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By Todd A. Hurley, NSWC Carderock Division, Public Affairs
Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division’s Dr. Meagan Schaal, Physicist, Underwater Electromagnetic (UEM) Signature Control, Analysis and Susceptibility Branch, has been awarded the Knowledge Sharing Award as part of the 2021 Warfare Centers Awards.
Established in 2005, the Warfare Centers Awards were created as a way to recognize employee achievements among cross-Warfare Center collaborative efforts. They are awarded on a yearly basis and are comprised of six categories, including collaboration, information security, innovation, knowledge sharing, talent management and technical support services.
The recipients of the 2021 Warfare Centers Awards were announced on July 6.
“I didn’t find out I had even been nominated until after the award was announced,” Schaal said. “I saw the announcement email and briefly browsed through the awards, but it wasn’t until I started receiving several congratulatory messages that I found out I was listed among the winners.”
Schaal is an expert in UEM signatures, threats and susceptibility. She was given the Knowledge Sharing Award for successfully demonstrating the importance of the exchange of technical information as it relates to naval mine threats and susceptibility amongst naval officers, peers and allied nations.
“It means a lot to me to be recognized for my mine warfare work across all the Warfare Centers,” Schaal said. “The main driving purpose of the work I have been doing is to effectively inform the Warfighter, so the fact that I am being recognized for that, shows that I have been executing the work successfully.”
Furthermore, she was presented this award for her work in planning and participating in UEM signature technology research, development, test and evaluation tasks to reduce the susceptibility of submarines to UEM-influence threats.
In her award packet written by Natalie Alvarez, Branch Head, UEM Signature Control, Analysis and Susceptibility Branch, Alvarez said, “Through her leadership, Schaal was responsible for the development of susceptibility simulations and products to inform deploying submarines of their susceptibility to UEM signature-influence threats relevant to their missions.”
Schaal was responsible for not only leading a multi-organization effort to develop a susceptibility simulation tool, but also for having it efficiently and effectively provide relevant susceptibility information to the Warfighters.
“To effectively lead the effort, Schaal significantly expanded her knowledge and skillset,” Alvarez said. “As a result of her technical contributions and leadership, the Fleet will have the most up-to-date and relevant susceptibility information specific to their vessel to aid them in their mission planning.”
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Schaal’s efforts required direct innovation and coordination amongst multiple divisions across Carderock’s Ship Signatures Department and multiple Warfare Centers. Her accomplishments directly resulted in lower costs to the Navy and on-time delivery of products to the Fleet.
“Schaal has pioneered a cross-organizational effort to improve the accuracy and relevancy of susceptibility information provided to the fleet, in addition to identifying and implementing process improvements to generate results that meet the demanding schedule of deploying submarines,” Alvarez said. “Schaal has been a driving force in guiding the understanding of the Fleet’s susceptibly to influence mine threats.”
Schaal is incredibly grateful for the award, but is more proud that the work she has spent so much time on has gone towards a cause she truly cares about.
“When I was younger, I had always thought about enlisting in the military, but I never did,” Schaal said. “By working for the Navy now, and being a part of the work that goes directly to the Warfighter, I feel like I have found an alternate way to support our military.”
The award will be presented at the next quarterly command awards ceremony in August.