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NEWS | Feb. 14, 2022

Command Engineer Honored as BEYA STEM Modern-Day Technology Leader

By NSWC Indian Head Division Public Affairs

Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division (NSWC IHD) employee Albert Wright was recently selected to receive a Modern-Day Technology Leader award at the 2022 Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) STEM Conference.

The BEYA in STEM recognizes innovative leaders and the Modern-Day Technology Leader award honors individuals who are shaping the future of engineering, science, and technology. This year’s nominees were voted for by the BEYA Selection Committee from hundreds of eligible entries.

Wright, nominated by former Energetics Manufacturing Deputy Department Head Marci Mouer and Primers, Cartridges, and Igniters Branch Manager Justin Gamble, is a production engineer in the command’s Energetics Manufacturing Department and has been with the command since June 2018. A 2018 Western Michigan University graduate, Wright came to the command with 10 years of automotive manufacturing experience and his engineering degree. This combination of production line experience and education provided a strong foundation for his Cartridge Actuated Device/Propellant Actuated Device (CAD/PAD) production engineering role.

“Since Albert’s arrival at NSWC IHD, he has worked with personnel in CAD/PAD manufacturing to provide novel solutions to safety problems as well as improve overall process efficiency,” said Mouer. “Prior to coming to the command, Albert worked in various positions in the automotive industry; this experience helps him to appreciate impacts and solutions from multiple viewpoints.”

While at the command, Wright was instrumental in transitioning the NSWC IHD CAD/PAD end-item manufacturing pack-out process to the 21st century. After recognizing the pack-out productivity (which used arcane stenciling methods) could be increased, he researched available product labeling technologies. He collaborated with the command’s Safety Office and procured handheld laser jet printers to replace the previous onerous and more hazardous stenciling procedures. The new technology was successfully used in production and received rave reviews from operations personnel.

Additionally, Wright procured and integrated hardware staging racks on the Rocket Catapult line within the CAD/PAD manufacturing area to improve production uptime. He ordered and introduced a system using flow racks, or mobile staging areas, for hardware to reduce the amount of time the operations team must leave their workstation to retrieve components. The use of these flow racks has an additional benefit of improved ergonomics, as they also prevent unnecessary bending and twisting of the body.

“Albert is a rising star within our department, but he does not know it. He views his fellow engineers, operators and supervisors as partners and peers who can teach him to be a better engineer while he shares his skills, his respect, his kindness and his intelligence so they can improve together,” Gamble said. “Albert has gained respect with his steadfast desire to continually improve antiquated processes and provide the training to ensure success. He has a friendly yet assertive style that portrays transparent communication and creates a trusting bond with his peers and co-workers. I have personally enjoyed working alongside Albert through the pandemic challenges as he brings strength and dedication to the team with an unwavering and wonderful sense of humor that is needed in the current climate.”

“I am proud to work at an organization where I can be creative and innovative. It means the world to me that I am a part of an organization that believes in teamwork and encourages reaching out to different departments to achieve a common goal,” Wright said. “I truly believe that we are ‘stronger together’ and I strive to include everyone on any improvement processes that are made in our department, so I am a strong proponent of teamwork. Each day is about improving yourself and improving those around you.”

Wright will be presented his award during the 36th Annual BEYA STEM Conference, Feb. 17-19. The conference will take place in Washington, D.C., and online.

NSWC IHD — a field activity of the Naval Sea Systems Command and part of the Navy’s Science and Engineering Establishment — is the leader in ordnance, energetics, and EOD solutions. The Division focuses on energetics research, development, testing, evaluation, in-service support, manufacturing and disposal; and provides warfighters solutions to detect, locate, access, identify, render safe, recover, exploit and dispose of explosive ordnance threats.