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NEWS | May 20, 2021

NSWC Crane employee leveraged student program to pursue career goals

By Audrey C. Deiser, NSWC Crane Corporate Communications

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) engineer Tony Kang said he has wanted to be an engineer since he was young.  Presentations from Crane employees at his high school in Bloomington sparked an interest that spurred him to study mechanical engineering.

“When I was in physics class, a few Crane employees came to visit and showed the work they were doing,” said Kang. “Someone brought in a helmet with night vision goggles for everyone to try on. They showed how the materials we were learning in physics could be applied to work at Crane. I had met a lot of Crane employees from being in Bloomington, and I always thought it would be cool to work here.”

Kang moved to Indiana in elementary school. He was born in Seoul, South Korea and grew up there until the end of second grade, when his family moved to Manhattan. His parents started a flower shop business, but started looking for places with lower costs of living to raise their family.

“We had some family in Bloomington, which is how we ended up here,” said Kang. “I had lived in cities my whole life, so it was like nothing I had seen before. All the rabbits, deer, clean air, and soccer fields – my parents thought it was a great place to live, and we have been here ever since.”

Kang attended Purdue University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 2018 and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 2019. While attending, he served as the Corporate and Alumni Relation board member for the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers. He said he was responsible for contacting companies and connecting them with students who were part of the society.

“As a minority, having a community of people who share the same culture and ethnic background gives you a sense of community and support,” said Kang. “That community gives you confidence and support to do well in your goals while looking for a career.”

He started working at NSWC Crane the summer after his freshman year as an intern in the Expeditionary Warfare mission area, writing and editing software installation manuals for critical equipment. He interned all four summers of college and started working full-time in August 2019.  Kang said the work he is doing now is exactly what he studied in school, and he likes that he is applying what he learned every day.

“My goal right now is to become a subject matter expert (SME) in structural analysis,” said Kang. “Our entire branch uses a type of software that is used to analyze structure. It’s complicated and takes a lot of time to know what you are doing with it. My career goal is to learn as much as I can and be a SME.”

Kang said he also wants to become a mentor in the same way others have mentored him, now and in the past. He said mentors have helped him develop his career path.


“If there’s any kind of field I’m interested in, I try to find people that have many more years of experience than I do and ask them a lot of questions,” said Kang. “I stick close to them and try to learn as much as I can about that field. I also think it’s important to have more than one mentor, because everyone has different perspectives and ways of solving problems.”

Kang said his career goals keep him highly motivated.

“Thinking about that end goal of being either a Chief Scientist or Engineer and a SME in my field motivates me to work hard,” said Kang. “I also want to be a role model for other engineers.”

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.

Join Our Team! NAVSEA employs a diverse, highly trained, educated, and skilled workforce - from students and entry level employees to experienced professionals and individuals with disabilities. We support today's sophisticated Navy and Marine Corps ships, aircraft, weapon systems and computer systems. We are continuously looking for engineers, scientists, IT and cyber specialists, as well as trade and other support professionals to ensure the U.S. Navy can protect and defend America. Please contact NSWC Crane Human Resources at