WASHINGTON, D.C. – Dan Musiker, a supervisory general engineer, is representing Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Washington for National Engineers Week. He serves the design branch of the Naval Research and Development Establishment (NR&DE) Support Office located at Naval Support Activity Annapolis.
Musiker has served at NAVFAC for 14 years over his 19-year career. He has been in his current position since Feb. 2020 and previously served as a Structural Engineer at Public Works Department Annapolis, at Public Works Department Rota, Spain, and at NAVFAC Atlantic in Norfolk, Virginia.
“NAVFAC provides opportunities to travel and work in interesting locations,” Musiker said. “I have been fortunate enough to travel to Navy bases along both Atlantic and Pacific coasts, even Hawaii. While stationed in Rota, Spain, for three years, I traveled to Italy and Africa for work and vacationed throughout Europe.”
Musiker’s interest in engineering began in childhood. He enjoyed the classic building toys like Legos, Lincoln logs, and Erector sets, but he also liked watching active construction sites, and learning about home improvements.
“I even argued with my Dad about how to pack the car for family vacations,” said Musiker. “I was fortunate to have a private school education through high school, and I credit my education to stimulating curiosity and exploring interests.”
Musiker is from Anne Arundel County, Maryland, and attending the nearby United States Naval Academy was an ambition for him. He was waitlisted coming out of high school, however, and decided instead to attend Virginia Tech to study civil engineering. He then chose to pursue structural engineering in graduate school at North Carolina State University, before eventually returning home.
“It was interesting, rewarding and ironic to return to the area and provide engineering services for the [United States Naval Academy] campus,” said Musiker.
The NAVFAC Washington NR&DE Support Office, where Musiker currently serves, is a new office that provides facilities services for different U.S. Navy commands, such as warfare centers and research labs, around the National Capital Region. As a supervisor, his top goal is to continue to develop his managerial skills and aiding the design staff in resolving technical issues.
“NAVFAC has many hard-working and talented engineers and designers who are solving complex technical problems every day,” said Musiker. “It is an honor to be included in NAVFAC Washington’s exceptional engineering community.”
As an advocate for engineering, Musiker emphasizes that there is room for all kinds of thinkers in the career field. While it helps to be a STEM student, he does not believe one needs to fit a particular mold to be an exceptional engineer.
“Engineering inherently has a human element, with rules-of-thumb, interpretations and engineering-judgment that sometimes are more art than science,” added Musiker. “So, it helps engineers to be well-rounded. The growth and expansion of technology, literally at our fingertips, has broadened opportunities to learn and explore. This makes it easier for young people to plan their career and get involved.”