The Naval Academy Science and Engineering Conference 2019 (NASEC)

NASEC is aimed at bringing together future Navy and Marine Corp officers with students from other colleges and universities across the country in order to learn more about and discuss important scientific and technical challenges currently faced around the world. This year, the conference's theme was Oceans: Exploration, Conservation, and Extreme Events. Three UConn Navy STEM officers were in attendance at this year's NASEC conference including UConn Navy STEM's President, Joshua Dupont, Vice President, Brittany Smith, and Engineering Ambassador, Lauren Knapp.

NASEC 2019 attendees
UConn Navy STEM Officers at the Naval Academy from left to right: Lauren Knapp, Joshua Dupont, and Brittany Smith

Theme Working Groups

All attendees of the conference were put into one of 15 groups in order to discuss the theme of this year's conference, Oceans. Each group consisted of students from different universities across the country and two midshipmen moderators. Every group was tasked with presenting to the whole conference a potential solution to one problem that falls under this year's theme of Oceans. 


Brittany’s group presented on ways to identify and reduce the amount of plastic in the ocean.
Josh's Group working on their presentation.

Naval Academy Tour and Events

All attendees had the opportunity to tour the Naval Academy’s campus, ocean engineering labs, and a Yard Patrol Boat.

The Naval Academy’s Hydromechanics laboratory has 2 tow tanks, ballast tank, and coastal engineering tank. Shown here are students viewing the 120 ft tow tank.
NASEC attendees had the opportunity to watch the daily lunch formation.
The Naval Academy’s Hendrix Oceanography Laboratory utilizes a wide array of equipment to study the ocean, including an AUV shown here.
NASEC attendees had the opportunity to eat in King Hall along with the entire brigade of midshipmen. Here is a picture of Josh enjoying his lunch!
The Naval Academy utilizes Yard Patrol boats for training and have one dedicated to conducting oceanography research.
Forrestal lectures are given to the entire brigade of midshipmen in their basketball stadium. Here is a picture of the three UConn Navy STEM Officers listening to the speaker.


A wide range of distinguished speakers presented their work concerning Oceans at this conference, including:


VADM Sean S. Buck, USN

VADM Buck, the superintendent of the Naval Academy, welcomed us to the conference and spoke about the importance of sharing ideas in order to better preserve our oceans.

Dr. Robie Samanta Roy

Dr. Geraldine Richmond

Dr. Richmond is a Professor at the University of Oregon in the Department of Chemistry. She presented on her current research, which is about understanding how surface tension of water occurs and the interaction between water molecules and gases in the air. This understanding will help with our understanding of how greenhouse gases are affecting our oceans and the organisms living in it, thus increasing our chances of finding ways to mitigate the effects of these gases on our oceans.

Dr. Mohammad Farazmand

Dr. Farazmand is a Professor at North Carolina State University in the Mathematics Department. He researches algorithms to model the occurrence of destructive waves found in the ocean. By being able to predict when and where these waves will occur, ships will know what kind of waves to expect and can prepare for them. This will lessen the amount of injuries to crew men and inform them on when the best time to complete important tasks, such as landing planes on an aircraft carrier.

Dr. Brennan Phillips

Dr. Phillips is a Professor at the University of Rhode Island in the Naval Architecture & Ocean Engineering Department. He spoke about the importance of soft robotics in order to explore our deep sea. Soft robotics utilize compliant materials in order to mimic living organisms and adapt to their environments, allowing researchers to better study delicate deep sea organisms and their adaptations to harsh deep sea environments.

Dr. Mark Abbott

Dr. Mark Abbott is the President and Director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI). He spoke on some of the current research being conducted by WHOI and the importance of sharing knowledge and collaborating with one another.

RDML Timothy Gallaudet, USN (ret)

RDML Gallaudet is the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere. He presented at the forrestal lecture, which was given to the entire midshipmen brigade at the US Naval Academy.

Dr. Lisa Clough

Dr. Clough is the Section Head of Ocean Sciences at the Naval Science Foundation.