Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award Presented to Dr. Brian Houston
for Contributions to Low Frequency Broadband Mine Classification


12/8/2008 - 68-08r
Contact: Public Affairs Office, (202) 767-2541


Dr. Brian H. Houston, acting head of the Naval Research Laboratory's Physical Acoustics Branch, is the recipient of the Department of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award. He is recognized for his outstanding scientific and technology development efforts in the area of underwater mine detection and classification, spanning over the past ten years.

Dr. Houston played a leading role during the development of the Navy's new mine hunting technology, Low Frequency Broadband (LFBB). The award citation reads in part,

Dr. Houston's outstanding technical and programmatic efforts include his pioneering research efforts on the enabling concept of identification by structural acoustic features, the development of the first AUV-based system based on this technology, and the blind test technology demonstrations in the Gulf of Mexico off both Panama City, Florida, and Corpus Christi, Texas. ... Dr. Houston's outstanding professionalism, technical skills and leadership reflect great credit upon himself, the Office of Naval Research, and the Naval Research Laboratory and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

The LFBB technology has recently transitioned as an acquisition program where the technology is being looked at to provide order of magnitude improvement in the Navy's mine hunting capability. Dr. Houston had a significant role in the transitioning of the LFBB to an acquisition program.

At NRL, Dr. Houston is the acting head of the Physical Acoustics Branch of the Acoustics Division with responsibilities in conducting a research and technology program to solve acousto-elastic scientific and engineering problems. He personally conducts research in the areas that include physical and structural acoustics, paying particular attention to acoustic scattering and radiation physics, broadband signatures, and very low frequency acoustic propagation focusing closely on mine countermeasures and anti-submarine warfare (ASW).

Dr. Houston received both a B.S. degree in Physics and a Ph.D. degree in Physics from American University in 1983 and 1989 respectively. He came to work at NRL as a Research Physicist in 1982. In 1992, he was appointed head of the Experimental Techniques Section where he remained until October 2007, when he became the acting head of the Physical Acoustics Branch. Dr. Houston is a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, and a member of the American Institute of Physics and IEEE.

Dr. Houston is the recipient of Alan Berman Publication Awards (1991, 1995, 2000, 2003, 2004), an NDIA Bronze Medal, the Ross Gunn Award for Outstanding Experimental Research from American University, several NRL Invention Awards, NRL Contribution Awards for Exceptional Performance, Technology Transfer Awards (2000, 2004, 2008), and was recognized in 2001 by NASA for his contributions to the NASA Advanced Technology Noise Reduction Program. He has over 75 refereed journal publications and three patents with seven pending.



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