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NUWC Division Newport engineer honored as DOD advocate for STEM education, outreach

By NUWC Division Newport Public Affairs | Feb. 5, 2018

NEWPORT, RI — Dr. John DiCecco, an engineer at Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport, has won the Department of Defense (DOD) Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Advocate Award for 2018, first quarter.


This award program honors individuals that demonstrate exemplary support of STEM education and outreach across DOD. These individuals go above and beyond their expected roles and responsibilities to bring STEM into the community through active engagement.

Since joining NUWC Newport’s Undersea Warfare Weapons, Vehicles and Defense Systems Department in October 2007, DiCecco of South Kingstown, R.I., has established an extensive collaborative relationship with NUWC Newport’s Educational Outreach Program in realizing the mission of community outreach. He has contributed a significant amount of personal time and effort providing leadership and mentorship to individuals in the local community, the state of Rhode Island, and the nation.

Each year, he judges local and state science fairs and SeaPerch and robotics competitions. He continues to provide guidance to area high schools and universities regarding outreach efforts, as he is actively involved in Science & Math Investigative Learning Experiences activities.

Since 2009, he has actively participated in the expansion of the SeaPerch program into the New Bedford, Mass., school system and designed and developed advanced sensor applications for the SeaPerch platform. DiCecco also designed and developed the Undersea Technology Apprentice Program, and continues to be heavily involved in the planning and execution of the Division’s Bring a Child to Work Day and Bring a Future Engineer to Work Day efforts.

DiCecco’s commitment to mentoring doctoral students was noted by an evaluation panel member as a "very strong demonstration of naval STEM capabilities and commitment."

DiCecco holds a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering, and a bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering, all from the University of Rhode Island.

NUWC Division Newport, part of the Naval Sea System Command, is one of two divisions of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center. NUWC Division Newport’s mission is to provide research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support for submarines, autonomous underwater systems, undersea offensive and defensive weapons systems, and countermeasures. NUWC’s other division is located in Keyport, Wash.