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Three NUWC Division Newport employees win Women of Color magazine STEM Achievement Awards

By NUWC Division Newport Public Affairs | July 10, 2020

NEWPORT, R.I. —

Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport employees Jessica Perez Torres, Sravanthi “Sree” Bodana, and Norma Lopez each recently won a Career Communications Group (CCG) Women of Color magazine STEM achievement award.

This annual award program recognizes women who have demonstrated exceptional achievements in STEM in their workplace and in their communities.

Perez Torres, a resident of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, an engineer for the Systems Analysis and Passive Systems Engineering Branch in NUWC Division Newport’s Sensors and Sonar Systems Department and a subject matter expert in passive sonar performance, won in the Technology Rising Star category. She provides guidance to a team of 20 engineers and scientists, supporting the introduction of the large aperture array to the fleet, from design requirements to delivery, as well as future concept array designs for Virginia-class Block VI submarines. Her expertise in sonar acoustics, beamforming, detection, and new capabilities for all concurrent and future systems, demonstrates her abilities to multitask while maintaining technical excellence. She has also gained the respect of the technical community, both internally and externally with contracting partners, in all acoustic systems over the last 10 years.

The two other award winners were in the Technology All-Star category.

Bodana, a resident of Tiverton, Rhode Island, is head of the Information Systems and Data Analytics Branch in Division Newport’s Undersea Warfare Platforms & Payload Integration Department and is responsible for providing supervision and technical direction to a group of more than 20 employees. Her leadership has positively influenced many diverse lines of effort including data analytics, machine learning/artificial intelligence, model- based systems engineering, embedded software and the Tomahawk configuration management/logistics. Over the course of her 19-year career, Bodana has also dedicated herself to promoting the equitable treatment for all. This is most visible in her service on the Naval Sea Systems Command Executive Director’s Inclusion and Engagement Council, serving as the special emphasis program manager for American Indian and Alaskan Natives at Division Newport and her recruiting efforts at the 2019 Women of Color STEM Conference, the University of Puerto Rico, and the Inter-American University in San Juan.

Lopez, a resident of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, is head of the Combat Systems Trainers Branch in the Undersea Warfare Combat Systems Department, where she leads a team of engineers and scientists who provide software engineering activities that support the integration of capabilities and improvements for a variety of trainers used by the submarine NUWC Division Newport, Lopez has not only been a technical leader, but a leader in diversity and equal opportunity initiatives. In 2016, her efforts to raise awareness of cultural differences and promote diversity was recognized with the Division Newport Excellence in Support of Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity Award. Lopez is also an avid mentor and volunteer and has been a member of Division Newport’s Recruiting Tiger Team since 2011. Since 2000, she has sponsored high school and college co-op students and college interns, and from 2013 to 2018 was a professional mentor as a member of the Federal Women’s Program.

All three women will be honored at the 2020 Women of Color STEM Conference scheduled for Oct. 8-10 in Detroit, Michigan. For more information, visit https://intouch.ccgmag.com/page/WOCSTEMConference

NUWC Division Newport is a shore command of the U.S. Navy within the Naval Sea Systems Command, which engineers, builds and supports America’s fleet of ships and combat systems. NUWC Newport provides research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support for submarines, autonomous underwater  systems, undersea offensive and defensive weapons systems, and countermeasures associated with undersea warfare.

NUWC Newport is the oldest warfare center in the country, tracing its heritage to the Naval Torpedo Station established on Goat Island in Newport Harbor in 1869.  Commanded by Capt. Chad Hennings, NUWC Newport maintains major detachments in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Andros Island in the Bahamas, as well as test facilities at Seneca Lake and Fisher's Island, New York, Leesburg, Florida, and Dodge Pond, Connecticut.

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