WASHINGTON - Jabe Nekula, electrical engineer, is representing Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Washington for Engineers Week. He serves at Public Works Department Annapolis, which supports the United States Naval Academy, Naval Support Activity Annapolis, and Naval Research Laboratory Chesapeake Bay Detachment.
For the past decade, Nekula has worked on a variety of projects at Public Works department Annapolis. He has worked on medium voltage exterior distribution systems and completed interior distribution designs for entire building renovations. Researching technology like solid oxide fuel cells, providing power quality solutions for aircraft hangers and designing lighting for historic buildings is all a part of the job.
“The diversity of project types within NAVFAC is amazing,” Nekula said. “There may be a few ‘typical’ project types, but there’s always something new or different on my plate and I love that.”
Demonstrating versatility in his craft, Nekula emulates a hero of his from a young age, Scotty from Star Trek. He grew up in Rochester N. Y. and attended college at the University of Cincinnati. Cincinnati is where he started a family, lived and worked for 20 years before journeying to greater Annapolis. For the past eight years, he has served actively as an adult leader with Boy Scouts Troop 783 in Cape St. Claire, Md., as well as Scoutmaster for the Troop the last four.
“I was a Boy Scout as a youth and became an adult leader when my oldest son was in first grade. Our Troop has a 50-year history and a track record for focusing on leadership development and outdoor activities. With a modest size of just under 30 scouts, our unit manages to support advancement of several Eagle Scouts annually. My Oldest son earned Eagle in 2018 and my youngest son is beginning work on his Eagle Service Project now.”
The real-world application of knowledge and technique is essential for both scouting and engineering. As a professional, understanding what a customer is trying to accomplish allows Nekula to put his engineering creativity to work. He sees that kind of ability to be indispensable both now and for the long haul.
“Since the end of the Dark Ages, there has never been a sustained period where the services of engineers were not in demand. No matter what you are doing, you will probably need an engineer to help you do it… at least to keep the lights on.”