• STEM Hero Awards •


Performance Assessment Department Head
Naval Surface Warfare Center Corona Division
U.S. Navy

As Performance Assessment Department Head at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Corona Division, Elvis Acosta has achieved many notable firsts in the Navy’s 76-year history at the base. Not only is he the first Hispanic to serve as a technical department head at NSWC Corona, but he is also the youngest person in the role, having started at age 38. He has also been responsible for the establishment of the Performance Assessment University (PAU), the Enterprise Performance Integrated Capability (EPIC) Database, the Secret Control Office (SCO), and the Data Science Integration for Assessment program.

With 18 years of performance assessment experience, Mr. Acosta currently supervises, manages, and leads over 330 government employees and 200 contractors. He oversees a team of engineers, scientists, mathematicians, and computer scientists, and he manages an annual budget of over $100 million. Their mission: provide data collection, data transfer, data storage, rapid analysis feedback, and assessment products to the Navy, United States Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Foreign Military Sales and Missile Defense Agency for land-based testing, at-sea exercises, and real-world events.

Throughout his professional career, Mr. Acosta has impacted the recruiting, hiring, and promotion of minorities through his participation in recruitment events, STEM outreach programs, and local and state science fairs. Given that the Hispanic student population in the state of California and the Los Angeles area is more than 50% of the total population for these areas, Mr. Acosta takes great pride in supporting and advocating for Hispanic students and helping them become the future science and engineering leaders of tomorrow.

Mr. Acosta was once one of those students himself, raised by a single mother and growing up in a neighborhood plagued by gang violence. He credits the values of faith, education, community, and service that he learned in Catholic elementary and high school as the factors that helped him reach and exceed his career goals. 

A graduate of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles where he earned a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering, Mr. Acosta attended the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California for M.S. in Systems engineering.