NEWS | July 21, 2021

NEDU Scientist Earns Top Navy Distinction for Technical Excellence

By NEDU Public Affairs

PANAMA CITY, Florida – Navy Experimental Diving Unit’s (NEDU), Dr. Wayne Gerth earned the 2021 Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers of the Year Award.

Gerth was one of four scientists selected from within the Department of the Navy. The awards ceremony was held on June 25, 2021, at the Melville-Taylor Auditorium at Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock in West Bethesda, Maryland.

“Dr. Gerth has made significant contributions to the U.S. Navy’s diving community and this award recognizes his superior achievements,” said NEDU Commanding Officer Capt. (Sel) Kiah Rahming, USN. “This is a highly competitive and very prestigious honor that is well deserved.

We are extremely proud and honored to have him on our team. Hooyah, Dr. Gerth and job well done!”

Dr. Gerth, a Senior Research Physiologist at NEDU since 2000, was cited for his unparalleled dedication to the experimental, theoretical, and practical research and development, that provides state of the art decompression and undersea capabilities to expand our military’s competitive advantage and save the lives of our divers, special operators, and submariners throughout the U.S. Navy, Department of Defense, and U.S. allied military partners.

Gerth said this award symbolizes the support from family, mentors, colleagues, program managers, sponsors and members of the NEDU community over many years.

“I was immeasurably surprised upon learning of my selection for this award and am deeply honored and moved to be recognized in this way,” said Gerth. “I am thankful for the privilege of having benefitted from the support of so many others in my career. In particular, I am grateful to the volunteer experimental subjects who put themselves at risk to help develop new diving and decompression guidance and procedures. This award recognizes their unwavering support as much as it recognizes what I have been able to accomplish.”

Gerth’s Ph.D. is in marine biology from the University of California, San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

“Dr. Gerth’s exceptional expertise in inert gas decompression theory, modeling, and decompression table development has monumentally impacted the science and application of decompression procedures for diving and submarine escape to produce new U.S. Navy decompression procedures, improving operational capability and safety,” said NEDU Executive Director Jim Brawley.