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NSWC Crane Employee uses experiences to mentor and educate

By NSWC Crane Corporate Communications | Oct. 30, 2019

CRANE, Ind. – Growing up, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) employee Fred Seitz contended with discrimination due to his hearing loss and craniofacial condition. Now, he volunteers for the Children’s Craniofacial Association to help kids going through the same experiences.

Seitz has been involved in the organization since he was young, attending the meetings and retreats with his parents.

“I want to be a role model for the kids,” said Seitz. “I try to show them they can succeed with this disability.”

Seitz is an electrical engineer, working with microelectronics, designing printed circuit boards, and component testing. He graduated in 2017 from the University of Akron, only learning about NSWC Crane in 2018 after a university email pointed him towards the federal lab. He has now been at Crane a little over a year.

Seitz said there has been a clear adjustment period for himself and colleagues, but it has overall been a supportive environment, with tools and adaptations provided when needed.

“Sometimes I need interpreters for meetings, and I recently got a videophone for making phone calls through a video relay service,” said Seitz. “If I ever have any trouble, I just remind people that I may have differences, but I am still very capable of doing my job.”

Seitz has been involved in a number of engineering projects since coming on board to Strategic Microelectronics Division, which is responsible for full spectrum life cycle management functions for the Navy Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) System and the Strategic Weapons System (SWS), as well as DoD Strategic Weapons platforms employing high-reliability, radiation-hardened microelectronics. The Strategic Microelectronics Division also provides design, development, test and evaluation, the use of radiation-hardened microelectronics for space and weapons applications, and failure and material analysis support

Seitz credits his parents for helping him through any obstacles. His parents were business owners, and he saw firsthand how hard they had to work.

“I watched them and learned how to be patient and never give up,” said Seitz. “The way they handled their challenges encouraged me through mine.”

Seitz said his parents taught him to never let anyone treat him poorly, coaching him on how to deal with ignorance and ways to educate others on his perspective.

“I don’t let anyone treat me differently because of my looks or the way I communicate,” said Seitz. “I’m still a human being and a person.”

About NSWC Crane

NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with mission areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi- spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today's Warfighter.