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By Taft Coghill Jr., NSWCDD Corporate Communications
When Tyler Winningham was a standout soccer player in high school and college, he learned the value of teamwork.
That is why Winningham was a bit bashful about accepting an individual accolade for his work as the Human Systems Integration (HSI) lead in the Naval Undergraduate Flight Training Systems Program Office at Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division in Patuxent River, Maryland.
Dr. Brett Seidle, SES, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy, presented Winningham the G. Dennis White Early Career HSI Practitioner Award Sept. 5 at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division.
Winningham said it “feels funny” to receive an individual award and he was humbled to be recognized.
“It is an honor to have my name in the same sentence as Mr. White, especially after hearing that he was one of the pioneers of HSI in the Navy,” Winningham said. “It is an honor to be here, talk to his family and learn more about him.”
The award was presented to Winningham in recognition of excellence in the pursuit of improving human interfaces for the warfighter and implementing HSI principles in acquisition of Naval Undergraduate Flight Training Systems Program Office platforms.
During the award ceremony, Seidle read a letter that cited Winningham for hard work and dedication in exemplifying the characteristics that are vital to the future of HSI. The letter stated that Winningham helped ensure that systems delivered to the warfighter are safe and effective.
The award recognizes early practitioners who are proactive and also exhibit cooperation, courage, persistence and responsibility.
Dr. Jim Pharmer, chief scientist in the Experimental and Applied Human Performance Research and Development Division at Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, helped create the award after White died six years ago. Winningham is the sixth recipient.
“When Dennis passed away, we got together and decided we needed to do something,” Pharmer said. “So we set up an award in his honor centered on the two things that were important to Dennis: He enjoyed being a mentor to the younger folks, and he was also passionate about HSI. This was the perfect opportunity to merge those two things together.”
Three of White’s family members were present at the ceremony. Bridget White mentioned that her father would be proud of an up-and-coming professional like Winningham.
“He learned a lot about who he was through the Navy, and turned around and put that back into everything that he did,” White said of her dad. “He worked for the Sailor every day. HSI was the perfect place for him to use his talents and skills to ultimately support the warfighter.”