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Maria L. Ortiz


Maria Ortiz was born in Torrance, California one month after her mother arrived from Mexico with her 8 siblings. Maria spent her childhood in Carson, California.

Maria earned her Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Irvine and her Program Management Certificate from UCLA.

Maria is a wife and a mother of 4 children. Whenever possible, she enjoys spending quality time with her entire family. She loves traveling to different locations, and being outdoors hiking or relaxing on the beach. 

In her professional life, she has been involved in the design, building and testing the propulsion systems of commercial satellites. She has been part of the mission team to send over 30 satellites into orbit around the Earth! In her most recent position, she is the Program Manager for the satellite propellant tanks that support European and US Customers (such as NASA).

Maria’s passion to help students has been evident by her volunteer endeavors. She has supported:

  • As a panelist for young adults, encouraging them to keep learning and stay in a STEM related field or to pursue their passions. 

  • Career fairs at middle schools and universities.

  • School on Wheels (SOW), which provides mentoring to lower income students. Maria has earned the Presidential Volunteer award through her SOW work!

  • Society of Hispanic Engineers (SHPE), by visiting elementary and secondary schools and discussing Engineering and how they too can become Engineers.


Maria’s involvement at BRDG is just a natural extension of her desire to “pay it forward” by helping other 1st generation students!

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