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NEWS | Aug. 5, 2020

NRL Researchers Receive Navy’s Top Scientists and Engineers Award

By Nicholas E. M. Pasquini, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Corporate Communications

WASHINGTON --Three U.S. Naval Research Laboratory scientists and engineers were awarded the prestigious Department of Navy Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers of the Year Award, July 24, during an awards ceremony hosted by Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division.

“A real competitive advantage for the Department of the Navy is our amazing organic technical workforce,” said Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition (ASN (RD&A)), James Geurts. “They invent new capabilities and put the tools in the hands of our Sailors and Marines so that they can compete and win for our nation now and in the future.”

The Etter Award is presented annually to scientists and engineers who have clearly demonstrated a superior accomplishment that is technically outstanding and highly beneficial operationally to the Department of Navy and national defense.

The selection process is highly competitive and each submission impressively demonstrated high levels of professionalism and scientific and engineering achievement.

Dr. Etter, a former ASN (RD&A), established the award in 2006 to recognize Navy civilian and military personnel for superior scientific and engineering achievements, and to promote continued scientific and engineering excellence.

Nearly 35,000 Navy scientists and engineers are eligible each year to receive the award. Selected honorees demonstrated exceptional scientific and engineering achievement in their field during the preceding calendar year.

The NRL recipients honored as the 2019 Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers:

Benjamin Gould, Individual Scientist

Gould designed and demonstrated a one-to-five kilowatt hydrogen fuel cell that incorporates ingenious, lightweight, metal bipolar plates with formed (stamped) air, fuel and coolant flow fields to provide significantly improved temperature performance and power-to-weight ratio. NRL established a commercial partnership to build and verify a first prototype run of 1,500 Watt fuel cell systems. Successful implementation of this fuel cell in Group one and two unmanned air vehicles utilized by the Navy and Department of Defense will revolutionize the warfighter’s capability for reconnaissance, communications, and targeting with a silent, long-duration power system.

Brandon Redding, Emergent Scientist

Redding conducted fundamental research leading to the invention of an entirely new class of fiber optic sensor. This new approach uses non-linear optical phenomena to overcome the limitations of state-of-the-art fiber sensors and will dramatically expand the surveillance capabilities of the Navy and Department of Defense.

Michele Suite, Individual Engineer

Suite developed an operational imaging technology utilizing a cutting-edge high-speed digital framing array with high dynamic range sensitivity, giving the user a means to exploit phenomenology and capabilities never seen before in a single imager. This new imaging capability will augment current military and civilian systems, providing them with greatly enhanced information in the areas of intelligence, meteorology, oceanography, fishing, agriculture, biodiversity, conservation, forestry, landscape, geology, cartography, and regional planning. Suite’s leadership and engineering skills are advancing this nation’s imaging capabilities, flexibility and responsiveness while at the same time reducing life-cycle costs.

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