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CHIPS Articles: SPAWAR Educates Future Business Leaders

SPAWAR Educates Future Business Leaders
By Dawn M. Stankus, SPAWAR Public Affairs - November 10, 2016
During the students’ tour of SPAWAR, they spoke with engineers and experts in the fields of tactical air navigation, three-dimensional (3D) printing, cybersecurity and advances in technology.

Raymond Provost, airspace systems integrated product team lead, SPAWAR Systems Center (SSC) Pacific, discussed how improvements in 3D scanning and printing are being used in the fleet.

"At SPAWAR we redesign, test and work to get a project into production,” said Provost. “Right now, we have the ability to scan spaces inside a ship using LIDAR [Light Detection and Ranging] scanning. By having the ability to scan a space on a ship, we can now determine how equipment and new systems fit in a designated location on board rather than estimating, conducting ship checks or through the method of trial-and-error. Various military facilities have used 3D printing and scanning to improve their logistics processes and achieve innovation in their work centers.”

Roger Shweid, logistics and fleet support, SSC Pacific, discussed how 3D printing is already being implemented on Navy ships to improve readiness and flexibility.

“In 2014, the USS Essex medical department was able to use 3D printing capabilities to print medical supplies and the ship, as a whole, printed non-critical parts for shipboard use,” said Shweid. “There are other examples out there, but this is one that remains incredibly significant because we witnessed how this technology can make a difference in real world operations.”

Lt. Cmdr. Gavan Aldridge, military liaison to the Wharton School of Business, assigned to Navy Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Global Logistics Support (GLS), explained that working with prospective business leaders now helps ensure a strong network of vendors and resources the future.

“At NAVSUP GLS, we are the business managers of the Navy,” said Aldridge. “At GLS, we have product and service lines, supply chain management services and other services that are directly related to help the Sailor and the mission. By working with the Wharton School of Business, we not only gain a new perspective into civilian industry, but we learn how the Navy can refine our business approach to resemble civilian industry where it can be useful and cost effective.”

Bree Sterne, a graduate student at Wharton School of Business, emphasized that the tour of SPAWAR gives her a more broad perspective of manufacturing and logistics operations in the Navy.

“It has been amazing today to see and learn about top tier supply logistics operations within the Navy,” said Sterne. “The Navy has a lot of applications to the business world … it’s such a massive organization that has developed a seamless way to deliver supplies across the globe.”

Dr. Morris Cohen, professor of manufacturing and logistics, Wharton School of Business, emphasized that business education requires students to get out of the classroom and have exposure to the real world.

“This is Wharton School of Business’ second time visiting SPAWAR as part of our curriculum,” said Cohen. “It is so important that our graduate business students get out of the classroom and learn how supply chain management and new technologies truly work in real life, not just in a text book or on the internet. During this annual trip, we tour factories, military installations and companies throughout the world so that our students can apply these concepts and techniques to their future careers.”

Sterne stated that she believes the Navy continues to be successful in war environments overseas and at sea because the military uses creativity and new techniques to get supplies where they need to go as quickly as possible.

“My experience today will definitely apply to my future job in business,” said Sterne. “It has been amazing to learn more about 3D printing and what the application of this system means for the future of the Navy, especially over the next five years. 3D printing will help construct necessary parts, without relying on vendors or manufacturers, so that ships and military units stationed all over the world can continue on with operations.”

Aldridge stressed that NAVSUP GLS works to find solutions for Sailors first and foremost.

“We are moving toward improved technologies, so that we can assist Sailors,” said Aldridge. “With these technologies, we can decrease manpower and still get the same or better job done. We want to consider cost-saving efforts as well so that we can spend our money in other means. The more that we develop and work to get modern technology on ships and throughout the fleet, and train our Sailors on this technology, the more effective our Navy will be overall.”

Dr. Jose Romero-Mariona, cybersecurity science and technology for SSC Pacific, was a presenter during the tour and discussed the importance of training aspiring engineers and business leaders.

“What we are doing at SPAWAR with internships and tours like today goes beyond cybersecurity and technology,” said Romero-Mariona. “It’s about developing and educating the people who will eventually work on these innovative projects in the future.”

During the school’s visit to San Diego, students also had the opportunity to visit the guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) and Naval Special Warfare Command.

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