NRL Scientists Receive Meritorious Presidential Rank Awards

7/28/2004 - 39-04w
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The Office of Personnel Management announced the recipients of the 2003 Presidential Rank Awards on April 29. The awards honor leadership, results and excellence in public service. The winners are nominated by their agency heads, evaluated by boards of private citizens and approved by the President.

Dr. Edward Franchi, superintendent of the Acoustics Division of the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), received the Presidential Rank Meritorious Executive Award. Dr. Franchi who is recognized for his distinguished leadership in the field of acoustics, in general, and underwater acoustics, in particular, has had a profound impact on the Navy, the Department of Defense (DoD), and the Nation.

Dr. Franchi received his B.S. degree in mathematics from Clarkson University, Potsdam, New York, in 1968. He obtained his M.S. degree in 1970 and Ph.D. in 1973, both in applied mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York. During his graduate career, Dr. Franchi worked as a teaching fellow and research assistant in mathematics at the Institute.

As a senior scientist at Bolt, Beranek, and Newman, Inc., from 1973-1975, he was involved in theoretical investigations and experimental measurements of underwater acoustics propagation, ambient noise, and volume reverberation.

Dr. Franchi joined NRL in 1975 as a research mathematician in the Acoustics Division. In this position, he conducted and directed research in low-frequency acoustic reverberation and scattering, including design and conduct of field experiments, development of signal processing techniques, data analysis and interpretation, computer prediction models, and active sonar performance studies.

In 1986, Dr. Franchi was named Head of the Acoustic Systems Branch where he was responsible for programs that emphasized theoretical, experimental, and computational research to understand the physical mechanisms of acoustic propagation, scattering, and ambient noise that control the design and performance of large aperture passive sonar systems, low frequency active sonar systems, and shallow water sonar systems.

In 1988, Dr. Franchi was selected Associate Technical Director of the Naval Ocean Research and Development Activity and its Director of Ocean Acoustics and Technology. The Directorate conducted basic, exploratory and advanced research and development and program management in the areas of acoustic model development and simulation, ocean acoustics measurements, and ocean engineering in support of all undersea warfare missions. In 1992, the Directorate became the Center for Environmental Acoustics in the Acoustics Division of NRL, with Dr. Franchi as Director.

In 1993, Dr. Franchi was selected to his current position. Between 2001 and 2002, he also served as Acting Director of Research for the Ocean and Atmospheric Science and Technology Directorate.

Dr. Franchi is a recognized authority on underwater acoustic scattering and reverberation and has played a major role in the Navy's development of low-frequency active sonar programs. He has authored and co-authored over 35 publications. Throughout his career, Dr. Franchi has represented the Navy in many leadership positions for international research collaborations. He is a member of the Acoustical Society of America and the Mathematical Association of America.


Dr. John Reintjes, a senior scientist for quantum electronics in the Optical Sciences Division of the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), received the Presidential Rank Meritorious Senior Professionals Award. Dr. Reintjes is recognized for his development of new technologies for the diagnostics and detection of faults in major military/industrial mechanical systems. His research efforts are expected to greatly reduce the 25% of United States production capacity that is inoperative at any given time due to mechanical breakdowns.

Dr. Reintjes received his B.S. degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and his PhD. in applied physics from Harvard University. He conducted postdoctoral research at IBM Watson Research Laboratory from 1971 to 1973. He came to NRL as a physicist in 1973 and is currently a senior scientist for quantum electronics in the Optical Sciences Division. His research has involved nonlinear optics, lasers and mechanical diagnostics.

Dr. Reintjes invented a new technology, LaserNet Fines (LNF), that addresses virtually all limitations that are present in currently available diagnostic techniques. LNF is based on optical imaging of debris particles in flowing fluid and real-time computer classification with neural networks. It provides quantitative, objective information about the condition of the equipment from a computerized automated measurement process. This new process results in a reduction of unexpected downtime, improved productivity and a major reduction in catastrophic failures.

Dr. Reintjes' awards include six Alan Berman Research Publications Awards, the NRL chapter of Sigma Xi award in pure science in 1981, the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award in 1985, and the Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for excellence in technology transfer in 2001.

Dr. Reintjes has published over 100 research papers, encyclopedia articles, book chapters and books. He holds 10 patents.

A third NRL scientist, Dr. Frances Ligler received Presidential Rank Award of Distinguished Senior Professional. (See NRL Press Release 26-04r).

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