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NUWC Division Newport scientist recognized for distinguished technical contributions in electrotechnology

By NUWC Division Newport Public Affairs | Jan. 31, 2019

NEWPORT, R.I. — Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport scientist, Dr. Donald Steinbrecher, has won the 2018 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)-USA Harry Diamond Memorial Award. This prestigious annual award honors individuals for distinguished technical contributions in the field of electrotechnology while in U.S. government service.

Steinbrecher, of Brookline, Massachusetts, has had a 21-year Navy career characterized by a unique combination of outstanding abilities as a researcher, leader and teacher. As chief scientist in the Undersea Warfare Electromagnetic Systems Department, Steinbrecher maintains a technology roadmap and represents his department on the Chief Technology Officer’s Science and Technology Council.

He has been granted 25 patents in areas related to technological solutions for some of the Navy’s most pressing challenges, and his software-defined air interface concept won the Chief of Naval Research’s “Million Dollar Challenge for Innovative Ideas.” Steinbrecher launched the White Nail Innovation Project as an investment in the future and to help young scientists and engineers establish technical foundations for their Navy careers while being mentored by senior scientists.

Steinbrecher is known worldwide for his groundbreaking work in broadband high dynamic range signals acquisition systems. He has made significant contributions to the development of the hardware concepts that enabled the evolution of software-defined radios. He also developed the enabling hardware technology (“Doubly Balanced Mixer with Optimized Dynamic Range,” U.S. Patent No. 4,230,956, granted Oct. 28, 1980) that made possible the original Navy Relocatable Over-The-Horizon Radar (ROTHR), which was the first operational wideband over-the-horizon radar system to use digital beamforming.

Steinbrecher will be honored at the IEEE-USA Awards ceremony in Huntsville, Alabama, on April 13.

NUWC Division Newport, part of the Naval Sea System Command, 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, Washington.