BEFORE YOU SAY SOMETHING STUPID
Yes, I have a deformed hand. It's called phocomelia. It was caused by Thalidomide. it's not my fault, and I am not less than you.
...with that out of the way, I'd like to introduce myself.
I'm Luis E. Hernandez, an engineer with a wide variety of interests. I was born in 1968 in Merida, Venezuela; and I grew up and was educated in New England, USA.
I trained and graduated as an architect in an era where you still had to draw with pencil and paper (even pen and ink, the horror!), but affordable computers and CAD software were just beginning to become available. I was hooked. I couldn't believe I could do the things I saw on TV and in magazines.
Years later, I got into systems engineering, biomedical instrument design and construction. This opened a whole new world for me. Mechanical engineering, lathes and mills, CNC, 3D printing, electronics, programming, robotics, and LASERS!
You wouldn't believe how much fun my companions and I have had playing with lasers, and how passionate I am about it all. Of course, there are times when things get difficult, but it's so rewarding when you work on something for which you have to acquire a new skillset, make the gadget, then debug it till it works properly.
I also dislike being told I can't do something. I've been told some things are either physically impossible for me, or simply too hard. But over the years I've learned that, despite any shortcomings, limitations are in the mind, not the body.
Also, it's never too late, it's never too bad, and you're never too old, nor is it ever too late to start from scratch once again. To me, a winner is a loser who tried one more time.
That's what makes me tick. That's what drives me.
“My goal in life is to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am.”
Me at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Behind me is the mighty Saturn-V rocket's lesser-know little brother, the Saturn-I and a mock-up of the command module (humans for scale). It was the first rocket specifically built for carrying people, unlike the upright rockets behind me, to the left. Those were basically missiles designed to carry nukes into sub-orbital flight, which had their payload swapped with a capsule containing a human.
Going to the moon required something more powerful, so NASA came up with the Saturn-I to test the technologies which would later evolve into the Saturn-V, which in turn took men to the moon.
This, to me at least, is mankind's noblest achievement, thus far. Pictures do no justice to the awe the actual things imprint upon me.
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who I am