An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : Article View
NEWS | May 15, 2024

NSWCPD’s Dr. E. Michael Golda Receives ASNE Harold E. Saunders Award for Lifetime Achievement

By Gary Ell

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division (NSWCPD) Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Dr. E. Michael Golda received the Harold E. Saunders Award for Lifetime Achievement during the annual American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE) Advanced Machinery Technology Symposium (AMTS), this year held at the Delta Hotel Philadelphia Airport, on May 1-2, 2024.

Each year the ASNE Annual Awards Program recognizes the accomplishments of individuals who have demonstrated exceptional achievement in one or more facets of naval engineering. Awardees have included government employees, members of the uniformed services, and those employed in the defense industry, in academia, or elsewhere in the private sector. The ASNE Harold E. Saunders Award for Lifetime Achievement, awarded annually since 1977, honors an individual whose reputation in naval engineering spans a long career of notable achievement and influence.

“Golda has had a lifelong commitment to the U.S. Navy, and his accomplishments and career are essential to NSWCPD, all Navy Warfare Centers, and the fleet. As an officer, engineer, and engineering leader, he created a contagious culture of innovation, research, and serving the fleet, influencing the entire NSWCPD for decades,” NSWCPD’s Deputy Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Dr. Steve Mastro said.

“In hiring, providing technical requirements and gaps for Research and Development work, executing novel science and technology efforts, leading large groups through direct managerial duties, and significant engagement in mentoring, education, and service to NSWCPD, Golda has provided an invaluable impact on the U.S. Navy,” Mastro said.

Golda expressed his gratitude to colleagues and loved ones on receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award.

“I’m truly honored. Thank you for nominating me, and thank you, ASNE, for this award. I would be remise if I said that I achieved these accomplishments by myself. None of us can accomplish the naval engineering challenges that we face alone. It’s a team effort,” Golda said.

“I have had the pleasure of working with extremely dedicated scientists and engineers over the years, to accomplish tasks at the Philadelphia Division and Carderock Division before that,” he said adding, “It is a chain of dedicated personnel working for decades, all making such a difference - I am truly honored to be part of that chain.”

“Finally, I would thank my family. Dad was gone a lot, doing all these things, while my family held it together. They would always let me go off and do what dad does, but after 51 years of involvement with the Navy, it’s time for dad to stay home a bit more. It’s been a wonderful voyage,” Golda said.

Golda entered the United States Naval Academy in 1973, graduating in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science in Ocean Engineering. He subsequently earned master's and doctoral degrees in Materials Science and Engineering from the Stevens Institute of Technology.

From 1977 to 1981, Golda served in various Division Officer billets onboard USS Elmer Montgomery (FF 1082) and earned the Surface Warfare Officer designation. Transferring to the Engineering Duty Officer community, Golda’s next assignment was at the Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion, and Repair, Brooklyn, New York. He was Project Officer for the Regular Overhauls of the USS Nitro (AE 23) and USS Koelsch (FF 1049). Leaving active duty in 1984, Golda affiliated with the Naval Reserve Engineering Duty program, commanding four Reserve Engineering Duty units before retiring in 2007.

Golda began his civilian service in 1992 at David Taylor Research Center (DTRC) in Annapolis, Maryland (later Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, Annapolis Detachment). He joined a team focused on the development of large-scale naval machinery applications of superconductivity. His initial assignments included materials engineer, systems engineer, and project manager of the Advanced Lightweight Influence Sweep System (ALISS), demonstrating the feasibility of applying low-temperature superconductors to mine countermeasures.

According to the nomination package, Golda assumed increasing positions of leadership responsibility at the branch, division, and department levels. He was also instrumental in the planning and execution of the part of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process that moved approximately 200 employees of the Annapolis Detachment Electrical Systems Department and the associated facilities to Philadelphia, merging it with the Naval Ship Systems Engineering Station (NAVSSES). The move was successfully undertaken while simultaneously executing the Department’s research and development activities, allowing numerous advances in shipboard electrical systems to transition to the fleet on schedule.

When NAVSSES was designated as NSWCPD in 2015, Golda became the CTO, focusing on the development and transition of new machinery technologies to the fleet, as well as shipyard support and other critical initiatives. He established and managed the Naval Innovation Science and Engineering (NISE) program that funded in-house basic and applied research, technology transition, and the refurbishment of laboratory facilities. He also managed the Philadelphia Division’s patent program, protecting the Division’s intellectual property.

In addition to these duties, Golda authored numerous technical papers, presentations, and training courses, as well as a report documenting the centennial history of NAVSSES.

A career-long supporter of student engagement, mentoring, and workforce development, Golda was instrumental in the NSWCPD's involvement in the Navy's Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation Program (SMART) scholarship program and Naval Engineering Education Consortium (NEEC) research grant program, working with university academics and students to perform research, recruiting, and mentoring activities. He supported the professional development of more than 500 newly hired scientists and engineers over the last 10 years by teaching two courses: "Warships 101", focused on the U.S. Navy’s battle force, and “Naval Architecture for Non-Naval Architects.” He also served as an adjunct professor at The University of Pennsylvania from 2001 to 2014 at the Fels Institute of Government.

Golda has been a career-long supporter of ASNE. A lifetime member, he chaired the Annapolis Chapter and the Flagship Section, served on the Journal Committee, and served two terms on the National Council. He has authored the Know Brainer history column of the Naval Engineers Journal since 2012. Golda is also an active member of the Surface Navy Association, The Navy League, and is a United States Naval Institute member.

Golda’s accomplishments rest principally on achieving an extensive reputation in machinery research in materials, systems, and power systems, along with his leadership in management and non-management roles in executing hundreds of millions of dollars in sponsor-funded work. As the founding director of the NSWCPD’s NISE internal research and development budget, and as the current head of a research focus area within the budget, Golda has directed the use of $25M over the past 20 years to support the research, development and testing of numerous technology advancement and systems that transitioned to shipboard use.

In addition to his accomplishments in naval engineering, leadership, education, mentorship, and training, Gold’s military achievements have been formally recognized with the Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy Achievement Medal, Sea Service Deployment Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal.

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.