• STEM Hero Awards •

Lt. Luis F.

Civil Engineering Instructor
U.S. Coast Guard Academy
U.S. Coast Guard

As an Instructor of Civil Engineering for the past four years at the United States Coast Guard Academy (CGA), Lieutenant Luis F. Garcia has inspired, mentored, supported, and developed hundreds of engineering graduates from diverse backgrounds to serve the nation in a vast array of missions. His remarkable contributions as an educator and leader have significantly contributed to developing a well-educated, diverse, and culturally competent STEM workforce to serve in critical engineering roles to meet 21st century technical challenges.

Lieutenant Garcia’s duties include teaching, course development, academic advising (as the lead advisor for the major), officer development, and academic tutoring (as part of the cadet academic assistance program).  He further serves as a capstone project advisor, a coastal sail program trainer, a building manager for the engineering building, an internship coordinator, and as the admissions representative for the engineering department. He has taught Engineering Mechanics, Environmental Engineering I and II, Civil Engineering Design, Mechanics of Materials, and the Soil Mechanics Lab.

Lieutenant Garcia was born in El Paso, Texas and grew up in Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. He earned a B.S. degree with honors in 2009 from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and was quickly assigned to the USCG Cutter Venturousas a Student Engineer – Ensign. He was involved in multiple Coast Guard operations, including drug interdictions, relief efforts for the Haitian earthquake, and served on the primary response team to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster. By the time he completed that assignment, he had been promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade.

After graduate school at University of Texas at Austin – where he obtained his M.S. Degree in Construction Engineering Project Management with high honors – Lieutenant Garcia reported to USCG Sector San Juan as Facilities Engineer before earning a promotion to his current rank. In that role, he was responsible for millions of dollars of repair and maintenance, 50 personnel, family housing, barracks, five tenant commands, and seven Coast Guard ships.

In 2015, Lieutenant Garcia returned to his undergraduate alma mater at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, this time as one of the most respected and effective instructors at the Academy.