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CHIPS Articles: NWDC and ODU Team Up to Launch Innovation Workshop

NWDC and ODU Team Up to Launch Innovation Workshop
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Jonathan E. Donnelly, U.S. Fleet Forces Public Affairs - September 17, 2014
NORFOLK (NNS) — Navy Warfare Development Command (NWDC) and Old Dominion University (ODU) teamed up to launch an innovation workshop at ODU's Engineering and Computational Sciences Building in Norfolk, Virginia Sept. 12.

During the workshop, government employees, ODU staff and students gathered together to display, explain, and offer new ideas to improve the fleet.

"The event marks the 8th NWDC sponsored Navy Innovation Event," said Cmdr. Jason Schwarzkopf, NWDC's lead to the Idea Harvesting Division (N92). "This event holds important significance since every other innovation event in the past has been held on base at NWDC. This is the first event of the series that NWDC has partnered with ODU."

NWDC and ODU partnered in the event to display the ongoing relationship and initiatives they share for innovation and the improvement of modeling, simulation and visualization engineering.

Lt. Matthew R. Hipple, the commander's action officer onboard Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, along with a number of panel members, offered their 3D printing workshop. 3D printing is a technique where computer aided design software is used to generate a part and print it for shipboard use.

"If you're talking about innovation into deckplate leadership, this is it," said Hipple. "A Sailor can solve a significant problem by simply hopping on a computer, designing a product, and printing it very quickly."

The vision is to identify a needed part for a ship within days or hours, design a model, and upload it to a database for printing. This will allow for more rapid response to the ship's needs and will cut costs over time.

Another featured presentation came from Aviation Electronics Technician 1st class Richard Walsh from Columbia Falls, Montana, stationed aboard the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) and part of the Chief of Naval Operations Rapid Innovation Cell (CRIC). Walsh presented a brief on the history of paradigm shifts, a problem solving methodology based on logic, data and research, and design thinking.

"I want junior Sailors to embrace their ideas and be able to stand up with courage to bridge communication gaps between them and senior leadership," said Walsh. "Also, it's the senior leaders responsibility to harness and embrace that energy and use that to develop the Navy's future leaders."

Walsh led the audience through a practical exercise in the execution of problem solving and design thinking. Walsh's presentation is routinely given to all Eisenhower Sailors during command indoctrination.

In addition to the featured presentations, six other Sailors were given the opportunity to showcase their own personal projects. Each presenter was given five minutes to display their idea followed by a five-minute question and answer session with the audience.

"This event puts me in the right place with the right with people that can actually bring my idea to reality," said Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Michael Crowley, from Sea Girt, New Jersey and stationed aboard Eisenhower.

After each presentation, the audience voted on the quality, feasibility and presentation of each idea.

Audience members were given handheld voting remotes to score each presentation using the Audience Response System. Audience members gave a one for very poor and five for very good.

Each presenter's votes were totaled and the Sailor with the highest score was given a certificate naming them the 'Technical Innovation Presentation Winner.'

Lt. Deward Cummings, officer in charge of the Radiological Nuclear Division Department at the Explosives Ordnance School onboard Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, took home the title with his project to mitigate the disruptiveness of explosive remnants of war (ERW), to include safe and secure storage of ERW at the lowest level where they are most needed.

Other presentations at the event included a project on obtaining more accurate sea-drift during search and rescue operations by using human mimicking global positioning system trackers in the water; a luminescent solar concentrator project which is the creation of a more energy efficient solar cell; a project on countermeasure drones, and suggestions for improving the current Navy performance evaluation system.

All presentations were used as a mode of sharing and proposing new ideas to challenge conventional thinking and solve issues that currently confront the Navy.

With the growing partnership between ODU and NWDC, both parties hope to tackle tomorrow's challenges through today's rapid generation and development of innovative solutions.

"ODU is slated to enter an educational partnership agreement with NWDC and once the agreement is finalized, ODU's Modeling and Simulation (M&S) students will be able to intern at NWDC's M&S department", said Schwarzkopf. "This is a great example of the ever-growing partnerships the Navy shares with the local community."

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