Crane, Ind.- NSWC Crane Mechanical Engineer Luis J. Bastidas may have onboarded six weeks ago, but his ambitious attitude has already landed him a leadership role at Crane. He also hopes to move into project engineering and management in the future.
Bastidas, a recent graduate of Florida Atlantic University, grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida. His Colombian family instilled in him a pride for his Latin culture, leading him to take on the responsibility of becoming the Special Emphasis Program (SEP) Lead for the Hispanic Employment Program at NSWC Crane. He recently spoke at the Hispanic Heritage Month Panel and Luncheon.
“These programs are going to help diversify Crane and help minorities become more involved in the community here,” said Bastidas after the panel. “It’s important that everyone attends events like this to learn about everybody’s cultures and backgrounds, because that’s what America is – a whole bunch of cultures.”
Bastidas has also taken strides to become active in his community outside of work, spending the weekends getting to know the area through hiking, dance classes at Indiana University (IU), and having cookouts with friends and coworkers.
“I need to be active when I’m not working, and I like to meet new people and see new things,” said Bastidas. “Having moved here from Florida only recently, it’s been a great way to settle in.”
Bastidas has always been willing to adapt quickly, whether through a cross-country move or exploring different career paths. Growing up, he excelled in mathematics and problem-solving but did not know where that would lead him. After trying his hand at both architecture and business in college, he found himself fascinated by engineering. Bastidas learned about Crane through recruiting efforts at Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) conferences and attending and competing in engineering activities for Florida Atlantic University. He was attracted to Crane’s mission and the technical work.
He currently does a variety of junior engineering and project management activities, including mechanical design and acquisition. So far, he has found team involvement, communication, and a willingness to step in when needed as key to his new position. He also credits his supervisor and technical and peer mentors as integral to him enjoying his time at Crane.
“I’ve always been passionate about helping people, and so knowing I’ll be supporting the Warfighter here at Crane pushes me to do my best,” said Bastidas. “Making even a minor difference through something I design or create motivates me.”
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.