By Patric Petrie, lead staff writer, Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific
The Navy’s much anticipated “Top Scientists and Engineers of the Year” awards have been announced. Naval Information Warfare Systems Command’s groundbreaking warfare centers, Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific (NIWC Pacific) and Naval Information Warfare Center Atlantic (NIWC Atlantic), received an impressive seven awards combined.
The Assistant Secretary of the Navy (ASN) Research, Development, and Acquisition (RD&A) Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers of the Year Awards, recognizes scientists and engineers who have made significant contributions immediately recognizable by the research, development, acquisition, test and evaluation community, as well as senior leadership within the Department of the Navy.
This year’s awards, presented during a June 28 ceremony at the Pentagon and hosted by Allison Stiller, principal civilian deputy, ASN RD&A, recognized the outstanding and significant contributions of both centers.
“These awards recognize the excellence of the highest performing scientists and engineers throughout the entire Navy,” said Pete Reddy, NIWC Atlantic acting executive director. “The individual efforts and recognition reflect well on the relevance of our Information Warfare mission and the expertise of the entire Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) team.”
NIWC Pacific winners:
Dr. Brittany Lynn: Dr. Lynn has been a driving force behind the advancement of new short and ultra-short laser-induced plasma applications for the Navy. Dr. Lynn was recognized for her work in modeling and experimentation with high-energy lasers in the area of multi-domain, non-kinetic offensive and defensive actions through Directed Energy. By placing a special emphasis on developing applications with future system complexity and cost in mind, she strives to accelerate the delivery of capabilities to the warfighter while minimizing the cost of deployment and operation.
Dr. Stephen Martin: Recognized for his groundbreaking work on underwater robots for the Navy. Dr. Martin has been at the forefront of Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (UUV) and Unmanned Sea-Surface Vehicles (USV) capability development. He has led several efforts over the past two years that have culminated in the delivery of unmanned capabilities previously unachievable. His focus on the rapid integration of sensors into UUV and USV platforms increased the core capabilities of the platforms.
Chris Alspaugh: For his work as the chief engineer for Consolidated Afloat Network and Enterprise Services (CANES) with a budget of more than $540 million. His efforts were core to delivering cyber resilient networks to more than 74 warfighting platforms in the Navy and accelerated delivery of command and control, intelligence, and logistics capabilities, which are key enablers to the Navy's "Compile to Combat in 24 hours" initiative.
The Autonomous UUV Docking Development and Integration (AUDDI) Team: For their work executing the successful at sea demonstration of high-accuracy, long-range autonomous docking of an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) into a deployed docking node. The AUDDI team executed all functions of design, fabrication, deployment and test to demonstrate this evolution in the maturity of AUV autonomy.
The Collaborative Software Armory (CSA) Team: For their efforts aimed at reducing software development and fielding timelines, while ensuring application software security and quality. The CSA process enables the release of better software products, with greater security, and higher quality within days instead of months. This a game-changer for the Navy and for IT software development.
The Submarine Mast Broadband Antenna Team: For their work in taking a speed-to-fleet capability from concept to deployment within 18 months. Their effort represents a leap forward in signals intelligence capability, providing the Navy with a robust maritime capability, enhancing warfighting effectiveness, and maintaining technological superiority for our military.
NIWC Atlantic winner:
Brian Miller: For his work using open source software to develop a Software Defined Networking (SDN) based prototype, which will continue for future development. As part of the design, Miller developed a load balancing and Quality of Service application called Intelligent Route and Optimization Queuing (IROQ). This application allows for near real-time automated reaction to changing network conditions. The prototype improved network throughput via advance load balancing; enabled resilient networking with fully programmable behavior, and allows for a significantly reduced total cost of ownership.
Dr. Delores M. Etter discussed the role of scientists and engineers in national security for deterrence, defense, and offense, and spoke about motivating the next generation through mentorship. She suggested that awardees go to local schools and speak about their projects to emphasize the importance of science and technology in maintaining national security. She closed by saying that innovation and creativity require diversity and dedication.
NIWC Pacific Commanding Officer Capt. Mel Yokoyama concurred. “We’re proud of each and every one of our awardees,” he said. “These high performing scientists and engineers are delivering Information Warfare capabilities to the fleet. Their exceptional contributions and hard work ensure our Sailors and Marines are equipped with the best technology that this Nation has to offer. Thank you for a job well done!”