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NEWS | Oct. 6, 2023

NSWC Philadelphia Recognizes Employees During Fiscal Year 2023 Third Quarter Awards Ceremony

By Joseph Fontanazza

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division (NSWCPD) honored employees during its Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Third Quarter Awards Ceremony on Aug. 29, 2023.

The hybrid ceremony recognized NSWCPD personnel with internal awards for career service milestones and completion of the Scientist and Engineering Development Program (SEDP). In addition, the ceremony highlighted recipients of external awards including patents for inventions, Letters of Appreciation, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Excellence Awards, the Department of the Navy (DON) Superior Civilian Service Award, and the DON Civilian Service Achievement Award.

“Many times, I’ve noted this command is integral to the operations and readiness of the Navy. You can see from these awards how we span the entire engineering spectrum and the excellence in how we maintain our business efforts as well … It is really amazing to see the breadth of everything that we do here and the excellence, professionalism, and pride that we do it with,” NSWCPD Technical Director Nigel C. Thijs, SES, said.

NSWCPD employees recognized with Career Service Awards as part of the first segment of the ceremony included My Ly, Christian Lopez, and Dana Golden-Squilla with 25 years of service, Chris Dafis with 30 years of service, Pete Tahopoulos and Vincent Tolotta with 35 years of service, Alan Tibbetts and Ronald Williams with 40 years of service, and Thomas McCammon with 45 years of service.

Special thanks and recognition were also given to NSWCPD personnel with 10, 15, and 20 years of service.

Monica Huang, Nicholas Deschamps, and Timothy Kelly were acknowledged next during the ceremony as NSWCPD employees who graduated from the SEDP.

The event then shifted to honoring personnel granted patents during the last year and welcomed those employees to the Philadelphia Division Inventor’s Club as first-time patent awardees.

NSWCPD employees who were awarded patents and inducted into the Philadelphia Division Inventor’s Club were as follows:

• Kevin King (Calcareous Deposit Wipe-Test Apparatus and Method)
• Sherwood “Woody” Polter (Resilient Mount Gage Tools)
• Daniel Provenzano (Snubber Gap Measurement Tool)
• Pinkesh D. Bharatia (Weight-Loaded Target Carrier for Laser Tracking and Spring-Loaded Target Carrier for Laser Tracking)

Bharatia’s wife Harsha and their children accepted the awards on the late NSWCPD engineer’s behalf.

Recent NSWCPD and Office of Naval Research (ONR) retiree Joseph Borraccini was presented with a medal and a certificate during the ceremony as part of his recognition for earning the DON Superior Civilian Service Award.

“Mr. Borraccini is recognized for his superior civilian service while serving as Program Officer in the Office of Naval Research Sea Warfare and Weapons Department from May 2007 through May 2023 … Mr. Borraccini’s contributions reflect great credit on him, the Office of Naval Research, and the Department of the Navy,” NSWCPD Human Resource Specialist Celynda Cortez and the event’s emcee said reading aloud U.S. Navy Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Lorin Selby’s award citation for Borraccini.

NSWCPD Alteration Installation Team (AIT) Manager Jager Ziegenfuss was also recognized for earning an external award from the Navy, receiving the DON Civilian Service Achievement Medal.

“Mr. Ziegenfuss is recognized for his significant waterfront readiness contributions to the U.S. Navy while serving as a Missile Guided Destroyer (DDG-94 and 96-110 Full IBS Lead, Alteration Installation Teams Manager … His work has been of substantial benefit to the United States Navy and to the Nation,” Cortez said while reading aloud DON Program Executive Officer for Integrated Warfare Systems Rear Adm. Seiko Okano’s award letter to Ziegenfuss.

Additionally, NSWCPD personnel who were to receive honors at the FY22 NAVSEA Excellence Awards, but were unable to attend the ceremony in Washington D.C., were acknowledged.

NSWCPD employees receiving NAVSEA Excellence Awards included:

• Nigel C. Thijs, SES (One NAVSEA Teamwork for Business Operations)
• Alaina Farooq (NAVSEA Excellence in Contract Management Award)
• Vickie Miller (Mentor of the Year Award Finalist)
• Ronald Williams (Mentor of the Year Award)

The awards portion of the ceremony closed by spotlighting NSWCPD personnel who received Letters of Appreciation “written by various stakeholders acknowledging NSWCPD employees for their hard work and commitment to ensuring that the Navy’s mission is met,” as explained by Cortez.

NSWCPD who received Letters of Appreciation were as follows:

• Larry Barber
• Brandon Whaley
• Sean Decker
• Briton Haseltine
• Cathryn Barnett
• Steven Miller
• Tristan Wolfe
• Edward Kennedy
• Timothy Bridel
• Olivia Lalena
• Paul Rosa

NSWCPD employs approximately 2,800 civilian engineers, scientists, technicians, and support personnel. The NSWCPD team does the research and development, test and evaluation, acquisition support, and in-service and logistics engineering for the non-nuclear machinery, ship machinery systems, and related equipment and material for Navy surface ships and submarines. NSWCPD is also the lead organization providing cybersecurity for all ship systems.