When Peter Annunziato, Branch Chief of the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) Engineering Directorate’s Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD) Branch, looks back at his nearly 41- year career with ECBC, he has one prominent message to pass onto the rest of the workforce.
“Know when to shoot your inner engineer,” said Annunziato, who is retiring at the end of 2012. “The hardest thing to do as an engineer or scientist is to know when to stop. Your instinct is to want to work out every little problem and perfect every detail, but unless the change is a matter of safety, know when to draw the line in the sand and call it a
Knowing when to stop and reassess the situation, is a value that Annunziato said can be applied to multiple aspects of a career, not just a specific project.
“The work we do here is serious business. We are supporting our Warfighters and that is huge,” Annunziato said. “But at the same time, you can’t take the job so seriously that you are constantly stressed out or don’t enjoy the work. If you can’t enjoy it, then do something else you can enjoy.”
Annunziato said enjoying the people, the work, and the sense of community is what kept him at ECBC for four decades. Signs of his dedication will continue to be present at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), from the M58 Wolf that sits near the entrance to the Route 24 gate, to the lessons that he taught the people he worked with.
While “shooting the engineer” is a motto that Annunziato can now pass on to future generations, it was not always his mantra. Years of projects, interactions and learning to make the most of new opportunities helped transform him from a detail-oriented systems engineer to a respected Branch Chief who earned the 2009 Baltimore Federal Executive Board Excellence in Federal Career for Outstanding Supervisor Gold Award, and the 2010 Ancient Order of the Dragon Award.