• STEM Hero Awards •

Jose Romero-
Mariona, Ph.D.

Lead Research Scientist for Cybersecurity Innovation and Cyber Science & Branch Head
Naval Information Warfare Systems Center Pacific
Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR)
U.S. Navy

Dr. Jose Romero-Marionacurrently serves as one of the leaders of Cybersecurity Innovation as well as the Head of the Cyber Science & Technology Branch of the Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific in San Diego. His research focuses on the areas of cybersecurity that involve non-traditional systems like critical infrastructures and their usability.

He has proposed and successfully secured funding for over 20 projects from sponsors, ranging from breakthrough mathematical and cryptographic work, to mobile computing security, to critical infrastructures-related research. His work has resulted in over 50 scientific publiclications as well as multiple patents and numerous awards.

Dr. Romero-Mariona’s impact on the Navy is reflected in three key projects - a miniature device providing cryptographic support for unmanned platforms to transmit classified information; a technology that enables repeatable evaluation of cybersecurity technologies through metrics; and a project that examines Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition networks, the systems that monitor and control crucial national infrastructure such as the power grid and water purification.

He has also led the Grassroots Science and Technology project which has assembled a group of young scientists and engineers to develop a strategy to empower new professionals at NIWC Pacific to become sucessful government researchers.Dr. Romero-Mariona has a passion for STEM outreach and mentoring as demonstrated by his volunteer work with the California Alliance for Minority Participation Summer Science Academy which focues on women and minorities in science.  The group’s Noche de Ciencia en Espanol brings scientific demonstrations to schools in the San Diego area to encourage STEM careers.

Born in El Salvador, Dr. Romero-Mariona came to the United States to escape that country’s civil war when he was just 16 and spoke no English. His ability to learn a new language quickly enough to gain acceptance to the University of California at Irvine proved how intellectually gifted he was. The university recognized his talent, and after earning his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science he remained at U.C. Irvine to pursue his Ph.D. with a full fellowship.  

Dr. Romero-Mariona is a member of IEEE, SHPE, MAES, and several other professional organizations.