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NEWS | March 30, 2023

Fiamma Fernandez: NSWC PCD Women’s History Month Spotlight

By Shauna Love-vonKnoblauch, NSWC PCD Public Affairs

Fiamma Fernandez is an electrical engineer for the Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) Hull, Mechanical, and Electrical (HM&E) team at Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD). She holds a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Florida International University, in Miami, Fla. Upon graduation, she began her NSWC Panama City Division career in 2019 with the Air Cushion Vehicle (ACV) Hull, Mechanical, and Electrical team. Her contributions to ACV design modifications, prototypes, testing, troubleshooting, and operational support help to improve the craft capability and performance for both legacy LCAC and the new LCAC 100 Class Craft.

In 2021, her professional experience expanded as she worked shared time with the Amphibious Assault Systems Integration (AASI) team as a support test engineer. In that role, she provides the AASI team with a broad spectrum of support in the amphibious warfare mission area with L-Class ships that interface with ACVs including LCAC(s) and Ship to Shore Connectors.

Supporting both HM&E and AASI offers Fernandez a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between the fleet and the ACV technical team. Her versatility also allows her the perspective to see the relevant impact NSWC PCD engineering solutions have on the warfighters’ ability to accomplish the mission.

“When developing engineering solutions, it is important to keep the end user at the forefront,” Fernandez said. “We want to ensure, as engineers, we are creating the best solution for the sailor who will be the one using these systems and may rely on them to save lives.”

For Fernandez, Woman’s History Month is a time to honor women’s accomplishments. Specifically, the strides women have made throughout history and are still striving to pave the way to create an inclusive environment that allows women to work to their full potential.

“I have benefited from women in STEM creating a community for other women to learn and grow. I, myself, have been lucky to work with remarkable women in leadership roles who have mentored me and provided me amazing opportunities,” Fernandez said. “I will forever be grateful for the sense of self-empowerment, safety, and courage that my female mentors have given me and hope to carry on that legacy by mentoring female engineers to feel the same and continue to grow women in STEM,” she continued.

“Women are smart, inventive, creative, strong, resourceful, and powerful,” said Fernandez. “This month serves to remind us that all that we earned our spot in history and belong where we are. I’m grateful to those that have come before me and will continue to honor them this month and always.”