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Engineers Week Spotlight: Kaleo Pedrina Found His Passion in Engineering

02/24/21 11:27 AM

photo of Kaleo Pedrina

WASHINGTON – Kaleo Pedrina, electrical engineer, serves at Naval Support Activity South Potomac, Naval Support Facility (NSF) Indian Head, and is representing Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Washington for Engineers Week.

Pedrina has been aboard NAVFAC Washington for nearly a year and is charged with designing electrical power, lighting, lightning protection and generator systems for existing infrastructure. He also oversees project and design management for building renovations. Currently he is working on a complete building renovation at NSF Indian Head, as well as generator replacement at the installation and renovation of its main gate.

“Prior to NAVFAC, I worked in the private sector and primarily focused on electrical design,” Pedrina said. “NAVFAC presented me with an opportunity to have access to the entire project, from design start to construction end. While I currently still design, I am also assisting in the construction administration of the project. This opportunity has allowed me to grow, not only as an engineer, but as a project manager as well.”

Pedrina hails from Kaneohe, Hawaii, and as a child was always curious how trinkets worked. He loved disassembling his toys, especially the battery-operated trucks, so he could put them back together. Whenever he failed to reassemble them, he wanted to know why they did not function.

“When I was a sophomore in high school, I convinced my parents to send me to a robotics summer camp in Boston, where I was introduced to mechanics and programming. Following that camp, I knew I wanted to become an engineer. During my senior year of high school, I chose electrical engineering.”

Pedrina went on to graduate from Illinois Institute of Technology with a degree in electrical engineering and has not looked back.
“I enjoy seeing my ideas and designs built. Years are spent in higher education studying theory and crunching numbers on paper, so applying those concepts to real world design and seeing the final built product is rewarding.”

More than anything, Pedrina encourages young people to explore their options when it comes to their education and career choices, but especially when it comes to the field of engineering.

“When I was younger, I thought engineers only worked in space or on complex machines. I never correlated engineering to the design of a building or a site. It is never too late to find a career you are passionate about. I explored many different careers before I landed in engineering, but I am glad I took the time to discern that decision and found a career path I am passionate about.”

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