The Chemistry Division staff consists of approximately 103 full-time employees, three full-time military employees, and three intermittent employees. A number of other personnel work on site in the Division, including Research Associates of the National Research Council and the American Society for Engineering Education, academic scientists and faculty on sabbatical leave or in a part-time status, summer students, exchange students, cooperative programs, Junior Fellows, gifted and talented high school students, research apprentices, and contract scientists. This broad spectrum of scientific talent completes the total complement of approximately 200 personnel who work daily in the Division. Their diverse technical backgrounds include not only chemistry and chemical engineering, but also physics, mathematics, computer science, environmental science, materials science, biochemistry, microbiology, and electrical engineering. The numerous awards reflect the scientific quality and productivity of this rich mixture of talent and recognition accorded members of the Chemistry Division.
The facilities in the Chemistry Division include a wide array of modern equipment essential to exploring the horizons of the research frontiers. Spectrophotometers, spectrometers, proximal probes, synchrotron and laser light sources, chromatographic instruments, electron microscopes, molecular biology capability, molecular graphics, etc. make up the complement of this front line equipment. The laboratory has a CRAY Y-MP super computer, a Connection Machine and Beowulf class computer, all accessible from the Chemistry Division. The combination provides a wide array of capabilities to enhance both theoretical and experimental research.
Fire research has been strength of the Chemistry Division for a number of years, and continues to show growth in Safety and Survivability for the Navy. Included are facilities such as FIRE I, a 10,000 ft3 pressurizable chambers in which enclosed fires under controlled atmospheric conditions are simulated, and the ex-USS SHADWELL (LSD-15), a retired 475-foot ship which has been extensively renovated and instrumented as a fire and damage control test bed. Fire tests aboard this ship, located at Mobile, Alabama, permit simulation of realistic experimental fire conditions. A fire research facility at the Chesapeake Beach Detachment of NRL in Calvert County, Maryland, allows study of large open fires up to 100 ft. in diameter.
Corrosion science and engineering have been important chemical issues throughout NRL’s entire existence. The recent indication of the Center for Corrosion Sciences and Engineering reflects that fact. In addition to laboratory facilities, the Center operates a test site at Key West, Florida where exposure to the ocean/sun can be evaluated and ship hull electrochemical corrosion phenomena modeled.