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Ronald Vien selected as NUWC Division Newport’s Technical Director

By NUWC Division Newport Public Affairs | April 10, 2018

NEWPORT, R.I. — Ronald Vien, an electrical engineer with more the 30 years at Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport, has been selected as the new Division Technical Director. Vien will be the 15th Technical Director dating back to 1951 with the establishment of the position at the Naval Underwater Ordnance Station, one of the organizations that would eventually become NUWC Newport.


The selection includes appointment to the federal Senior Executive Service (SES). The SES includes most managerial, supervisory and policy positions classified above General Schedule (GS) grade 15 or equivalent positions in the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. SES appointments are roughly analogous to flag and general officers in the armed forces.

Vien, a resident of Westport, Mass., most recently served as the head of the Sensors and Sonar Systems Department at NUWC Newport, where he led a diversified team of more than 600 government and 250 contractor scientists, engineers and technicians engaged in the full spectrum of naval research, development, engineering and acquisition in pursuit of advancing the state-of-the-art in sensor and sonar system designs for naval platforms, off-board sensors and unmanned systems.

Vien brings exceptional leadership and technical experience to his new position, Donald McCormack, Executive Director, Naval Surface & Undersea Warfare Centers, said in an all-hands announcement on April 9.

Vien began his career in the Submarine Combat Systems Department, where he produced hardware prototypes for both the Los Angeles- and Virginia-class submarines. He transferred to the Surface Undersea Warfare Department to become the operations manager of the AN/SQQ-89 Surface Ship SONAR System Land Based Integration Test Site (LBITS). He also served as head of the Operational Systems Engineering Branch, where he managed dual teams in the development, integration and deployment of surface ship sonar systems and the design and development of the SPARTAN Unmanned Surface Vehicle. 

As head of the Sensors and Arrays Division, he provided comprehensive lifecycle system engineering expertise in the roles of systems acquisition, technical direction agent and in-service engineering.

Vien earned bachelor's degrees in electrical engineering and electrical engineering technology from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. He also holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Bryant University and is a 2003 graduate of the Office of the Secretary of Defense's Executive Leadership Development Program. He is certified at Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) Program Management Level III.

NUWC Division Newport, part of NAVSEA, is one of two divisions of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center. NUWC Division Newport’s mission is to provide research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support for submarines, autonomous underwater systems, undersea offensive and defensive weapons systems, and countermeasures. NUWC’s other division is located in Keyport, Wash.