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Carderock's Annual Award Ceremony, 'Magnificent Eight'

By By Brooke Marquardt, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division Public Affairs | Sept. 5, 2018

WEST BETHESDA, Md. —

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division hosted the 19th annual honor awards ceremony, the “Magnificent Eight,” on Aug. 28, 2018. Employees who made a significant contribution to the Navy and Carderock Division in 2017 were honored by the West Bethesda, Maryland, command.

Gravely Award

The Vice Admiral Samuel L. Gravely, Jr. Award for achievement in equity and diversity recognizes significant contributions to the promotion of understanding cultural differences and to furthering equal employment opportunity for all persons at all levels in the workplace.

This year’s recipient of the Gravely Award was Stephanie Ferrone, a physicist in Carderock’s Underwater Electromagnetic Signatures and Technology Division, for her dedication to removing barriers to equal employment opportunities while increasing organization diversity within the Division. As an active member and leader of the Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Committee, Ferrone regularly participated in a process called “workforce sensing” to determine the way ahead to ensure all employees are provided with sufficient opportunities throughout the course of their careers.

“It is somewhat daunting to be among the group of award recipients today, who represent technical excellence across the entire Division, especially for an award that is for equity and diversity, rather than for technical excellence,” Ferrone said. “In reflection, however, I realized that an award for diversity belongs among these awards because diversity and equity are truly the foundation of the advancements that we as a Division make in the technical field.”

Hopper Award

The Rear Adm. Grace M. Hopper Award recognizes outstanding accomplishments in organizational support that result in developing or improving a critical product or process.

Rita M. Terhaar, Carderock’s Human Resources director, received the Hopper Award for her leadership in building a fully functional Human Resources Division capable of supporting the command following the separation of the Philadelphia site from Carderock Division when it was established as its own Echelon IV Command in 2015.

“We’ve built some robust programs for supervisors and employees, and nobody does that alone,” Terhaar said. “I have to thank my team of dedicated human resources specialists who stood beside me as we built this office.”

Isherwood Award

The Rear Adm. Benjamin F. Isherwood Award recognizes innovation and expertise in the effective assessment, development, execution or deployment of technological solutions for operational fleet needs.

The award was presented to the MK 18 Mod 2 Lithium Battery Test Team for their successful evaluation of a transport and charging container for the MD 18 Mod 2 Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV). During the execution of three large-scale, lithium-ion abuse simulation tests, the robust container design demonstrated its tolerance to heat, flames and venting combustible gases, generating the data required to make the decision to deploy the container to the field.

“When people ask me what it is that Carderock does, it boils down to three things: they use science and engineering to make our warfighters more lethal, more efficient and safer. The Lithium Battery Test Team is an example of a project that does all three,” Carderock Commanding Officer Capt. Mark Vandroff said.

Land Award

The Vice Adm. Emory S. Land Award recognizes an individual or small group that has made significant contributions by establishing new relationships, fostering communication and promoting the value and benefits of collaborative working relationships at all levels.

The Computational Research and Engineering Acquisition Tools and Environments (CREATE) – Ships Team was presented the Land Award for the successful development of software tools that advance the ship design and analysis process by delivering new and enhanced capabilities into the hands of ship and ship system designers.

“We’ve got a fantastic team and working with them and working on some excellent technology has been great,” said Jeff Hough, Carderock’s distinguished engineer for ship design. “It’s an honor to be recognized for this work, and they’re making a difference on acquisitions programs.”

McCormack Award

The Donald F. McCormack Director’s Award for Warfare Center collaboration recognizes a small cross-Warfare Center Division team who has made significant contributions by establishing new relationships, fostering communication and promoting the value and benefits of collaboration.

The LHA 6 Total Ship Survivability Trial (TSST) Team, which included members from both Carderock and Philadelphia Divisions, was awarded the McCormack Award for their successful execution of the TSST on USS America (LHA 6). Unique to this TSST, the ship’s training team helped implement the scenarios, which saved the Navy approximately $1 million and provided the crew’s Damage Control Training Team with integrated, realistic exercises that went beyond basic training.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better team, you really knocked it out of the park,” said Laurent Edgell, an engineer in Carderock’s Vulnerability Assessment Branch. “There are a lot of challenges executing such a large test. We had over 1800 implementations, any of which could have derailed the test, but we came away with significant insight. No one was injured and we didn’t damage any equipment, so the collaboration was well done and vital.”

Melville Award

The Rear Adm. George W. Melville Award recognizes outstanding engineering contributions in the application of knowledge toward research and development of materials, devices and systems or methods including design, development and integration of prototypes and new processes.

Stephen Neely, a naval architect in Carderock’s Computational Propulsors Branch earned the Melville Award for his achievement as the Navy’s lead submarine propulsor designer working on the Ohio-, Virginia- and Columbia-class propulsors, as well as new submarine propulsors and concepts. One of Neely’s largest contributions to the Navy propeller and propulsor community is the development of a suite of geometric modeling tools that can robustly define complex and subtle propulsor features. 

“For the past year, Neely has had a plan to take the summer off and sail his boat up to Canada,” said Scott Blake, Neely’s division head, who accepted the award on Neely’s behalf. “He sent us some words to us in receipt of this award: ‘I’ve been at Carderock for the past 29 years, and one thing that has always impressed me about this place is how long people stick around. It says a lot about the jobs that we have, and the work that we do.’”

Saunders Award

The Harold E. Saunders Award recognizes exemplary achievement in leadership of a major technical area or management of a complex technical project. This year, there was a tie for the Saunders award.

Dr. Timothy Coats, lead for Combatant Craft Division’s Unmanned Maritime Mobility Group, was awarded the Saunders Award for his successful leadership of a high-performing team advancing Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) capability.

“I’ve got a great team. Their success is my success,” Coats said. “When we started this project in 2016, I gave them the name Unmanned Maritime Mobility Group, so when people ask them what they do, they respond, ‘UMM...’ They affectionately became known as the UMM-lings and they embraced my vision and made it their own.”

Amy Le Doux, Carderock’s customer advocate for the Virginia-class Program Office (PMS450), was presented the Saunders Award for achievements in her role as a customer advocate. Her knowledge of portfolio execution and expenditures allowed her to work with the program office to rapidly support assignment and completion of emergent tasking, resulting in a $10 million increase in tasking/funding provided to Carderock in fiscal year 2018.

“I want to thank my leadership; they have allowed me to work independently while following my own instincts and taking initiative, all while letting me know that they have my back,” Le Doux said, adding her thanks to the PMS450 team. “We each bring different perspectives and skills to the table as we discuss priorities and solutions to issues without the risk of being judged.”

Taylor Award

Named for Carderock’s founding father, the Rear Adm. David W. Taylor Award recognizes outstanding scientific contributions to the development of future maritime systems through the creation of technology based upon research.

The Taylor Award was presented to Dr. Brian Glover, a physicist in Carderock’s Theory, Modeling and Analysis Branch, for leading the way in developing and applying science and technology to address current and future submarine design and engineering challenges. He led, conducted and participated in all aspects of signature technologies to reduce underwater electromagnetic signature of submarine platforms.

“I came from a Navy family. Both of my grandfathers served in World War II, and my father, retired Capt. Gray Glover, served on a destroyer in the first Gulf War,” Glover said. “I’m very honored by their service, and the Navy has always provided my family with a good life that I’ve always been grateful for. I’m humbled and honored to have the leadership, mentors and coworkers. I’ve had my successes and I’ve had my failures, but I’ve always had great people here supporting me.”

In his closing remarks, Vandroff said, “Today is a real testament to what we do here at Carderock, and all of the award winners should be immensely proud of the work they’ve done and are doing to help the warfighter, the tools that they put in the hands of the warfighter, and we should all feel lucky to be working in a place like this.”

Sue Rossi from Carderock’s Human Resources Division contributed to this article.