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NEWS | Oct. 25, 2023

NSWC PCD National Disability Employment Awareness Month Spotlight: Andrew Hawley

By Shauna Love-vonKnoblauch, NSWC PCD Public Affairs

Andrew Hawley, a mechanical engineer in the Threat Analysis Branch at Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD), has made an immediate impact on this Navy Lab in only 11 months. With a focus in automation and robotics, he uses his comprehensive understanding of electrical and mechanical engineering disciplines to support the warfighter. 

“During my time here, I've been deeply engaged in various mechanical engineering projects by applying my expertise and skills to contribute meaningfully to the organization,” said Hawley, who is deaf and primarily communicates using American Sign Language. “It's been a rewarding experience and I look forward to continuing to contribute to NSWC PCD's success in the future.” 

Hawley holds a dual bachelor’s degree in electrical and mechanical engineering technology, and a master's degree in manufacturing mechanical system integration from Rochester Institute of Technology. His academic skillset — electrical systems, mechanical design, manufacturing processes and system integration — coupled with his previous hands-on experience in systems manufacturing and seamless mechanical components integration, has been instrumental in his role to effectively contribute on various projects. 

“I find great fulfillment in applying my knowledge to solve real-world engineering challenges and am excited about the continuous learning opportunities that come with working in such a dynamic field,” Hawley said. “Moreover, I have a keen interest in exploring underwater applications, a domain I hadn't previously ventured into. Learning about underwater applications has been a captivating journey, and I am eager to apply this newfound knowledge to my work, showcasing my adaptability and enthusiasm for continuous learning.” 

Along with his excitement for learning, Hawley said he is also inspired by a quote from Dr. Irving King Jordan, the first deaf president of Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.--“A deaf person can do anything a hearing person can, except hear.” 

“That quote encourages (everyone in the deaf community) to think creatively,” he said. “This doesn't mean our potential is limited. Instead, it motivates me to illuminate the path for the hearing community, proving that we are capable of the same accomplishments. Our abilities are equal to those of hearing individuals.”