Julio Giannotti graduated in 1971 with a graduate degree in naval architecture. He founded his company in 1976; today it has 240 employees and operates three shipbuilding and repair yards on the West Coast. Prior to attending graduate school at MIT, Giannotti had graduated from Annapolis and been a naval officer. After MIT, he returned to Annapolis to teach naval engineering. The company was started in 1976 as an engineering firm, but in 1994 he decided to go into the shipyard business and purchased yards in Tacoma, Washington and Alameda, California. This seemed a natural step as his engineering work had often involved on-site supervision at naval shipyards.
As the U.S. Navy cuts back from a 600 ship fleet to 300 and as competition increases from shipyards in Taiwan, China, and Korea, cost control and effective management are essential to maintain profit margins.
Giannotti's MIT classmates (many now naval officers) have become his customers. Also, MIT was an important recruiting source when he was in the naval engineering business. His MIT contacts played a key role in starting the company. As an MIT student, he was impressed by the fact that real companies with real problems turned to his professors for help.
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