Mike Shawcross ’80, Running a Tight Ship

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Mike credits Florida Tech and his rowing coach, Bill Jurgens, for helping to develop the leadership skills he’s taken with him throughout his career. His professional endeavors began at Newport News Shipbuilding in 1980 as a nuclear test engineer. Mike spent the first half of his career working on submarines, later moving to aircraft carriers. He has held various positions in engineering, program management, and business development.

With hard work and dedication, Mike climbed the ranks to vice president of aircraft carrier programs in 2005 when he assumed responsibilities for the design of the Ford Class aircraft carrier and the construction of the first ship of that class, the Gerald R. Ford, CVN 78. Since then he has led the John F. Kennedy, CVN 79 construction program and currently is responsible for the engineering, planning, and advanced construction of the third and fourth ships of the Ford class, Enterprise (CVN 80) and the as yet unnamed CVN 81.

Mike thanks Professor Jack Schwalbe for lessons learned early at Florida Tech in his engineering classes. “He helped instill an engineering discipline based on attention to detail that served me well throughout my career. Florida Tech gave me a good foundation for the rest of my life.”

Mike earned his bachelor’s degree in ocean engineering from Florida Tech in 1980.

Shawcross was featured in Florida Tech’s 60th Anniversary special edition book, “60 for 60: Celebrating Sixty Years of Alumni at Florida Institute of Technology.” Copies are available for purchase here.

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