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People Spotlight | Argonne National Laboratory

Meet Hector Dondiego, software engineer

Music lover, souvenir collector and Drupal developer.

Hector Dondiego joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory as a software engineer in November 2021. Before joining the laboratory, Dondiego participated in an Argonne co-op internship opportunity with the lab’s Business and Information Systems division.

I had an enlightening opportunity to understand the positive impacts Artificial Intelligence can make on businesses,” Dondiego said of his internship experience with Argonne. In his decision to take a full-time job at the laboratory, Dondiego considered Argonne employees’ pride in their work, Argonne’s value of its employees’ input, and the lab’s mission.

So far, this position has brought on many new learning experiences.

With learning opportunities comes the need for hard work. One of Dondiego’s favorite quotes from the entrepreneur Elon Musk shows the importance of dedication: Stop being patient and start asking yourself, how do I accomplish my 10-year plan in 6 months? You will probably fail but you will be a lot further ahead of the person who simply accepted it was going to take 10 years.”

Dondiego said, It resonates with me when it comes to getting my assignments or readings done for my classes and some of my programming projects outside of work. It pushes me to really think about when I really want it done versus what it theoretically could take.”

Putting motivation into action, Dondiego has worked for the knowledge he now has. He was a summer task force member for Valley View School District for the launch of their Chromebook program. At Lewis University, he was both a computer lab assistant and service desk member, while earning his Bachelor of Science in computer science. Now, Dondiego pursues a master’s degree in computer science from Lewis University.

It is important to balance hard work with down time. Dondiego enjoys going out with his family members, wherever it may take them. He travels with his friends and likes listening to rock, metal, J-Pop, Spanish and pop music. If he could pick up any new skill in an instant, it would be playing the drums. The drums can really enhance the beat and pace of a song,” he said.

He hopes his travels take him to the west side of the United States. More specifically, he hopes to enjoy the nature found in the Northwest and to find something to add to his collection of souvenirs. His favorite souvenirs include a Namahage figure from Japan, a caju fruit figure from Brazil and a Hawaiian lei from Disney World.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://​ener​gy​.gov/​s​c​ience.