Dr. Thomas E. Rosmond Recognized with Fred E. Saalfeld Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement in Science

9/28/2007 - 19-07r
Contact: Public Affairs Office, (202) 767-2541

Dr. Thomas E. Rosmond, who is retired from the Naval Research Laboratory's Marine Meteorology Division, has received the Fred E. Saalfeld Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement in Science. Dr. Rosmond is recognized for having "a significant, direct transitional impact from science and technology to naval operations."

This award is named in honor of Dr. Fred E. Saalfeld, who was the Executive Director and Technical Director for the Office of Naval Research (ONR) from 1993 to 2002. The award recognizes a naval research scientist for extraordinary lifetime achievements in science that contributed substantially to the knowledge and capabilities of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense, and the nation. It is the highest scientific award that ONR confers on a naval research scientist or engineer.

Dr. Rosmond's most notable achievement is his involvement in the development, implementation, and expansion of the Navy Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System (NOGAPS) over the past 30 years. NOGAPS is an advanced global numerical weather prediction system that is used daily for weather guidance around the world by Department of Defense and civilian weather forecasters. In the 1970's, Dr. Rosmond single-handedly began the development of NOGAPS, the Navy's first global numerical weather prediction system. Since then, Dr. Rosmond has led many projects related to NOGAPS, and made many significant contributions that advanced NOGAPS to the state-of-the-art global atmospheric modeling system that it is today. To do this, Dr. Rosmond gleaned the appropriate knowledge from the many scientific disciplines within numerical weather prediction and applied this knowledge to the practical needs for Navy real-time applications.

Dr. Rosmond has contributed to every Navy numerical weather prediction system and always taken on new challenges to expand the utility of NOGAPS, most recently, the development of the NOGAPS adjoint and tangent linear models. The inclusion of these complex modeling systems has enabled Dr. Rosmond and other NRL scientists to pioneer new areas of research in predictability of the atmosphere, targeted observations, and advanced data assimilation systems. Dr. Rosmond has been instrumental in establishing connections with other laboratories and research groups engaged in numerical weather prediction, such as the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts and the World Meteorological Organization Working Group on Numerical Experimentation to help foster new ideas and to demonstrate their significance to the worldwide numerical weather prediction community.

Within these new areas of research, NRL's Marine Meteorology Division has developed and tested new theories, participated in national and international field programs, presented papers to national and international workshops and conferences, and hosted international visitors as part of NRL research on NOGAPS. Dr. Rosmond provided the cornerstone for much of this work.

Dr. Rosmond is also a world-renowned expert on the application of scientific numerical weather prediction theory and numerical methods to supercomputer technology. He has written several benchmark software suites and successfully ported NOGAPS to many different computer architectures over the past 30 years. Only a small fraction of scientists engaged in numerical weather prediction research are capable of programming a numerical weather prediction system in such a way that it can be run efficiently on a variety of computers and still be easily understood by others who work with the software.

Dr. Rosmond's scientific contributions to numerical weather prediction are compelling. The fact that the Navy's global forecasting capabilities have remained internationally competitive for 25 years, while developed with much fewer resources, is due in large part to Dr. Rosmond's exceptional talents and tireless dedication. Working without the luxury of a large staff of subject-matter specialists, Dr. Rosmond developed a breadth of knowledge that is truly exceptional. In addition to implementing the first Navy global prediction model, he developed and implemented a spectral global model, then ported and optimized it for execution on vector computers. He also developed and transitioned the non-linear normal mode initialization for the spectral model. As hardware advanced, he benchmarked the global model to run with Message Passing Interface (MPI) and implemented the Navy's operational MPI version on massively parallel computers. He developed the adjoint of the global prediction system, and then he incorporated NOGAPS and its adjoint into the Navy's four-dimensional variational data assimilation scheme. Dr. Rosmond was typically the one who exercised new technology and applied new mathematical tools to the Navy's weather prediction systems, such as direct solution methods for elliptic equations, singular vector decomposition of very large matrices, and numerous other numerical libraries. All of these accomplishments would be expected of a team of several experts. That they all came from Dr. Rosmond single-handedly is incredible.

Dr. Rosmond received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in oceanography and his Ph.D. degree in atmospheric sciences, all from the University of Washington. He was employed at California State University, Fresno, from 1973 to 1974. From 1974 to 1989, Dr. Rosmond worked for the U.S. Navy at the Naval Environmental Prediction Research Facility (NEPRF) [known only as EPRF prior to 1975]. In 1989, NEPRF was merged with the Naval Ocean Research and Development Activity in Mississippi to form the geographically distributed Naval Oceanographic and Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NOARL). Through a second merger in 1992, NOARL became part of NRL and Dr. Rosmond continued his research in global numerical weather prediction, working in NRL's Marine Meteorology Division until his retirement in August, 2004. Dr. Rosmond received the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award in 1983, an NRL 75th Anniversary Award for Innovation in 1998, an NRL Technology Transfer Award in 1999, and a Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center Special Act Award in 2002.

Get NRL News: RSS

About the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory provides the advanced scientific capabilities required to bolster our country's position of global naval leadership. The Laboratory, with a total complement of approximately 2,500 personnel, is located in southwest Washington, D.C., with other major sites at the Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Monterey, Calif. NRL has served the Navy and the nation for over 90 years and continues to advance research further than you can imagine. For more information, visit the NRL website or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Comment policy: We hope to receive submissions from all viewpoints, but we ask that all participants agree to the Department of Defense Social Media User Agreement. All comments are reviewed before being posted.