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NEWS | Aug. 11, 2023

NSWC Dahlgren Division aerospace scientist named the Department of Defense High-Performance Computing Modernization Program 2022 Up and Coming Hero Award recipient

By Diana Stefko, NSWCDD Corporate Communications

Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) Command and senior leadership congratulate Andrew Sorensen for his selection as the Department of Defense (DoD) High-Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP) 2022 Up and Coming Hero Award recipient.

Each year, the Hero Awards program selects individuals supporting the DoD through the use of high-performance computing who demonstrate technical excellence and advance innovative, effective development within the HPCMP community.

The Up and Coming award within the HPCMP Hero Awards program is presented to an individual who has supported the program for two years or less and has made significant contributions within that time.

The Hero Awards committee extensively evaluates individual and group nominees’ qualifications, contributions and achievements for various categories, including innovative practices, technical excellence, long term sustained performance, up and coming within the HPCMP, HPCMP Interconnector and HPCMP Team Achievement.

As an aerospace scientist for the Hypersonics Design, Integration and Systems Analysis Branch within the Integrated Engagement Systems Department at NSWCDD, Sorensen performs aerodynamic modeling of different hypersonic flows using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software for various projects.

Sorensen began supporting the DoD HPCMP program in November 2021. Since then, he and his team have made strides and accomplished several notable feats in government-developed tool transition – primarily focusing on the CREATE-AV’s Kestrel CFD and Sandia’s Sierra Aria Thermal Finite Element Analysis tools – for high-performance computing user capabilities.

Sorensen led his team through the transition, increasing NSWCDD’s technical capabilities, which introduced a coupled Fluid-Thermal-Structural Interaction framework. This framework proved to be a considerable asset to several Navy, Air Force and Army hypersonic munition programs as it provided meaningful high-fidelity aerodynamic and aerothermal predictions.

According to Sorensen, the HPCMP Program can be described in two facets. First, there is a system where a variety of different high performance computers, or supercomputers, across the DoD branches operate on their networks, all under the HPCMP umbrella. Within these networks, there are multiple systems in operation. “Under each network is a number of supercomputers. We use these supercomputers on our Navy network to be able to model various dynamic environments, which we wouldn’t be able to do on personal computers or ones with less capability than what we need,” said Sorensen. “We can work our programs on very large scales on these machines, allowing us to effectively do our jobs at a faster pace.”

Secondly, there is a technical thrust to expand usage to more different facets of modeling and simulation regarding the software-supported ways the supercomputers can interact within the HPCMP community. Sorensen is accredited with leading the charge on this effort, “advancing the cause of HPCMP across NSWCDD and the Navy by socializing the benefits and capabilities of HPCMP to peers and colleagues across the Navy Research and Development Enterprise,” stated the award citation.

Sorensen’s work and active involvement with the HPCMP program contributed to furthering user capabilities, analysis and testing development as well as mentoring several junior engineers and scientists through initiating accounts with HPCMP, sharing his expertise and guidance in successfully navigating a high-performance computing environment. 

Reflecting on the award recognition, Sorensen stated he felt very honored and attributed the acknowledgement to his fellow team members supporting the HPCMP program. “They are all very smart, knowledgeable, hardworking people. It makes for an enjoyable work environment where you know things are happening; you can share ideas and push those ideas to the ultimate limit and see where it takes you,” said Sorensen. “It’s working together to get the best result in support of the warfighter.”