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Carderock Employees Receive "Magnificent Eight" Awards

By By Edvin Hernandez, NSWCCD Public Affairs | NSWC Carderock Division | Sept. 17, 2019


Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, recognized employees who made major contributions to the Navy and the division in 2018, at its 20th Annual Honor Awards, also known as the “Magnificent Eight.” The event was at the command’s West Bethesda, Maryland, headquarters Sept. 10.

Commanding Officer Capt. Cedric McNeal delivered his opening remarks and congratulated the winners on their achievements.

“Since I have been here, not a day goes by where I am not impressed with the team’s commitment to the Navy’s mission,” he said. “We play a significant role in the defense of our nation. Thank you all for joining Mr. Tarasek and me in honoring our winners of these great awards.”

Gravely Award

The Vice Adm. Samuel L. Gravely, Jr. Award for achievement in diversity and inclusion recognizes significant contributions in promoting understanding of cultural differences and furthering equal employment opportunities for all persons at all levels in the workplace. This year’s Gravely Award voting resulted in a tie.

Chief of staff Kathy Stanley was the first recipient of the Gravely Award for her tireless work in leading and organizing the division’s first Leadership in a Diverse Environment (LDEE) event held in May 2018. Through her guidance, Carderock brought together women leaders from within the Department of the Navy to share their experiences on their paths to Navy leadership roles.

“I am really proud to receive this prestigious award named after this amazing pioneer,” Stanley said. “It really is not about me though; it is about changing the culture, embracing our differences, managing biases and valuing everyone. In order to build a highly skilled workforce, we must create an environment where everyone is encouraged to excel, be valued and be heard.”

The second Gravely Award for achievement in diversity and inclusion was presented to scientist River Clemens for her contribution to Naval Sea Systems Command’s (NAVSEA) Inclusion and Engagement Council. Clemens, who works at the Acoustic Research Detachment in Bayview, Idaho, applied for membership on the NAVSEA Inclusion and Engagement Council to gain more knowledge of NAVSEA’s work in addressing exclusion in the workforce. She immersed herself in the work and on multiple occasions, briefed NAVSEA leadership on the council’s recommendations supporting a productive, dynamic and engaged workforce through inclusion and diversity.

“I am very honored and humbled by this award,” Clemens said. “The purpose of the council is to improve employee performance and support the mission more effectively by making everyone feel like his or her work is valued. When we talk about diversity, inclusion and employee engagement, these are not wishy-washy, hand-waving concepts. When people feel left out or excluded from a group that is important to them, the brain experiences social pain. When an individual is experiencing this pain, he or she is not producing their best work, which directly affects the Navy’s mission.”

Hopper Award

The Rear Adm. Grace M. Hopper Award recognizes outstanding accomplishments in organizational support that result in developing or improving a critical product or process. This award also resulted in a tie for 2018.

The first recipient of the 2018 Hopper award was Contracts Division Head Michael Peduto for successfully managing and executing over 70 percent of the command’s contractual obligations, enabling the Carderock Division to meet critical fleet-driven requirements.

“This award is really my team’s doing and I just get the portion of pleasure of standing up here for them,” Peduto said. “Last year, my team obligated a majority of the funds that were for the command and this year we continued that trend, as well. In terms of the command, this helps us reach our promises in what deliver.”

Deputy Head for Corporate Operations (Property) Department Luke Van Buskirk was the second recipient of the 2018 Hopper Award for his management and oversight of materials and asset management efforts that resulted in a culture of affordability savings of $1.6 million per year. He also led a $3.5 million cleanup effort, ensuring the successful execution of the property plan of action and milestones, doubling the division headquarters’ property audit scores from fiscal year 2017 to 2018.

“The Joint Asset Management COI and the property line effort, their working groups and leaders are the main reason this was all possible,” Van Buskirk said.

Isherwood Award

The Rear Adm. Benjamin F. Isherwood Award recognizes innovation and expertise in the effective assessment, development, execution or deployment of the technological solutions for operational fleet needs.

Composites Team Lead Dr. Maureen Foley received the Isherwood Award for creative and effective use of composite materials solutions. Dr. Foley’s contribution benefitted the Navy greatly by the incorporation of composite deck rain insert, vent screens, gratings, deck drain trough cover plates and electrical enclosures. Her initiatives have also saved the fleet hundreds of man hours in maintenance cost and time lost.

“Thirteen years ago last week I was laid off from my job,” Foley said. “My dad told me at the time, ‘This is the best thing that has ever happened to you.’ I looked at him confused, but since moving to Carderock, it really has been the best thing that has happened to me. I found a job that I love doing and that I am passionate about. This is a great community to work with.”

Land Award

The Vice Adm. Emory S. Land Award recognizes significant contributions establishing new relationships, fostering communication and promoting collaborative working relationships at all levels to deliver high-quality, effective products and services to customers and the fleet.

The FFG(X) design team was presented the award for leading the development of a next-generation guided-missile frigate FFG(X) specification, a complex task completed in nine months, meeting the Navy’s aggressive timeline. The team also supported the Navy’s new initiative to field medium unmanned-surface vessels by 2021.

“Integration Design is a lot of hard work,” FFG(X) Design Team Lead Dr. Jason Strickland said. “While it was basic engineering and problem solving, it was equally and most importantly, a team sport. No one of us could do this alone; it took all of us to get here.”

Melville Award

The Rear Adm. George W. Melville Award recognizes outstanding engineering contributions in the research and development of materials, devices, systems or methods; including design, development and integration of prototypes and new processes.

Program Manager Paul Young was the Melville Award winner for his performance as program engineering manager for the Columbia- and Virginia-class submarine pressure hull model program. Young led groundbreaking efforts to change the way pressure hull models are engineered, designed and fabricated.

“My goal coming back to Carderock was to bring some of that SSGN (nuclear-powered, guided-missile submarine) culture to the pressure hull community and apply that across the Virginia and Columbia programs,” Young said. “In the submarine world, when you send a man to sea you cannot take any chances, you want to be sure. I am honored. Thank you.”

Saunders Award

The Capt. Harold E. Saunders Award recognizes exemplary achievement in leadership of a major technical area or management of a complex technical project.

The 2018 Saunders Award winner was Deputy Ship Design Manager Bradley Schafer for his contribution in developing a progressive preliminary/critical design review process. Schafer and the Columbia program arrangements team also completed the common missile compartment major area closeout; the first and largest arrangement closeout that supported the United States and United Kingdom design and construction efforts.

“I would not be up here if it were not for the fantastic people I get to work with every day,” Schafer said. “I’m very humbled and honored to receive this award, and I am looking forward to working with the same brilliant team until we deliver the Columbia class.”

Strasberg Award

The Dr. Murray Strasberg Award recognizes commitment to the highest standards for over 25 years of federal service.

Underwater Electromagnetics Senior Scientific Technical Manager Dr. John Holmes earned the inaugural Strasberg Award for his contributions as an internationally recognized expert for all aspects of Navy’s extremely low frequency and ultra-low frequency signatures measurement technologies. Holmes’ expertise has also established Carderock as the preeminent leader in underwater electromagnetic signature theory, modeling and analysis for all surface and undersea Navy platforms.

“Looking back on my career, the technical problem that I remember being most difficult came in 1991 when I was visiting the magnetic silencing facility at the naval base in Charleston, South Carolina,” Holmes said. “It seemed like everywhere we went, someone from the crew would ask ‘Are we going to be safe?’ because they were going into a real mine field in the Persian Gulf to clear the mines. After a long day, I saw – just at the end of the pier – a young boy and girl running and waving, yelling ‘Daddy, daddy!’ and the mother carrying a baby walking behind them. That’s when my career switched from being a profession to being a duty.”

Taylor Award

The Rear Adm. David W. Taylor Award recognizes outstanding scientific contributions developing future maritime systems through the creation of technology-based research.

This year’s recipient of the Taylor Award was Naval Architect Dr. Anne Fullerton for her crucial role in formulation, validation and application of the theoretical models and computer- and physical-model simulations of electromagnetic signatures.

“Through the work with my team and the support of leadership, as well as the various experiences I had, I was able to bring a new capability to Carderock,” Fullerton said. “The capability that we stood up here, in the long term, will provide and enhance warfighting capability.”

In his closing remarks, Technical Director Larry Tarasek congratulated all the Carderock award winners for their committed work in 2018.

“This is a great ceremony to recognize the best and the greatest; it is an honor for the captain and me,” he said. “The future of Carderock is in good hands.”