DAHLGREN, Va. – A Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) engineer who specializes in laser technology was named a Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers Award winner, NSWCDD announced June 12.
Matthew Lehr will be presented the award at a date to be announced for his impact on the Optical Dazzling Interdictor, Navy (ODIN) laser weapon system’s development.
The Etter Awards are presented annually in June and conferred upon science and engineering personnel whose achievements are of exceptional status and deliver incredible benefit to the defense capacity of the United States. The selection process is highly competitive with awards being given to individuals as well as teams.
“All of you should take great pride in the receipt of this prestigious award,” wrote NSWCDD Technical Director John Fiore in an all hands email, recognizing the awardees’ significant achievement and contribution to national defense. “Thank you for your service to our country and to our warfighters.”
According to a citation on the nomination form, the ODIN system was created “utilizing innovative processes, incorporating enabling technologies, and fostering a creative environment.” Moreover, the citation highlights the technology’s novel status: “The U.S. Navy now has the first of several ODIN systems onboard ships, bringing game-changing technology to the warfighter.”
Lehr was previously awarded for his contributions to the ODIN system during the May 2019 Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS) Excellence Awards ceremony.
The ODIN design team, including Lehr, were commended on their efforts to build a prototype of the ODIN system in less than six months. “The initial test fit with the payload was a resounding success, marking a huge milestone in the design effort,” according to the PEO IWS Excellence Award citation.
The award – sponsored by the assistant secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition (ASN RD&A) – is named for the Honorable Delores M. Etter, who served as U.S. deputy under secretary of Defense for Science and Technology from 1998 to 2001 and ASN RD&A from 2005 to 2007.
NSWCDD’s mission is to provide research, development, test and evaluation, analysis, systems engineering, integration and certification of complex naval warfare systems related to surface warfare, strategic systems, combat and weapons systems associated with surface warfare. The command also provides system integration and certification for weapons, combat systems and warfare systems and fulfills other responsibilities assigned by the NSWC commander.