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NEWS | Jan. 4, 2024

NUWC Division Newport team wins NDIA Engineering Excellence Award

By NUWC Division Newport Public Affairs

The Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport Mark 54 Mod 1 Torpedo Advanced Processor Build 6 (APB-6) Control Group Assembly (CGA) Re-architecture Team recently won the 2023 National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) Lt. Gen. Thomas R. Ferguson Jr. Systems Engineering Excellence Award.

This prestigious award recognizes achievements in the practical application of systems engineering principles, promotion of robust systems engineering principles, and, achievement of significant cost savings.

Team members from the Undersea Warfare Weapons, Vehicles and Defensive Systems Department include Kevin Chaves, systems engineer and team lead; Jonathan Ogren, software engineer; Brandon Medeiros, software engineer; Jay Patel, test engineer; Kyle Thibodeaux, system engineer; Matthew Villanueva, test engineer; and Michael Zhang, test engineer. 

The team was tasked with re-architecting legacy components of the Mark 54 Mod 1 torpedo system software baseline. The re-architecture aligned these older components with the current model-based approach, where functionality can be more efficiently and effectively tested and verified.

“The improvements made to the software significantly improved the safety of the system as well as testing and verification processes,” the award states.

The team utilized a model-based engineering approach and agile software development practices to create models of all the major CGA software components/functions using the MATLAB commercial-off-the-shelf software product. These models allowed for the rapid development of new architecture functionality without having to modify, integrate and test actual torpedo software. The introduction of the MATLAB-based models of these Computer Software Configuration Items (CSCIs) now allows for automated testing of navigation and autopilot control functions to be accomplished at the lower CSCI-level, rather than at the system level. 

“The team’s dedication and innovation in transitioning legacy technology to a new and much more sustainable and adaptable platform have provided great benefit to the torpedo enterprise, and tremendous value to the U.S. Navy,” the award states. 

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.