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Carderock capabilities showcased at Washington Navy Yard

By Rebecca Grapsy, NSWC Carderock Division Public Affairs | April 5, 2016

WEST BETHESDA, Md. —

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division was featured during a technical demonstration day at Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) in the Washington Navy Yard, March 23.

Dr. Tim Coats, who was representing Carderock’s Little Creek Detachment, said the day was an opportunity to “Inform. Inform our counterparts here at NAVSEA. The exchange of knowledge and information is key to the success of our Navy. I’m seeing needs; they’re seeing capability.”

Subject matter experts (SMEs) represented nine of Carderock’s areas of expertise through posters, videos and more interactive forms of display in the atrium of the Humphreys Building.

“I’m really glad we were able to bring a 3-D printer and show people what this technology looks like at work,” said Ben Bouffard, an engineer representing additive manufacturing (AM) technology at Carderock. Bouffard was referring to the “cube” printer that had been set up to show attendees first-hand a consumer-grade 3-D printer creating a model ship out of plastic thread. “As people see how AM technology works and understand the applications we use it for, they understand all the benefits AM can bring to the Navy.”

In addition to AM, the technologies represented at the demonstration day included submarine design, signatures and acoustics, surface ship design, power and energy, unmanned systems, innovation, STEM and reliability engineering.

Rear Adm. Moises DelToro, commander of Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC), delivered the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) 101 brief. DelToro emphasized that within the NAVSEA structure, NSWC and NUWC are designed to be collaborative counterparts. This is reflected not just at the leadership level, where they share a senior executive, but across their capabilities.

Following DelToro’s brief, Carderock Commanding Officer Capt. Rich Blank and Technical Director Dr. Tim Arcano presented an overview on Carderock Divison and the warfare center’s capabilities.

“The key is to make sure we are working together with our counterparts at other warfare centers,” said Dr. Tim Arcano, technical director of Carderock Division. “It’s not about the words on paper, it’s about the conversations we are having and what we are doing. We are making sure our customers are getting the team they need by combining the right competencies from the right people across the Naval Research & Development Establishment.”

Harry Whittaker is a key member of the division’s Disruptive Technology Lab and was representing innovation efforts. “Having direct access to both decision-makers and program offices, and hearing firsthand program managers’ areas of interest, and where they need help, allows us to marry the technologies and solutions we have seen to specific problems,” he said. “The program office can inform us on the issues they are facing, and we can apply solutions to them, as opposed to developing technologies and then looking for an application.”

The educational presentations also included SMEs from each of Carderock’s three technical departments briefing their areas of expertise. Brian Heidt covered submarine design, Dr. Paul Shang covered signatures and acoustics and Jeff Hough presented the brief on surface ship design.

Across the displays and discussions, there was the theme of interest and investment in developing the upcoming naval engineer. In their presentation, Blank and Arcano discussed the lifecycle of an engineer, noting that it can take 20 to 25 years for an engineer to progress to full professional competence and development. A career for a Carderock engineer does not start at the entry level, they stressed, but with the outreach efforts that happen before they come to the base for their first internship or job.

“When students come for tours, we do activities like Sea Glide and Sea Perch, or build computer robots,” said Danielle Kolber, a naval architect at Carderock who became a full-time employee after interning at the division during school. Kolber was representing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) efforts, and said many of the people who came by her table were interested in volunteering with outreach efforts. “Being here today is an opportunity for leadership and NAVSEA employees to see how we are promoting STEM and investing in the future of the Navy at all levels.”