Lino Sanchez has worked at the Lab for two years as a research associate in the Energy Technologies Area. He and his colleagues are addressing the need to make our built environment more resilient and trying to answer questions of how resilience can be measured through intuitive and practical methods and metrics, and how progress towards resilience can be verified statistically.
As part of Latin American Heritage Month, Sanchez answers three questions for Elements:
What was your journey to Berkeley Lab like?
My father’s training in the Colombian Navy led him to establish an HVAC and refrigeration business in the Bay Area, which inspired my interest in energy efficiency in supporting low-income communities. Getting to see the wide range of residential and commercial HVAC setups around the Bay Area, I learned that often the most efficient appliances were not always the most accessible. The Lab emerged as the place where I could address disparities in energy efficiency through research.
Can you tell us about your family heritage? What was their pathway to America?
My father grew up picking coffee on his parent’s farm in Colombia in the state of Tolima, and after spending time in the Columbian Navy, he came to the U.S. in 1979 looking for opportunity. My Colombian heritage has been marked by persistence and determination. My dad’s family did not grow up with the educational resources I had, but they learned to be successful through resourcefulness and a strong work ethic.
Is there any part of your culture you draw from to inform your work at the Lab?
I grew up in the largely Hispanic Fruitvale District of East Oakland, which has made me appreciate the great diversity within our community and taught me the importance of honoring my Colombian heritage. I’m always striving to learn from different backgrounds and I try to bring this approach to my own work at the Lab, where I remind myself to consider the input of people who may not work within academic research but may still have important information and perspective to share.
Want to connect with or support Latin American and Native American employees at the Lab? Consider joining the LANA Employee Resource Group.
LANA is hosting Cafecito Social Hours on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. throughout Latin American Heritage Month. Add them to your calendar: