Guillermo Díaz-Fañas 

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Qu-AKE Founder

Guillermo Díaz-Fañas

(He, Him) is 29

Guillermo is completely dedicated to LGBTQ+ visibility and equity in the fields of Engineering and Construction. As an active member of the leadership for numerous national technical committees and professional organizations, he takes pride in giving visibility to and representing the LGBTQ+ community in his field of expertise.

Beyond his involvement in technical societies and the design of iconic high-rise buildings and infrastructure projects around the world, Guillermo’s volunteer work is focused on advocacy for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion oppressed groups in STEM. He finds it very rewarding to promote engineering as a career choice for everyone, especially women and members of the LGBTQ+ community. As a gay Latino, he knows that engineering is not always a career that members of under-represented groups choose, but he wants to change that.

His ultimate goal is to be an ambassador for STEM that serves as a role model for kids worldwide and breaks down barriers that separate us as individuals and professionals. He would like to help communities come together to address the challenge of engineering resiliency faced by our environment and community.

Guillermo wants others like himself to find the acceptance and professional fulfillment in engineering that he has found, by offering them a safe platform of mentorship and networking that protects them from discrimination or persecution. With that goal in mind,  he co-founded and currently serves as President of the Queer Advocacy & Knowledge Exchange (Qu-AKE), a non-profit organization which empowers LGBTQ+ individuals to pursue Architecture, Construction and Engineering careers. Qu-AKE launched an initiative called Qu-ELP (Queer Emerging Leaders Program), which is working towards a formal mentorship platform for LGBTQ+ STEM students to guide them towards pursuing higher level degrees and industry careers in STEM.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign named Guillermo their 2019 Distinguished Civil and Environmental Engineering Young Alumnus.