Demetria Petty-Manes

Prism Award

Demetria Petty-Manes, Prism Award, Headshot

Demetria Petty-Manes

Newport News Shipbuilding

For being a technical expert and role model for women in a male-dominated field; for demonstrating the value of academic excellence and artistry; and for lifelong dedication to community service.

Demetria Petty-Manes is a lead engineer III with Newport News Shipbuilding, where she has amassed nearly 25 years of professional experience and success in engineering and design. Her duties have involved extensive coordination with representatives in a diverse contractor/vendor environment. Her leadership experience has involved administrative and technical supervision of engineers and designers in carrier communications operations involving warfare systems projects on legacy carrier ships. She also supports the ship design manager to ensure issues related to cost performance, scheduling, and program modifications are resolved.

She has effectively mentored and trained apprentice school and university students, as well as peers, while serving as an engineer II/III in exterior communication systems and design.

She sought to combine her interest in engineering with her love for dance and fine arts, both of which she discovered and developed while in middle school. She performed as a member of the Ballet Guild School of Dance Arts. Academically advanced in math and science, she was selected for a groundbreaking program called S.P.A.C.E. (Summer Program for Academic Careers in Engineering), sponsored by NASA and the College of Engineering at the University of Central Florida. During this experience, she focused her career aspirations on electrical engineering.

Petty-Manes attended Hampton University and, while in college, worked as an engineering research assistant at NASA Langley Research Center. After completing a B.S. in electrical engineering, she began her engineering career in parallel with her passion for dance as the assistant artistic director with the Terpsichorean Dance Company.

She joined Newport News Shipbuilding as an associate engineer in the Aircraft Carrier Engineering Division and immediately became an integral team member of two multimillion-dollar engineering change proposals to reconfigure the carrier communication areas for several aircraft carriers such as USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) and USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). The knowledge she acquired during these activities prepared her to become the lead engineer of carrier communication operations projects, which included the radio communication systems.

As her technical, communication, project management, and engineering know-how developed, Petty-Manes advanced to more positions of responsibility, eventually being designated to her current role as deputy ship design manager for USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78).

In 2012, she opened D&T Dance Studio as a way to give back to her community and continue her love of dance. She is dedicated to bringing quality and affordable dance instruction designed for beginners through advanced students in tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, hip-hop, and contemporary dance. She emphasizes academic excellence with artistry as she instructs her clients.

She is the proud wife of U.S. Navy veteran Stephen Manes V and mother of three beautiful children. Two poodle mix dogs, Coco and Nike, complete the family.