Crane, Ind. – Growing up, Marisa Bean always wanted to be an engineer. She wanted a challenging career that met her passion for solving problems, so she earned a degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering from Cagayan State University in the Philippines. After immigrating to the U.S., however, she had to earn another degree from a U.S. accredited institution.
“Although it took a lot of effort – and money – to finish another degree here, I’m happy with my decision,” said Ms. Bean. “I didn’t want to wake up one day and regret not fulfilling my dream.”
She earned her degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern Indiana (USI) and began working at NSWC Crane in the Electronic Warfare mission area as a Test and Evaluation (T&E) engineer in 2017.
As a T&E engineer, Ms. Bean plays an important role in a defense system’s development and acquisition by reducing or managing the risks involved in a complete lifecycle, from defining a system to fielding and supporting it. She said her role is to help the program office determine if a system or program meets its requirements by providing the correct information collected from test events.
“Initial governmental T&E plays a critical role in ensuring a system’s safety and efficacy,” said Ms. Bean. “We answer, ‘Was the product built right?’ and ‘Was the right product built?’”
Although she has experienced many new situations since onboarding at NSWC Crane, one event stands out in particular.
“So far, my most exciting experience has been leading a test event that required complex planning and involved other Navy organizations,” she said. “I felt a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, as local visitors and department heads expressed that they were impressed with the test set-up.”
Ms. Bean said she enjoys working at NSWC Crane in part due to the many technical opportunities and diverse perspectives present.
“If we have varieties of perspectives from different cultures, backgrounds, and skills, putting them together makes us better decision makers,” she said. “It helps us solve the technical challenges we face daily in our support for the Warfighter.”
Ms. Bean said that for her, every day is different, and she has to be ready for whatever comes her way. In her role at Crane, she has been to sea while testing critical systems for the Navy. On her first trip, she spent 8 days on a ship, an experience she said was educational – learning about sailors’ daily lives and how hard they work to complete their mission on time. Ms. Bean said it was satisfying knowing she was doing something important, both for her job and her family.
“To be a T&E engineer, you have to be passionate about learning new things and be ready to new experiences and meeting new people,” said Ms. Bean. “The bottom line is, you should always be open to accepting new challenges and projects. It can be hard, so if you’re not used to that – just try and be flexible.”
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.
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