To promote excellence in engineering, science, and mathematics while cultivating the value of cultural diversity by:
- Motivating and mentoring students and professionals
- Assisting students in securing financial aid and employment opportunities
- Empowering students, parents, and professionals through educational MAES outreach programs
- Stimulating successful partnerships with community, government, and industry to provide tomorrow's leaders
To be the model professional organization that successfully raises the education level of American and develops committed leaders for tomorrow.
The Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists, Inc., (MAES) was founded in 1974 to increase the number of Mexican Americans and other Hispanics in the technical and scientific fields. The idea to establish a Mexican American professional society of engineers originated with Mr. Robert Von Hatten, an aerospace electronic engineer with TRW Defense Space Systems in Redondo Beach, California in early 1974. By then, he had already spent several years as a company volunteer involved with programs directed at stemming the high dropout problem in East Los Angeles and the south bay area high schools. He envisioned organization that would serve the needs of its members and as a resource for industry and students.
In mid-1974, Mr. Von Hatten contacted and convinced Mr. Manuel Castro to join him in the campaign to form the professional organization. During a subsequent series of meetings, the individuals listed below selected the name of the organization as the 'Mexican American Engineering Society' and drafted its articles and bylaws.
Oscar Buttner - Rockwell International
Sam Buttner - Southern California Edison
Manuel Castro - Bechtel Power
Clifford Maldonado - Northrop Corporation
Sam Mendoza - California State University, Fullerton
Frank Serna - Northrop Corporation
Robert Von Hatten - TRW Defense Space Systems
The society filed incorporation papers as a nonprofit, tax exempt organization with the California Secretary of State in October 1974 and it received its charter on March 28, 1975. The International Revenue Service granted the society a federal tax-exemption letter and employer identification number on January 4, 1979. Ten years later, the organization filed to change its name to the 'Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists, Inc.'. This change was granted on July 19, 1989.
Originally, the focus was on the professionals, but as the organization grew, so did the scope of its activities and interests. the Society now represents the Mexican American community in the all-important technological arena on issues related to education, economics, environment and research. As a mature organization with a national membership representing all engineering and scientific disciplines, the society now has turned its focus on the youth of our people. Many of its programs, with the financial help of members, companies, and government agencies are now directed at increasing the number of students at all grade levels who will study and prepare to enter technical professions.
By projecting the positive image of its members and their accomplishments, MAES helps to improve society's perceptions of Mexican Americans. By providing a networking and nurturing environment to develop their professional image, its members have opportunities to develop and hone their leadership, communication, management, and technical skills.
The Aztec pyramid of the sun exemplifies the engineering skills of our ancestors. The logo's outer ring represents the magnitude of the sun. Within the ring appear a gear and an atom with orbiting electrons that represent our involvement with engineering and science. The eagle is a symbol of strength and biculturalism as serves as a national emblem of both Mexico and the United States. The stars and stripes denote the members' nationality and citizenship. The MAES logo is a registered trademark of the Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists.
MAES has traditionally reserved time during the annual International Symposium and Career Fair banquet to pay tribute to professional members, industry supporters, and representatives of academia. These individuals are highlighted for their outstanding achievements and contributions in science and engineering as well as service to the Mexican American community. When selected, they receive the Society's highest award, the prestigious Medalla de Oro (Gold Medallion), for their contributions to MAES and the community. The national awards program is conducted under the direction of the MAES National Awards Committee. Nominations, however, are submitted to this committee by professional membership. The Medalla de Oro was first awarded at the 7th annual MAES International Symposium and Career Fair.
The purpose of the Medalla de Oro Award is to honor members and supporters of MAES who have distinguished themselves by demonstrating a dedication to service and to greatness, a dedication to humankind that carries with it responsibilities and strict disciplines. It carries with it the challenge to individual men and women to make most of their abilities and talents. It carries with it the responsibility of hard work, so that the well being of all our people be improved. It demands self-reliance and self-discipline. It also requires that each individual conduct themselves so that their life demonstrates the dignity of man.
The Medalla de Oro is the highest honor that MAES can bestow upon any member. For this reason it is made of solid gold to remind everyone that it was this precious element which brought together our ancestors five hundred years ago and made us what we are today. As a recipient of MAES's highest award, the Medalla de Oro winner will present a Madrina/Padrino Scholarship in their name to a worthy MAES college student to symbolize the MAES concept of "The Bridge of the Future". This allows the establishment of a lifelong mentor relationship in which the Medalla de Oro recipient provides guidance and serves as a role model for the young engineer and scientist. The MAES National Scholarship Committee selects the student winners.
The Medalla de Oro award is represented by a beautifully engraved medallion made of one ounce of pure gold. The narrative on the medal is in English and Spanish to signify our bilingual culture resulting from the acculturation of our forefathers in a new nation. The Aztec calendar in the background, the significance of which still lies unexplored and hidden, depicts our great technological heritage. The MAES logo is placed in the center plane to signify the role MAES accepts to serve as a 'Bridge to the Future' by promoting the advancement of Mexican Americans in science and engineering. At the forefront there is a futuristic building in the shape of a pyramid to signify the contributions that will be made by future generations of Mexican Americans.
The narrative explains the philosophy of the medal. The message states that we will build bridges for all humanity. We believe we must share those bridges with others. We also believe that we have the right to use all bridges, as science does not belong to anyone. The four elements from ancient scientists: earth, water, fire, and air, are represented on the rim of the medal to recognize other cultures and influence which add to our great and diversified culture. Arturo Cano designed the Medalla de Oro.
The Fundamental Principles
- Engineers and Scientists uphold and advance the integrity, honor, and dignity of the engineering and scientific professions by:
- Using their knowledge and skill for the enhancement of human welfare;
- Being honest and impartial, and serving with fidelity the public, their employers and clients;
- Striving to increase the competence and prestige of the engineering and scientific professions; and
- Supporting the professional and technical societies of their disciplines.
The Fundamental Canons
- Engineers and Scientists shall build their professional reputation on the merit of their service and shall not compete unfairly with others.
- Engineers and Scientists shall associate only with reputable persons or organizations.
- Engineers and Scientists shall continue their professional development throughout their careers and shall provide opportunities for their professional development of those engineers and scientists under their supervision.
- Engineers and Scientists shall hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public in the performance of their professional duties.
- Engineers and Scientists shall perform services only in the areas of their competence.
- Engineers and Scientists shall issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner.
- Engineers and Scientists shall act in professional matters for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees, and shall avoid conflicts of interests.