By NUWC Division Newport Public Affairs
More than 60 current and former Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport employees were recognized for their science, technology, research and innovation accomplishments during a “Patents, Publications and Technology Transitions” awards ceremony held on Feb. 16.
The first of what will become quarterly ceremonies was held in front of Division Newport’s new “Wall of Innovation,” designed to reflect innovation and state-of-the-art accomplishments by the workforce.
“This is what the Wall of Innovation was designed for, to display our technical and scientific advancements and innovation on a rotating basis to the entire community,” Chief Technology Officer Dr. Jason Gomez said as he welcomed attendees to the ceremony.
Technical Director Ron Vien cited the Division Newport mission and its long history of growth, innovation and evolution into new technical areas.
“I’m a bit biased, but we’re pretty cool, what we do here at NUWC, and it’s work like this that really demonstrates our people and technical capabilities,” he said.
Commanding Officer Capt. Chad Hennings agreed.
“To be the first to think of an idea and to be able to share that idea, that’s really impressive,” Hennings said.
Eighteen current and former employees were awarded 12 patents, an important part of the innovation process as patents protect intellectual property, award inventors for innovative ideas and make novel technologies available to the broader scientific and engineering communities.
“We have a strong history and culture in patents here at Division Newport,” said Gomez.
Awardees and their patents include the following:
Gomez discussed last year’s “Shark Tank” sessions, hosted by the Chief Technology Office, in which a panel of patent experts provide feedback on employees’ potentially patentable ideas.
Ruffa, who sat on the “Shark Tank” panel, said that patents have many benefits for everyone involved.
“They help the overall Navy mission, and if something is developed and patented by the Navy, it takes away the possibility of industry patenting it and, therefore, the Navy having to pay industry for it,” he said. “Patents keep Division Newport at the forefront of technical excellence and help the Division attract the best and brightest talent. For employees who are awarded a patent, it’s beneficial for career development, being recognized for their contributions and achievements, and can even result in royalties.”
Twelve journal articles were published recently by 20 current and former employees, including:
“These publications keep the research community on the cutting-edge,” Gomez said.
Gomez cited the article by Kamensky, who in 2021 presented her work on marine biofouling at an In-House Laboratory Independent Research (ILIR) session as one of the ways in which ideas can be brought forth for funding consideration.
Biofouling, or the accumulation of microorganisms, plants, or small animals on wet surfaces, creates drag which can reduce the speed of a ship and increase its fuel consumption.
“We invest in basic and applied research such as Kamensky’s biofouling work to maintain a strong research base and incubate technologies that evolve into Navy capabilities,” Gomez said.
Another example is by new professionals, Galuska and Papa, who, along with team members, conducted an experimental and computational investigation to study the interaction between bubbles generated by an underwater explosive (UNDEX) and a nearby steel plate structure.
“The goal of our research is to better understand bubble interaction, collapse, loading and damage to nearby underwater structures,” Galuska said. “Our hope is to improve the design of future naval structures that are subject to UNDEX events.”
“The opportunity to conduct research and publish work was one of the first things I asked about when interviewing at NUWC and quickly became a large reason of why I decided to work here,” Papa said. “Discovering new information and expanding upon existing knowledge to share with the rest of this community is extremely rewarding, as it plays a key role in the innovation of technology and future capabilities.”
There are various paths to transitioning technology to the U.S. Navy warfighter.
“This is our reason for being,” Gomez said. “We take fleet needs, distill them down to technical challenges for the research community to sink their teeth into and develop innovative solutions for the warfighter.”
Twenty-eight current and former Division Newport researchers were honored for 12 transitioned projects:
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.
Join our team! NUWC Division Newport, one of the 20 largest employers in Rhode Island, employs a diverse, highly trained, educated, and skilled workforce. We are continuously looking for engineers, scientists, and other STEM professionals, as well as talented business, finance, logistics and other support experts who wish to be at the forefront of undersea research and development. Please connect with NUWC Division Newport Recruiting at this site- https://www.navsea.navy.mil/Home/Warfare-Centers/NUWC-Newport/Career-Opportunities/ and follow us on LinkedIn @NUWC-Newport and on Facebook @NUWCNewport.