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NEWS | Sept. 6, 2023

Exemplary technical leadership leads to NSWC Dahlgren Division engineer’s selection for the Electromagnetic Spectrum Workforce Excellence Rising Star Award

By Diana Stefko, NSWCDD Corporate Communications

Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) engineer Andrew Simpson is regarded as a great example of what technical leadership is all about. Simpson was named the 2023 Electromagnetic Spectrum Workforce Excellence Rising Star Award recipient for his contributions and expertise in leading successful spectrum systems development at NSWCDD.

The U.S. Navy-U.S. Marine Corps Electromagnetic Spectrum Workforce Excellence Awards Program was established to recognize individuals and teams who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment and exceptional technical leadership during the past three years, supporting the Navy and Marine Corps spectrum communities. The Rising Star award is presented to an individual who exhibits up-and-coming talent and capabilities within spectrum supportability.

Individual and team candidates receive nominations from their respective project leadership. These nominations include providing supporting documentation to the awards program committee, detailing the accomplishments and milestones reached by the individual or team.

Simpson’s nomination stemmed from his high-value contributions to spectrum system development as well as leading a technical team through the implementation and project execution of the Spectrum Relocation Fund’s U.S. Marine Corps independent Field Ready Dynamic Monitoring (FRDM) subsystem development efforts.

Simpson serves as the test and evaluation lead (T&E) for the FRDM program, in addition to his role as an electrical engineer for the Electronic Warfare and Spectrum Division within the Electromagnetic and Sensor Systems Department at NSWCDD.

As the T&E lead, Simpson collaborated with various Navy, Marine Corps and other Department of Defense (DoD) commands to provide critical radio frequency field surveys and analyses, as well as infrastructure assessments across multiple sites. Through these fielding efforts, the FRDM subsystem units were engaged to collect spectrum occupancy data, which will be evaluated to improve the understanding of relative spectrum usage within installation site proximity.

“During this effort, Simpson went above and beyond by continuously assessing design and capabilities to ensure that system requirements were validated by operational demonstrations,” stated the award citation.

Simpson received acclaim for his dedication and technical efforts with FRDM subsystem development, which “delivered a unique capability for spectrum managers to ensure defense capabilities can be maintained and unencumbered in operations,” according to the citation.

Simpson has received other commendations and awards throughout his career at NSWCDD. He served in active duty for the Navy from 2008-12 and then in the selected reserves until 2021, supporting various shipyards. He holds a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s in systems engineering from the University of Arkansas.

“I chose a career with the DoD because I wanted to find a way to support opportunities in delivering new capabilities to those who need them. NSWCDD provided me with many opportunities to fill this desire,” said Simpson. “As a veteran, I enjoy seeing the uniform members we at NSWCDD serve and understand just how helpful a new capability will mean for their day-to-day duties. It means a lot to me that I can be an access point for them in getting answers quickly so they can do their jobs more efficiently.”