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Who We Are
Navy's center of excellence for ships and ship systems

The Carderock Division consists of approximately 2,000 scientists, engineers and support personnel working in more than 40 disciplines ranging from fundamental science to applied/in-service engineering. We are the Navy's experts for maritime technology. The Division houses world-class facilities and laboratories. Carderock's Headquarters is located in West Bethesda, Maryland. The Division also conducts research and development at several remote sites across the country.

As a major component and field activity of the Naval Sea Systems Command, the Carderock Division provides cradle-to-grave support for its technical products over an enormous range of scientific areas related to surface and undersea platforms. The Division addresses the full spectrum of applied maritime science and technology, from the theoretical and conceptual beginnings, through design and acquisition, to implementation and follow-on engineering. This includes all technical aspects of improving the performance of ships, submarines, military water craft and unmanned vehicles, as well as research for military logistics systems. In addition, the Division is uniquely chartered by Congress to support America's maritime industry.
Our Heritage
For over a century, the NSWC Carderock Division has been at the forefront of technologies vital to the success of the U.S. Navy and Maritime Industry. Since our component organizations were founded at the turn of the century, the Division has earned a distinguished reputation as the birthplace of superior naval technology.

 Our Founder: Rear Adm. David W. Taylor

Rear Adm. David Watson Taylor, USN (4 March 1864 - 28 July 1940) was a naval architect and engineer of the United States Navy. He served during World War I as Chief Constructor of the Navy, and Chief of the Bureau of Construction and Repair. Taylor is best known as the man who constructed the first experimental towing tank ever built in the United States.

Click to learn more about Rear Adm. David W. Taylor

A History of the David Taylor Research Center
By Rodney P. Carlisle

In 1898, Capt. David W. Taylor built the first Experimental Model Basin at the Washington Navy Yard. The Basin staff moved to Carderock, Maryland, just before World War II, where engineers today continue to design ships and test models using the precisely built towing tanks supplemented with computer simulation.

Admiral George W. Melville, Chief of the Bureau of Engineering in the 1890's, fought for an engine experiment station to build the machines to power the 20th Century Navy. Implementing his dream, researchers designed and tested engines and fuels that drove the ships of World War I and II at the Engineering Experiment Station at Annapolis. In 1967, the Annapolis and Carderock institutions merged, and their work saw action in the Vietnam war.

This book traces the modern research and development center from its dual origin when Taylor and Melville brought science and technology to the emerging steam-driven fleet, through a full century of modernization and several reorganizations.

"Where the Fleet Begins details constant work to transform vision into reality, and to keep innovation flowing from cutting-edge science and technology into the Navy's ships and submarines. Some experimental ideas were tried and abandoned, and paths not taken were as vital to progress as successes. Research, people, and institutional culture make up the story of the place where the fleet begins."