU, I have been fortunate enough to have held multiple internship opportunities with inudstry leading companies, something which I will discuss more in detail in later posts. The highlights of those internships include working as a Manufacturing Engineering Intern at the Ford Motor Company, where I helped design the assembly line for the Ford Raptor R engine. Last year, I worked with General Motors as a Lap Time Simulation Intern with the Global Product Development team, and this year I have decided to return to General Motors as a Hardware Engineering Intern.

The Women’s Baja SAE Team accepting their first DEI Award this past Spring Semester (I am all the way to the right)
Test driving a Ferrari 458 in Michigan (Summer 2022)
The last day of my internship at the Milford Proving Grounds (Summer 2022)

I was born and raised in Cuba until I was six years old. My parents and I migrated to the United States in 2006, and have resided in West Palm Beach, FL ever since. For as long as I could remember, I have had a passion not just for automobiles, but understanding the complex systems that make them work. My dad would take me to his job at a mechanic shop where I got my first exposure to working on vehicles, and I have loved it ever since. Having this passion greatly influenced my decision to choose engineering as a career path, though there was never any doubt that this is what I wanted to do with my life. It wasn’t until high school that I knew I wanted to more specifically focus on the motorsports specialization of automotive engineering. I have always been a fan of the fast-paced and intense world of racing, and the pioneering technology those vehicles use have had the potential to create world records and revolutionize all aspects of the automotive world. Those accomplishments inspire me to always put forth my best possible effort, in the hopes of one day being a part of the team that shatters the next record.

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About Elisa

Hometown: West Palm Beach, Florida Campus Involvement: Women's Baja SAE Team Why I chose Embry-Riddle: I chose Riddle because they offer the High-Performance Vehicles track through their Bachelor's of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree. I also enjoy the small class sizes and the on-campus environment.

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