EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The University of Texas at El Paso is progressing their aerospace and mechanical engineering program for local students.

Professors in the program told KTSM the aerospace center is leading a number of efforts in what they call “innovation as a service.”

“We developed the aerospace and mechanical engineering curriculum to really provide that kind of baseline academic knowledge and technical knowledge for our students. Where the aerospace centers come in is we provide students with applied research opportunities through youth inspired projects, through applied research, to really supplement that knowledge,” Dr. Joel Quintana said.

Professors said by keeping the knowledge at UTEP, it will provide more opportunities for the Borderland.

“We employ all our research assistants that are employed through the aerospace center…Because it allows them the flexibility to be able to work on these projects and continue educating…,” Quintana said.

Quintana said the demographic for the aerospace center consist of 85 percent of Hispanics and 35 percent of females.

“So here I get the chance of basically getting both and making sure that I’m working with both of my areas of interest and doing it hands on and still learning so much…,” said Sofia Perez, an undergrad student at UTEP.