STEM Professional of the week

Mario P. Doreste      
Huntington Ingalls Industries

Born in Havana, Cuba, Mario P. Doreste feels privileged to have had parents that taught him the essence of hard work, dedication and the importance of an education.

Mario's parents fled the island nation after Fidel Castro came into power risking all they had to give their children a chance to live free in a country where hard work and perseverance would be rewarded. They settled in New York City, and although his father was an international patent attorney in Cuba, he didn’t know English and neither did his mother. They began to rebuild their lives performing manual labor and as they learned English they moved from manual labor to becoming social workers and eventually college professors.

These exemplary role models showed Mario what it took to succeed personally and professionally. Having acclimated well to the social norms in his adopted country, Mario still found himself struggling to learn the language and took refuge in math and science. These subjects helped with his self confidence and after high school he decided to expand on these areas of learning, and aim for a career in the sciences. Mario enrolled at the University of Delaware where he earned a degree in Civil engineering.

Upon graduation he began working at Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS), a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries. Since 1980, Mario has dedicated his career to U.S. Navy nuclear aircraft carrier design and construction projects. He began at NNS as an Engineer in the new construction aircraft carrier design organization supporting the NIMITZ Class aircraft carriers. He was promoted to manager after just four years of employment, his leadership abilities allowing him continued upward mobility within the NNS organization.

As an Engineering Manager, Mario led the effort for the new FORD Class aircraft carrier piping and ventilation department. At its peak, there were two hundred and twenty Engineers and Designers along with one hundred subcontractors supporting the design with a budget of 2.4 million man-hours. This incredible work led to his being chosen as the Chief of Staff to the Vice President of Engineering when in 2012 NNS centralized the engineering organization under one Vice President.

Mario has increased the significant impact on aircraft carrier design as he continuously takes on new roles with more responsibility. Today, he is an Engineering Program Manager, for the FORD Class aircraft carrier which will be the first clean sheet, new design aircraft carrier in the Navy’s fleet in over 40 years when she is completed in 2016. He is currently responsible for leveraging NNS’ engineering experience on the FORD Class to capture and program manage new engineering opportunities for the ship after she is delivered to the Navy in 2016.

Described as a valued, broadly-based, technical leader, Mario has taken full advantage of every opportunity provided to him throughout his tenure at NNS. He has gone into each assignment with immense energy, vigor and creativity, which has resulted in outstanding performance. Mario earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Delaware. He was among the class of Luminaries honored at this year’s HENAAC Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.

View More Professionals of the Week