Where Computer Programming, Sustainability and Submarines Meet

Steven Fitzpatrick '18

Photo by Carl Socolow '77.

Steven Fitzpatrick ’18 

Steven Fitzpatrick ’18 is using his expertise in computer science to develop data tools for submarines, and he plans to continue that work after graduation at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center. He also works on sustainability initiatives at Dickinson, including a nitrogen footprint project and the biogas digesters at the College Farm.


Computer Science (Italian minor).

Clubs and organizations:

Center for Sustainability Education and Handlebar.


Alpha Lambda Delta and George and Mary Louise D’Olier Shuman Prize.

What Dickinson has done for me:

Dickinson provided me with an environment where I've deepened my understanding and skills in music, computing, renewable energies and Italian, and it facilitated an immersive experience in western European society that expanded my understanding and appreciation of international perspectives.

On choosing my major:  

I have been very interested in computer science from a young age. In middle school and high school, I took all of the computer science classes that I could and worked for my town’s school system as a technology assistant and videographer.

Favorite class/learning experience:

My first-year seminar was my favorite class. [Associate VP for Sustainability & Facilities Planning] Ken Shultes and [Joseph Priestley Professor of Natural Philosophy] Marcus Key teamed up to teach us different renewable energy systems and discuss the environment. It was this course that inspired me to work at the Dickinson biodiesel plant and on a nitrogen-footprint project through the Center for Sustainability Education.

Favorite place on campus:

CSE library.

steve fitzpatrick

On study abroad:

I studied abroad in Norwich, England, and Bologna, Italy. In England I had the most fun with my flatmates, but in Italy I learned and grew the most as an individual. A highlight was a personal trip on my own for a week in Palermo, with no plans except to see the city, do everything that I could as a local and eat all of the best foods!

Post-Dickinson plans:

I will be working for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center as a computer programmer in Newport, R.I., assisting in the development of submarine infrastructure.

Proudest accomplishment:

Helping to build the biogas digesters at the College Farm.

On my internship:

I’ve interned with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center as a computer programmer for three summers. This internship has a conversion program; if you work for 640 hours before graduating, you will be hired as a full-time employee. I used computer programming to develop tools that help submarines operate. For one of the projects, I worked on upgrading a shipboard problem-reporting system, building a database to keep track of parts and maintain the navy training system.

I was able to apply my work [in this internship] back to a systems-analysis course I took in England. And I was able to apply what I learned in my web-programming course in England back to a web project that I was supporting last summer.

Read more Student Snapshots.


Published March 12, 2018