From serving as a Culinary Specialist aboard one of the world’s most advanced nuclear powered attack submarines, to acing Mechanical Engineering classes at the University of Louisville, Michael Salas has accomplished quite a bit in the last few years.
From 2015 to 2020, Salas served in the U.S. Navy as a Culinary Specialist onboard the Los Angeles Class Attack Submarine the USS Newport News. In spring of 2021 Salas enrolled in UofL’s Mechanical Engineering program as a sophomore.
During his five-year Navy career, Salas earned two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medals: the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal. Although he cited his proudest decoration as earning the coveted Submarine “Dolphin,” signifying his expert knowledge about every system on-board the submarine. While serving on the Newport News he deployed twice, including visits to Scotland, Gibraltar, and Diego Garcia.
Salas has been a UofL fan since he and his family moved to Louisville when he was seven. From that point on, he knew he wanted to attend UofL to study engineering.
He is a proud member of UofL’s Formula SAE team, an engineering design competition to design and produce a prototype race car for prospective investors. While the goal of the season is producing a competitive race car, there are many more aspects of the project than simply design and production.
Salas envisions using his Mechanical Engineering degree to pursue a career with the motorsports divisions of BMW, Toyota or Porsche.
UofL celebrates Salas’ service in the U.S. Navy in recognition of the 246th birthday of the U.S. Navy on October 13.
Story written by Kyle Hurwitz, UofL’s director of Military and Online Initiatives.