A new report from the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Warfare Centers highlights 56 naval research projects, involving all 10 Warfare Center Divisions and more than 400 students from 50 universities from across the country, under the auspices of the Naval Engineering Education Consortium (NEEC).
NEEC, established by NAVSEA and executed by the Warfare Centers, aims to develop and attract new professionals into the broad technical fields associated with current and future U.S. Navy ships and submarines. In 2020, the program awarded more than 50 grants to U.S. universities, bringing professors and students together with scientists and engineers at the Warfare Center Divisions to explore solutions to the Navy’s most pressing technological challenges.
“As we look for sources of inspiration to develop the products and services for tomorrow’s Navy — as well as talented and knowledgeable students to lead our future workforce – there are no better partners than America’s exceptional colleges and universities,” said Warfare Centers Executive Director Dr. Brett A. Seidle.
The program has been fostering such partnerships for more than a decade, but the research projects outlined in the 2021 NEEC Proceedings were conducted under unique conditions, as universities and research labs alike navigated the unprecedented challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite those challenges, the NEEC students were still able to engage in project-based research that targets the Navy’s technology needs, ranging from developing autonomous navigation systems for undersea vehicles in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico to evaluating under-ice acoustics at the Great Lakes Research Center, according to NEEC Director Sally Sutherland-Pietrzak.
“As we move forward, in what we hope will be a post-COVID world, the NEEC team is continuing to look forward to many years of productive research, extended relationships with academia, and students who will transition to Navy civilian service jobs as new professionals and develop into future technology leaders for the nation,” Sutherland-Pietrzak said.
With 10 Divisions and 29,000 employees across the United States, the NAVSEA Warfare Centers represent approximately 30 percent of the Navy’s engineering and scientific expertise. Together they serve as the Navy’s principal research, development, test and evaluation assessment activity for surface and undersea systems and subsystems.