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Home : Media : News
NEWS | Dec. 13, 2022

Two NSWC Panama City Division scientists receive National Defense Industrial Association Awards

By Cierra Burch, NSWC PCD Public Affairs

The National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) annually recognizes outstanding achievements in science or engineering at their spring and fall conferences. Those recognized have been extraordinary scientists and engineers within the field of Undersea Warfare (USW).

Dr. Kerry Commander and Dr. K. Todd Holland, both scientists from Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD), received an NDIA award in 2022. Each recipient was awarded and recognized at the fall conference, September 2022.

Dr. Peter Adair, NSWC PCD technical director, emphasized the incredible work both recipients accomplished and how it impacts the Navy Lab's mission.

“Drs. Commander and Holland are technical leaders in Undersea Warfare and key contributors to the enabling technologies our Fleet uses today,” said Adair. “Receiving an NDIA Award is a prestigious honor. Individually, their direct support to the warfighter through their shared knowledge and contributions to pioneering innovation sets them above the bar.”

Commander, NSWC PCD chief technology officer, was selected as the 2022 recipient of the Vice Admiral Charles B. Martell - David Bushnell Award.

The Undersea Warfare Division (UWD) gives this award annually to a distinguished individual for their exceptional contributions in the field of Anti-Submarine Warfare and USW. Throughout Commander’s 37-year career, he has distinguished himself through technical contributions and leadership. Commander served at the forefront of many technical innovations, has an active role in communication and management efforts with stakeholders, and more recently was a co-author of the Naval Sea Systems Command Naval Innovative Science and Engineering Investment Strategy.

“There is so much talent in Undersea Warfare that just being nominated for an award like this is quite an honor,” said Commander. “Winning this award really affirms the significant contributions your teams have made to Undersea Warfare, and it really is teams. These contributions are rarely achieved alone.”

Dr. K. Todd Holland, director of Mine Warfare Prototyping at NSWC PCD, was selected as one of three recipients for the NDIA Bronze Medal.

The NDIA Bronze Medal is awarded to key individuals in the principal Navy and university laboratories engaged by Undersea Warfare activity. Holland is a distinguished scientist and subject matter expert in subsea and seabed sensing technologies. He was awarded for his pioneering work, publications, guidance to leadership across Naval Research and Development Establishments, and leading technology developments in unmanned maritime system applications for Navy and Marine Corps missions across his 27-year career.

“While I very much appreciate the formal recognition of my contributions to Undersea Warfare, what I found most meaningful to learn was that my nomination was supported by several prior recipients here at Panama City Division. What a wonderful group to be included in,” said Holland. “This award serves as recognition for the impact our laboratory has on the Fleet, since it really is a team effort of which I am only a small part.”

Both recipients advocate for progress and innovation to continue within the science and engineering undersea warfare field. Commander shared what has helped him become successful throughout his career.

“Surround yourself with the best and brightest in government, academia, and industry and share responsibility for work and credit for success. At the foremost, always keep the warfighter’s needs first,” said Commander.

Holland encouraged fellow scientists and engineers to remain committed to striving and learning, as they directly support the Fleet.

“I hope recognition like this award can inspire others working in the fields of Mine Warfare and Subsea / Seabed Warfare to keep pressing,” says Holland. “There are numerous, new opportunities critical to our national defense that Panama City is well suited to address.”