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Seminars and Speakers of Fall 2018

Below is a list of our class seminars and guest speakers from the fall semester of 2018.

 

Syntactic Foam for Subsea Buoyancy Applications

Engineered Syntactic Systems (ESS)   -    September 5th, 2018


Presenters:

  • Thomas Murray - Co-founder and Materials Engineer
  • Michael Vidal - Engineering Manager

Description:

Syntactic foams have been used for decades as a reliable and simple way to provide buoyancy for subsea vehicles.  However, using this material in subsea applications requires specific design considerations by the engineer.  This talk will explain what syntactic foam is, its properties, how it’s manufactured, and its applications. ESS is a leading supplier of high-performance syntactic materials and solutions for challenging environments including buoyancy, civil infrastructure, electronics, and insulation.

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A Perspective on our nuclear submarine force: past, present, and future

Rite Solutions    -    September 12th, 2018


Presenter:

  • David Medeiros - Senior Strategic Defense Analyst

Description:

A brief history of our nuclear submarine force (cold war to today) in terms of mission focus, composition of our force today, why we have the submarine force we have today (this includes discussion of the changing security environments, budgets,  politics, leadership (e.g. Adm Rickover), etc.), and lastly where the force is headed. The brief will conclude with a discussion on today’s rapidly evolving security environment that will undoubtedly shape how our undersea force will evolve. It is an exceptionally dynamic saga that includes things like the impact of the end of the cold war and the peace dividend on our submarine force, the evolution of the Virginia Class that continues today, the Ohio Replacement Program (ORP), and the rapidly increasing demand for undersea warfare capabilities in today’s challenging and complex security environment.

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Evolution of Submarine Design and Construction at Electric Boat in the Nuclear Submarine Era

General Dynamics Electric Boat   -    October 10th, 2018


Presenters:

  • Thomas Plante - Director of Strategic Planning

Description:

The history of nuclear submarine design and construction at Electric Boat is summarized beginning with the USS Nautilus (SSN 571) authorization in 1952, through three generations of submarine development to the present that includes the Navy’s latest submarine class, the Columbia SSBN, which will start construction in the Fall of 2020. The construction of each submarine is a daunting challenge. A Virginia Class SSN requires over 2,700 tons of structural steel, 31 miles of pipe, 142 miles of cable, 20,000 major components and more than 300,000 welds. This brief will include a discussion of the role of engineering from three perspectives: the operator, the ship design agent and lastly the shipbuilder. It will provide a perspective of how naval science and technology have supported the Navy’s vision of undersea dominance through the continuous improvement of each class of submarine. The most recent submarine program, the Virginia Class Submarine Program began construction in 1998 and has been frequently heralded by the US Navy as a model DOD acquisition program. Electric Boat has been a pioneer in developing innovative nuclear submarine designs and their associated construction processes.

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A STEM  major career as a Navy contractor

Sea Corp  -    October 24th, 2018


Presenter:

  • Dave Lussier - President of Sea Corp

Description:

Dave Lussier did not set out to take the course of becoming the President of a successful business. Having a solid STEM major educational foundation, a vision to travel, make money and do interesting work with the Navy led him to where he is today.  This seminar will dive into the life of an Electrical Engineer turned President of a mid-size business providing systems development and engineering services to the Navy. Dave has had the privilege to spend many days at sea on various submarines focusing on operational testing related to torpedo, missile, sonar, fire control, navigation, launcher and Arctic and minefield systems. Dave also enjoyed two runs to the North Pole in support of the US Navy’s Arctic exercises. A short slide show of photos and videos of a nuclear submarine in the Arctic will be presented.  The key to his success has been performing at a high level and taking on added responsibilities.

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Planning & Optimization for the Online Management of Unmanned Systems

Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC)   -    October 31st, 2018


Presenters:

  • Tom Wettergren - Navy Sr. Technologist for Operation and Information Science

Description:

Tom will describe some of the work that goes into developing new ways of managing the use of systems comprised of multiple component systems. In the Navy and particularly at NUWC, this type of engineering falls under the heading of Systems Engineering or Operations Research; and he will explain how the people doing this work come from a variety of engineering backgrounds. Tom will show how systems-level optimization problems can be formulated and solved in order to create algorithms that provide this type of multi-agent control. Examples will be presented in the areas of unmanned vehicle path planning, managing group coordination, and determining distributed sensor network configurations. He will conclude with some thoughts on the future of this area of engineering.

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Maritime Applications of STEM

Alion Science and Technology  -    November 7th, 2018


Presenter:

  • Dr. Gregory Johnson - Senior Program Manager

Description:

Alion Science and Technology is a medium-sized defense contractor that provides consulting services to many customers in the maritime arena – both domestic and internationally. Dr. Johnson will provide some interesting examples of applications of a STEM education in the maritime arena ranging from oil spill response to alternative fuels to communications to alternative navigation systems.

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I’m a People Person! – Why Communication Skills & Policy Knowledge Matter

Naval War College, Office of Management & Budget    -    November 14th, 2018


Presenter:

  • Erik Brine, Defense Science & Technology Program Examiner

Description:

Erik currently serves as the Program Examiner on Defense Science and Technology Programs for the Executive Office of the President in the Office of Management and Budget’s National Security Division. In this capacity he provides oversight and analysis for the $94 billion of Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation programs and policy across the Defense Department. Prior to the White House, Erik served at the State Department as a Congressional Affairs Advisor supporting the bureaus of Political Military Affairs, International Security and Nonproliferation, Arms Control Verification and Compliance, Counter- terrorism, Conflict Stability Operations, and Intelligence and Research. In this seminar Erik discussed the importance of communication skills to researchers and engineers and how national policy effects science and technology.  “You may be surprised where your career may take you.”

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Undersea System Modeling

Raytheon    -    November 28th, 2018


Presenters:

  • Scott Allison - SeaPower Director of Engineering
  • Dr. Pierre Corriveau - Chief Undersea Technologist

Description:

There’s an underlying physics and phenomenology layer that grounds all of our ideas – you can’t wish that an idea is valid, you must prove it through physics and engineering calculations.  We explore how system engineering helps define models that help drive design decisions and reduce implementation risk.  Additionally, we explore how Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS) is showing us the undersea world in high definition!

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Human Performance in the Undersea Environment

Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory (NSMRL)   -    December 5th, 2018


Presenters:

  • Dr. Jeff Bolkhovsky - Research Physiologist
  • Dr. Brandon Casper - Research Physiologist
  • Dr. Ethan Hada - Research Engineer

Description:

This seminar focused on monitoring fatigue and other physiological characteristics of U.S. Navy sailors, divers, and submariners, in addition to a discussion on the effects of underwater noise and shock-waves on human lungs, hearing, and overall health. The NSMRL is a federally funded naval organization that conducts research on submariner wellness, psychological fitness, shipboard health and performance, underwater bioeffects, and human systems. They also develop the guidelines and protocols for disabled submarine survival/escape.

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    This program is supported by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) STEM Grant Program