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NEWS | Aug. 2, 2022

Six NUWC Division Newport engineers receive fellowships for upcoming academic year

By NUWC Division Newport Public Affairs

Six Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport engineers recently received fellowships for the 2022-23 academic year.

Recipients are: William Slater, an acoustical engineer in the Sensors and Sonar Systems Department; Sherida Jacob, an engineer in the Undersea Warfare (USW) Combat Systems Department; Christopher Hixenbaugh and Craig Tilton, both engineers in the USW Platforms and Payload Integration Department; and Scott Booth, a mechanical systems engineer, and engineer Michael Galuska, both of the USW Weapons, Vehicles and Defensive Systems Department.

Each employee will participate in this one-year program and attend school on a full-time basis while receiving their salary. The Fellowship Academic Degree Training Program is primarily intended for graduate-level students whose doctorate or master’s programs are near completion. All NUWC Division Newport federal employees, with at least two years of employment, may apply for this program.

This year’s recipients were notified during a surprise gathering with Technical Director Ron Vien, Commanding Officer Capt. Chad Hennings and Dr. Jason Gomez, chief technology officer, on July 18.

“Congrats to all, this is a really good program and a worthwhile investment in our organization,” Vien said at the gathering. “You are all helping us and helping our nation.”

The fellowship recipients are excited about the opportunities that the fellowships offer.

“I felt a huge relief that I was selected,” Slater said. It’s been a long road of nights and weekends to get through my master’s degree and the classes for my doctorate. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to finish unless something about my schedule changed. I hope the fellowship is just the breathing room I need to get through my degree.”

Slater, who is leading a number of acoustic research and metrology efforts at Division Newport, is working toward a doctoral degree in ocean engineering from the University of Rhode Island.

The recipients applied for the Fellowship Program in April, and went through a highly competitive selection process. First, there was an initial screening, then an interview with a selection panel, where each applicant had to explain the degree they were pursuing and the relevancy of it to their job at Division Newport. The selection panel then discussed the applications and reviewed recommendations and financial budgeting. The final Fellowship Program selections were made by the technical director.

“I felt honored to receive this opportunity,” Jacob said. “I know the Fellowship Program is a competitive process. To me, being chosen means that NUWC fully supports and sees value in my scholastic endeavors and research.”

Jacob, who is pursuing her doctorate degree in computer science at the University of Rhode Island, supports the USW Combat Systems Department Analysis Team that develops the AN/BYG-1 mission support percentage metrics to evaluate the system’s ability to track targets, and provides operator with a clear tactical picture in order to engage or protect submarines from adversaries.

Courses of study for the other fellowships at the University of Rhode Island include, a doctorate in mechanical engineering by Tilton; a master’s degree in mechanical engineering with a focus in solid mechanics by Galuska; and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and applied mechanics with a thesis on nonlinear dynamics and control by Booth. Hixenbaugh will pursue a doctorate in engineering and applied science with a focus in machine learning from University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.

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- https://www.navsea.navy.mil/Home/Warfare-Centers/NUWC-Newport/Career-Opportunities/ and follow us on LinkedIn @NUWC-Newport and on Facebook @NUWCNewport.