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NEWS | Aug. 9, 2023

Recently appointed NAVSEA Warfare Centers Executive Director tours NUWC Division Newport

By NUWC Division Newport Public Affairs

Dr. Martin Irvine Jr., a member of the Senior Executive Service, who was appointed in June as the Executive Director for the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC), both Echelon III commands within Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), visited NUWC Division Newport on Aug. 3 to discuss emerging technologies and concepts in the undersea domain.

A civil servant with the Navy for 25 years, Irvine most recently was the executive director for Submarine Forces, where he was the principal advisor to the Submarine Force commander on all matters relating to strategic deterrence and undersea warfare programs and requirements.

“During Dr. Irvine’s time at Division Newport, he discussed his thoughts on the undersea domain and stressed to us that our emphasis has got to be laser-focused on the warfighter, our true customer,” said acting Technical Director Marie Bussiere. “We must not only be focused on delivering outcomes, but outcomes with impact! We need to balance sustaining the fleet of today and designing the fleet of tomorrow.”

Irvine opened the day at Division Newport with a briefing from Hector Lopez, who heads the Undersea Warfare Weapons, Vehicles and Defense Systems Department, and discussions with Bussiere, Commanding Officer Capt. Chad F. Hennings and Vicki Comeau, head of the Corporate Operations Department.

The tour started at the Undersea Warfare Platforms and Payload Integration Department’s Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) Laboratory, where Richard Bashour, senior scientific technical manager (SSTM) and director of Undersea Warfare Unmanned Systems and Autonomous Behavior, led the presentation. Irvine observed several UUV systems, including two Large Displacement UUVs that support the Navy’s UUVs, and was briefed on UUV software and autonomy architectures, capabilities and Concepts of Operations.

Later, Dr. Andy Greene, the senior technologist for Tactical Oceanography and Operational Environmental Effects, Division Newport Deputy Technical Director John Babb and Michael Slater, technical director at NUWC Division Keyport in Washington, discussed environmental undersea superiority and how it can be used to significantly increase performance margins in undersea warfare.

Much like land-based forces use the terrain to create a tactical advantage beyond what technology can afford alone, undersea forces can gain an additional edge through competent use of the ocean environment, Greene explained. To do so requires a combination of new environmental sensors, operator training and doctrine updates, as well as the evolution of existing tactical decision aids.

Division Newport, Greene said, is in a unique position to lead these efforts, given its current role in undersea warfare sensor research and development.

“It was a pleasure having Dr. Irvine weigh in on our endeavor, and we look forward to showing him our progress during his next visit to Division Newport,” Greene said.

From there, the tour transitioned to the Undersea Warfare Combat Systems Department, where Irvine was briefed by Aimee Racine, head of the Deployed Systems Division, and Anthony Stradone, Division Newport’s quality director/technical program manager.

The visit ended with a leadership lunch before Irvine, who also was at Division Newport for the two-day Naval Research and Development Establishment summit, returned to Washington, D.C.

As executive director for NSWC/NUWC, Irvine succeeds Dr. Brett A. Seidle, now the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, Test and Engineering.

While Irvine is new to this role, he’s no stranger to NAVSEA warfare centers. From 2019-21, he was the technical director of NUWC Division Keyport. Prior to that, Irvine held the positions of a SSTM and the head of the Readiness and Training Systems Department for the NSWC Dahlgren Division Dam Neck in Virginia. Irvine started his career in 1997 at the NSWC Carderock Division in Maryland.

He holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of Iowa and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in ocean engineering from Virginia Tech. He is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Senior Executive Fellows Program, holds Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act certifications in four career fields and is a member of the Defense Acquisition Corps.

More information on his career is posted here:,%20M.pdf

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- and follow us on LinkedIn @NUWC-Newport and on Facebook @NUWCNewport.