NEWS | March 8, 2016

NRL Welcomes the Honorable Frank Kendall

By Daniel Parry

The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) welcomed Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, USD(AT&L), Frank Kendall, to its Washington D.C., headquarters, Feb. 25, to meet with top NRL scientists and researchers and tour key laboratories on the 130-acre campus situated along the Potomac River.

Kendall is the leader in the effort to increase the buying power of the Department of Defense (DoD) and improve the performance of the defense acquisition enterprise. Kendall has over 40 years of experience in engineering, management, defense acquisition, and national security affairs in private industry, government, and the military.

Prior to receiving a first-hand tour featuring research in autonomous systems, cyber and national security, space sciences, and ISR technologies, Kendall recognized three NRL scientists with 'Spotlight Awards' for significant accomplishments in acquisitions and support of USD(AT&L) Better Buying Power initiatives.

From their inception, the 'Better Buying Power' initiatives have been about getting the most value possible from our available capital, said Kendall. We achieve this by continuing to strengthen our culture of costs conscious professionals and our technical excellence, ingredients necessary to bring innovative solutions to our warfighters.

The Spotlight Recognition Award is designed to recognize civilian and military DoD professionals for their significant acquisition accomplishments in any of the AT&L priorities and/or Better Buying Power initiatives. The essential element of the award is to recognize individuals or team members who are doing great work for the DoD, but are not necessarily in the spotlight on a day-to-day basis.

The NRL recipients of the Spotlight Award for fiscal year 2015 include:

Dr. Glen Henshaw - for conceiving and executing research for in-space autonomous inspection and grapple of satellites and for excellence in contribution toward the advancement of technical developments of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO) robotics program, aimed at changing U.S. operations in space. As NRL's chief space roboticist, Henshaw is additionally recognized for advancements and enhancements made to space robotics hardware, software, and algorithms that serve as the core of DoD satellite servicing technologies.

Dr. Igor Medintz - for achievements in creating chemistries that allow biological molecules to be attached to nanoparicles in an ordered manner and elucidating how such materials engage in different types of energy transfer. These materials display incredible promise for new technologies, attributing to scaling of functional devices down to the nanometer or single molecule level. Translating, for example, into unimolecular energy harvesting assemblies and sensors small enough to circulate, unattended inside a living cell. The results of this research are considered key enablers and are beginning to show promise for a wide range of technologies as they are steadily being incorporated worldwide.

Dr. Christina J. Naify - for her role in team leadership in overlapping research that has led to several exciting new sonar and communications concepts: An electromagnetic leaky-wave antenna, promising a new capability to image complex underwater environments using a single source and single receiving element to lower the electrical complexity and increase the speed of imaging systems by performing the imaging task in analog; and acoustic transduction for undersea warfare that can be utilized to achieve high data-rate secured acoustic communications, promising substantially increased underwater acoustic communication bit rates.

In addition to the Spotlight Awards, Kendall also recognized eight NRL scientists and researchers for the new USD(AT&L) Laboratory University Collaboration Initiative (LUCI) Awards. This new initiative is designed to foster collaboration between National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellows (NSSEFF), and service laboratory researchers on basic research topics in areas of critical interest to DoD.

The 2016 LUCI Award NRL recipients and corresponding citations are:

Dr. Charles R. Eddy, Jr - to work with professor Chris Palmstrom at the University of California Santa Barbara to develop Novel integration of dissimilar materials.

Dr. Sarah Glaven - to work with professor Chris Voigt at MIT on the topic of engineered marine bacteria.

Dr. C. Stephen Hellberg - to work with professor Jeremy Levy at University of Pittsburgh to understand the behaviors of electron pairs in non-superconductors.

Dr. Berend T. Jonker - to collaborate with professor Yuri Suzuki at Stanford University to investigate spin dependent transport at oxide interfaces.

Dr. Igor Medintz - to collaborate with professor Chris Dwyer at Duke University to investigate energy transfer in DNA-based networks.

Dr. Joseph S. Melinger - to work with professor Greg Engel at the University of Chicago to investigate quantum energy transfer within DNA nanostructures.

Dr. Mike Osofsky - to work with professor Yuri Suzuki at Stanford University to prepare and study nanostructures of 2-D materials and complex oxides.

Dr. Marc P. Raphael - to work with professor Nobert Scherer at the University of Chicago on using plasmonic biosensors for wound healing processing.
The work and dedication awarded here today has had a significant impact on the AT&L mission, Kendall said. NRL is a great institution with a great reputation.

All LUCI winners will be invited to the National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellows (NSSEFF) spring meeting and dinner on April 5-6, 2016, which will be held at the Army Research Laboratory (ARL), in Adelphi, Md.

Kendall is a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and holds a Master of Science degree in aerospace engineering from California Institute of Technology, a Master of Business Administration degree from the C.W. Post Center of Long Island University, and a Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University Law Center.