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Home : Media : News
NEWS | May 14, 2024

NSWC Corona Presents Inaugural Yeh Award to Well-Achieved Scientist

By Brianna Alexander (CTR), Naval Surface Warfare Center Corona Corporate Communications NSWC Corona Division

Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Corona Division presented its inaugural Michael J. Yeh award to a distinguished scientist in Norco, California, April 4.

Scientist Dr. Benny Cheng received the award in recognition of his decade of service working in reliability engineering, which has helped improve fleet readiness and develop innovative capabilities for the Navy.

“The Michael J. Yeh Award recognizes employees who have made significant scientific, technical, engineering or mathematical contributions to encourage and advance NSWC Corona innovation,” said Technical Director Dianne Costlow. “Dr. Cheng’s leadership enhances numerous technical areas that have improved fleet readiness, advanced our mission of independent assessment, and provided technological innovations to protect and advance the Navy’s assessment capabilities.”

Cheng has served as the lead statistician and senior reliability scientist for weapons readiness at the command since 2012. In the course of his duties, he led a team in the development and implementation of surface missile and air weapons systems reliability models, as well as up-and-coming programs such as the Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) hypersonic weapon system. He also helped develop a first-of-its-kind Software Reliability Program Plan, which implements cutting edge software reliability modeling and prediction techniques to determine missile system health and reliability.

Cheng made technical contributions to a wide array of business lines and technical efforts across NSWC Corona, to include material readiness, software reliability, cyber modeling and energy forecasting and assessment. He has numerous publications and patents in readiness and reliability, and he won the 2023 Best Paper of the Symposium Award at the Reliability and Maintainability Symposium for his 12-page article detailing an innovative method for reliability assessment of weapon systems using machine learning and Bayesian statistics.

“His work provides the accuracy and transparency for the availability of Navy surface missiles in the fleet and creates a substantial cost savings to the individual missile programs,” Costlow said. “Dr. Cheng’s teamwork and technical excellence keep NSWC Corona’s missile reliability assessment at the cutting edge of reliability modeling for systems using the latest techniques in artificial intelligence, machine learning and neural networks.”

Cheng also developed a quantum resistant system and method for lattice-based cryptography. This innovation has the potential to protect the Navy’s encrypted communications in various programs against future threats, he said.   

“I’ve had a passion for statistics and mathematics since I was a kid,” Cheng said. “I take a lot of pride in being able to showcase my skills and help solve Navy problems. This field has a lot of tough but very important work, and I’m honored to be able to make such a big impact for the warfighter.”

Cheng added his inspirations include the legendary Archimedes, who defended the city of Syracuse from Roman invasion, and Jean-Baptiste Joseph Fourier, who accompanied Napoleon Bonaparte on his expedition to Egypt and gave the French army advice on engineering and diplomatic undertakings.  

“I’m proud that my work means something, and I hope I can continue making more meaningful contributions to our country and our national defense,” he said.

According to Commanding Officer Capt. Michael Aiena, the award was named in honor of the late Michael J. Yeh, a NSWC Corona performance assessment flight analyst and innovator who was passionate in developing innovative technical solutions for the Navy.

“The award recipients embody his spirit, teamwork and vision, which enables NSWC Corona to continue these critical technical advancements for the warfighter, the Navy and the nation,” he said.

NSWC Corona Division has provided analysis and assessment for the Navy since 1964. With experience in gauging the Navy’s warfighting capability, NSWC Corona is a leader in NAVSEA data analytics. Corona utilizes networked data environments, data and visualization, and measurement technology to bridge the Navy’s data silos, enabling informed decision-making for the warfighter. Anchor to the Inland Empire Tech Bridge, NSWC Corona is located in Norco, California, with detachments in Fallbrook and Seal Beach and personnel in 14 additional locations.