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NEWS | Dec. 5, 2022

Two Division Newport employees win Black Engineer of the Year STEM awards

By NUWC Division Newport Public Affairs

Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport engineers Abner Barros and Calvin Roldan recently won Career Communications Group (CCG) Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) STEM Outstanding Achievement Awards for 2023.

Barros, a resident of Fall River, Massachusetts, won in the Science Spectrum Trailblazer category, which honors minority men and women who are actively creating new paths for others in science, research, technology and development.

Roldan, a resident of New Bedford, Massachusetts, won in the Modern-Day Technology Leader category, which recognizes a commitment to shaping the future of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

Barros has been involved with multiple sonar signal processing research efforts since beginning his career as an electrical engineer in Division Newport’s Sensors and Sonar Systems Department in 2021. His research focuses on advanced computational Bayesian methods for target tracking and localization using active sonar and small sensor arrays in a refractive undersea environment.

His work advances the state-of-the-art in array signal processing of active sonar using sophisticated statistical techniques. These advanced signal processing methods can greatly improve the capability of current and future U.S. Navy systems that are designed with small sensor arrays, because of cost considerations or constrained physical size of the platforms that host the sensors.

Barros is currently researching localization algorithms for a fiber-optic sensor system, target tracking and data fusion algorithms based on the Converted Measurement Kalman Filter, and waveform design, information and data processing for active sonars.

Additionally, he is committed to giving back to his minority community in the Brockton, Massachusetts area. Barros participated in outreach programs while attending the University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth and plans to continue this endeavor with the goal of motivating the younger generation in his community and providing them with mentorship about career paths in the STEM fields.

Roldan was hired in the Division Newport’s Undersea Warfare Combat Systems Department in 2014. He is lead project engineer for the submarine Global Command and Control System-Maritime (GCCS-M), supporting the fleet by significantly contributing to submarine readiness and ensuring that the GCCS-M system is available to the warfighter.

Roldan’s technical expertise is in verification testing of preliminary Mandatory Security Updates (MSU) 005 Release Candidate (RC) 6 for GCCS-M version MSUs are vital to Information Assurance Vulnerability Alert (IAVA) compliance for all GCCS-M systems and the team's testing is critical to this effort. Validating MSUs for release onboard a submarine for GCCS-M systems is an involved process that takes place between the team and Command and Control Systems Program Office (PMW 150) and Naval Information Warfare Center engineers. MSU-005 RC6 testing was successfully conducted on all applicable baselines of the GCCS-M software, including on Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services Software 3 and Common Personal Computer Operating System Environment 4.0.1 variants.

Both engineers will receive their awards during the 37th annual BEYA STEM Conference being held Feb. 9-11, 2023, at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The conference is hosted by the CCG’s U.S. Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine, the 15-member Council of Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Engineering Deans, and Lockheed Martin Corp.

For more information on the awards, visit

NUWC Newport is the oldest warfare center in the country, tracing its heritage to the Naval Torpedo Station established on Goat Island in Newport Harbor in 1869. Commanded by Capt. Chad Hennings, NUWC Newport maintains major detachments in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Andros Island in the Bahamas, as well as test facilities at Seneca Lake and Fisher's Island, New York, Leesburg, Florida, and Dodge Pond, Connecticut.

Join our team! NUWC Division Newport, one of the 20 largest employers in Rhode Island, employs a diverse, highly trained, educated, and skilled workforce. We are continuously looking for engineers, scientists, and other STEM professionals, as well as talented business, finance, logistics and other support experts who wish to be at the forefront of undersea research and development. Please connect with NUWC Division Newport Recruiting at this site- and follow us on LinkedIn @NUWC-Newport and on Facebook @NUWCNewport.