NEWS | Aug. 9, 2011

Dr. Tim Campbell Receives Hero Award for Technical Excellence

By Donna McKinney / Shannon Breland

Dr. Tim Campbell received the Hero Award for Technical Excellence at the 2011 Department of Defense (DOD) High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP) Users Group Conference in Portland, Ore., in June.

A computer scientist in the Oceanography Division at NRL-Stennis Space Center, Campbell leads software development efforts within the Battlespace Environments Institute (BEI), one of five DOD HPCMP-sponsored Software Applications Support institutes in the country.

Six years ago, the Department of Defense (DOD) identified a need for a whole-Earth prediction capability that integrated air, sea, land and space data to provide the clearest environmental picture possible for warfighters.

As part of the BEI, researchers from NRL-SSC, NRL-MRY, Army, Air Force and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) came together to work toward achieving full coupling of various environmental models.

Computer models of single environmental features, such as air currents or sea surface height, offer indispensable information to the warfighter. Combining several environmental features (e.g., air currents and sea surface heights) into one model (known as coupling) provides a more complete picture of the total setting.

It also requires massive amounts of computing power, provided by the HPCMP.

BEI scientists work to implement existing DoD climate/weather/ocean modeling and simulation, environmental quality modeling and simulation, and space weather models as components within the Earth System Modeling Framework (ESMF). Through ESMF, the model components can exchange data with each other during run time.

The BEI's work allows DoD to tailor multiple earth modeling components and applications to meet its requirements to best characterize and predict the battlespace environment.

In the award nomination letter Dr. Ruth Preller, superintendent of the Oceanography Division, wrote, The end effect is to enable the DOD to model environmental systems that are coupled between the atmosphere, watershed and ocean as a single system that will provide DOD with the leading edge ability to predict environmental state and effects on warfighters.

In addition to leading the ongoing development, testing and evaluation of ESMF coupled systems, Campbell is also active in the operational transition of the Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Prediction System (COAMPS5) to the Naval Oceanographic Office and Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center.

Dr. Campbell's knowledge of coupling methodologies and the highly technical COAMPS5 system make him an invaluable asset at NRL and the HPCMP, Preller noted in the nomination. As the nation moves toward an Earth System Prediction Capability, the dedicated work by Dr. Tim Campbell has been a driving force toward achieving that goal.

Campbell earned a bachelor's degree in physics and mathematics from Saint Norbert College and a doctorate in physics from Louisiana State University. He's been an employee at NRL-SSC since 2005.

He was co-author of the Berman Awarded paper, Effect of Two-Way Air-Sea Coupling in High and Low Wind Speed Regimes. He also serves on two HPCMP user advisory panels: Climate, Weather, Ocean Modeling and Computational Environments. He is a member of the ESMF Joint Specification Team and is chair of the National Unified Operational Prediction Capability (NUOPC) Content Standards Committee.