University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering


Secret Lives of Engineers: Civil Engineering Alumnus Alfred Castillo Jr., P.E.


Natalie Thayer

When asked to imagine a “typical” engineer, many people may find themselves conjuring images of sleep-deprived, math-obsessed or highly-analytical individuals. In reality, there is no one-size-fits-all stereotype for engineering professionals – engineers come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life.

In the video series “Secret Lives of Engineers,” the University of Houston’s Cullen College of Engineering challenges conventional engineering stereotypes by exploring engineers’ lives beyond the workplace. The series highlights the wealth of diverse talents, ambitions and passions that engineers bring to the table.

In the first installment of the series, we introduce you to Houston native and UH civil engineering alumnus Alfred Castillo, Jr., P.E. By day, Castillo is the sourcing manager for Dow Chemical’s global purchasing department – but after business hours, Castillo is a professional (and very successful) actor.

“I’ve always enjoyed acting,” he said, recalling how he memorized the entire script of the adventure comedy Pee-wee’s Big Adventure in middle school. “I was just repeating that movie to my family and friends and people were just getting a kick out of it.”

Today, he embraces pursuits in both the engineering and performing arts fields, finding something uniquely fulfilling in each. “You define you,” he said, adding that individuals can cast off stereotypes and the status quo. “You can be whoever you’re called to be,” he said.

Learn more about Castillo in the premiere installment of Cullen College’s “Secret Lives of Engineers” series at


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