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CHIPS Articles: SSC Pacific engineers earn Top Scientists and Engineers of the Year honor

SSC Pacific engineers earn Top Scientists and Engineers of the Year honor
By Katherine Connor, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific - July 13, 2017
A whopping five engineers from SSC Pacific were selected as Top Scientists and Engineers of the Year by the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research Development and Acquisition. In a testament to the lab’s diverse areas of expertise, the highly coveted and competitive Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers award went to personnel in fields ranging from nanosatellites to autonomous robotics, agile software development and underwater wireless power transfer.

"I commend all five of our SSC Pacific Top Engineers of the Year award winners on this significant accomplishment," said Carmela Keeney, SSC Pacific executive director. "They are being recognized for technical excellence, innovation and advancing warfighting capabilities. All five are outstanding professionals in their field and each has made substantial contributions to technological superiority and our nation's defense. Their selection for this highly competitive award is a testament to their technical expertise and also to the caliber of work conducted at SSC Pacific."

The 2016 Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers from SSC Pacific are:

  • Aaron Burmeister: Selected in the Individual Engineer category for his work to develop an autonomous amphibious vehicle. “"We are developing an autonomy capability for amphibious vehicles,” Burmeister said. “It’s challenging because perception, navigation, and control strategies have to change as the vehicle transitions from sea to surf zone to land domains. We have started the effort by developing an autonomy system that can control a commercially available amphibious manned vehicle capable of going up to 45 mph on land or water."
  • Steve Frisbie: Selected in the Individual Engineer category for his work as the chief engineer for the Enhanced Polar System (EPS) Gateway. “The EPS Gateway program is providing access to terrestrial networks for deployed users of the Extremely High Frequency (EHF) satellite communications serving the arctic region for the United States government,” Frisbie said. “The system is an immediate benefit to the Navy submarine community, and to all other prospective users within the U.S. government which will include Air Force assets as well as the U.S. Coast Guard.”
  • Ritesh Patel: Selected in the Individual Engineer category for his work producing a new approach for developing, testing, integrating and deploying software systems for the Navy that improves product security, quality and reliability. Patel developed these practices as an embedded employee for Program Executive Office-Command Control Communications Computers and Intelligence (C4I). “What we are doing is giving our warfighters the edge that they need, and in today’s age that means information,” Patel said. “Getting the right information at the right time is critical. In order to do that they need the latest software and latest versions of that software and it needs to be secure, which we provide by developing in a continuous fashion.”
  • Dr. Alex Phipps: Selected in the Emergent Engineer Investigator category for his accomplishments in advancing wireless underwater power transfer technologies. “What we’re doing is looking to find a way for unmanned underwater vehicles to persist underwater for much greater periods of time and still be able to perform their mission without having to surface,” Phipps said.
  • Dr. David Wayne: Selected in the Emergent Engineer Investigator category for his work developing the HALO-Net nanosatellite and its suite of sensors. “The project is trying to build an optical communications payload that will go inside of a nanosatellite,” Wayne said. “The challenge with that is to make an optical communications system that is low size, weight, and power and that fits in the nanosatellite.”

Drs. Phipps and Wayne were two of only three Emergent Engineer Investigators chosen for this honor, and Burmeister, Frisbie and Patel comprise nearly half of the seven-member Individual Engineers cohort.

The honorees received the award from Allison Stiller, acting Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, on July 13 at the Pentagon.

To see videos of the awardees discussing their work, click here and look under Connected Media.

For more information on the awardees and their work, please contact the SSC Pacific Public Affairs Office.

WASHINGTON (Jul. 13, 2017) Allison Stiller, left, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research Development & Acquisition, is joined by Dr. Delores M. Etter, as they present the 2016 Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers Award for Individual Engineers to Aaron Burmeister, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, Pacific, during a ceremony at the Pentagon. (U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams/Released)
WASHINGTON (Jul. 13, 2017) Allison Stiller, left, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research Development & Acquisition, is joined by Dr. Delores M. Etter, as they present the 2016 Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers Award for Individual Engineers to Aaron Burmeister, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, Pacific, during a ceremony at the Pentagon. (U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams/Released)

WASHINGTON (Jul. 13, 2017) Allison Stiller, left, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research Development & Acquisition, is joined by Dr. Delores M. Etter, as they present the 2016 Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers Award for Individual Engineers to Steve Frisbie, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, Pacific, during a ceremony at the Pentagon. (U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams/Released)
WASHINGTON (Jul. 13, 2017) Allison Stiller, left, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research Development & Acquisition, is joined by Dr. Delores M. Etter, as they present the 2016 Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers Award for Individual Engineers to Steve Frisbie, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, Pacific, during a ceremony at the Pentagon. (U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams/Released)

WASHINGTON (Jul. 13, 2017) Allison Stiller, left, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research Development & Acquisition, is joined by Dr. Delores M. Etter, as they present the 2016 Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers Award for Emergent Engineer Investigators to Dr. Alex Phipps, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, Pacific, during a ceremony at the Pentagon. (U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams/Released)
WASHINGTON (Jul. 13, 2017) Allison Stiller, left, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research Development & Acquisition, is joined by Dr. Delores M. Etter, as they present the 2016 Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers Award for Emergent Engineer Investigators to Dr. Alex Phipps, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, Pacific, during a ceremony at the Pentagon. (U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams/Released)

WASHINGTON (Jul. 13, 2017) Allison Stiller, left, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research Development & Acquisition, is joined by Dr. Delores M. Etter, as they present the 2016 Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers Award for Emergent Engineer Investigators to Dr. David Wayne, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, Pacific, during a ceremony at the Pentagon. (U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams/Released)
WASHINGTON (Jul. 13, 2017) Allison Stiller, left, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research Development & Acquisition, is joined by Dr. Delores M. Etter, as they present the 2016 Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers Award for Emergent Engineer Investigators to Dr. David Wayne, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, Pacific, during a ceremony at the Pentagon. (U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams/Released)
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