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Home : Media : News
NEWS | Feb. 16, 2023

University of Memphis Tours Carderock’s Large Cavitation Channel

By Todd Hurley, NSWC Carderock Division Public Affairs

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division hosted members from the University of Memphis (UofM) for a meet-and-greet, command overview briefing with presentations and a tour of the William B. Morgan Large Cavitation Channel (LCC) at Carderock’s Memphis Detachment in Tennessee on Feb. 6. Also present were four congressional staff members from the offices of U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn, U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty and U.S. Congressman Steve Cohen.

The purpose of the visit was to kick off a partnership between Carderock and UofM, which involves two projects: the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) Environment Degradation Lab and Cavitation Erosion Research. A large amount of the surface area at the Memphis Detachment is underutilized, so this partnership will allow UofM to bring equipment to the LCC for this research.

"The work to be done at our LCC will be led by the University of Memphis, and we are excited to leverage the partnership as they expand their research footprint,” Carderock Chief Technology Officer Dr. Dave Drazen said, adding that UofM achieved R1 status in December 2021, which is the highest level of research activity.

Additionally, with the idea of reaching the future workforce, Carderock and UofM have partnered to allow graduate and undergraduate student to conduct internships at the LCC, with hopes of developing and enhancing their interest in working not only for Carderock, but the U.S. Navy in general.

“We continue to work at ways to diversify our workforce and to focus on what is core to Carderock Division and what the Navy needs us to do,” Carderock Technical Director Larry Tarasek said. “In doing this, we want to expand our reach, and working with the University of Memphis is giving us another pool for new engineers and researchers. I continue to look at ways to work with our university partners in understand and researching solutions to hard Navy problems.”

The command overview was conducted by Tarasek, and followed by presentations on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) opportunities at Carderock by Drazen, unmanned systems by Eric Silberg, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle’s Lab Project Lead in the Sea-Based Aviation and Aeromechanics Branch and on the importance of cavitation erosion research by Dr. Thad Michael, Cavitation Erosion Projects Lead in the Propulsors Branch.

Also present were: Feza Koprucu, Deputy Director of Operations; Dr. Paul Shang, Signatures Department Head; Ross Hempel, Deputy Department Head of the Naval Architecture and Engineering Department; Dr. Paisan Atsavapranee, Director of Science and Technology in the Submarine Maneuvering and Control Division; and Matthew Brantz, LCC Site Director, all of whom provided relevant insight and expertise. Brantz gave an extensive tour of the facility, showcasing the LCC and the large areas where the new lab and other research will take place.

Dr. Bill Hardgrave, President of UofM was present and shared his excitement for the opportunity, and acknowledged the congressional support, specifically when it comes to the funding for the projects they will be working on with the Navy. The staffers present Nick Kistenmacher, State Director for Senator Marsha Blackburn; Jeffrey Parish, State Counsel and Field Director for Senator Marsha Blackburn; Chris Connolly, Field Representative for Senator Bill Hagerty; Wiley Henry, Representative Steve Cohen’s Office.

“We are excited for this partnership and to grow our operations, as well as your operations,” Hardgrave said of the future collaboration with Carderock.