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    NUWC Keyport Division advances undersea technology through Naval Engineering Education Consortium projects

    NUWC Division Keyport Supports Naval Engineering Education Consortium

    Photo By Lonnie Collier | University of New Hampshire (UNH) students and NUWC Keyport Division engineers work to...... read more read more



    Story by Lonnie Collier 

    Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Keyport

    NUWC Division Keyport has seen tremendous success by partnering with academic institutions through the Naval Engineering Education Consortium (NEEC), particularly in the area of undersea technology.

    “NEEC seeks to acquire academic research results and products to resolve the Navy’s technology challenges, while also hiring college graduates with naval engineering research and development experience into the NAVSEA workforce,” said Thai Tran, NUWC Keyport Division’s NEEC director. “The NEEC program has provided Keyport a tremendous opportunity to engage with the academic community to tap into the potential talent and innovations.”

    Applying for a NEEC project involves each Warfare Center Division submitting an assortment of research topics based on their needs and budget during an annual data call. The topics are published via a Broad Agency Announcement that enables universities to respond with relevant research proposals for funding. The proposals are sorted by subject, ranked by relevance and circulated to the respective Warfare Center Divisions to manage accordingly.

    In 2020, the program awarded more than 50 grants to U.S. universities for projects involving all 10 Warfare Center Divisions.
    Hannah Arnholt, a second-year Ph.D. student at the University of New Hampshire (UNH), is focusing on a project looking at unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV) perception and communication. She joined the program, which uses the KRILL UUV, in January 2020 after learning about it from her professor.

    Arnholt said she believes the NEEC program has helped to alleviate some misconceptions about the rigidity of government service.
    “The team at Keyport has mentored me in all things from my project, industry issues, COVID-19, family and other problems,” she said. “They have pointed me in the right direction and I think NEEC is a great way for students to work alongside government employees.”

    May-Win Thein, Ph.D., associate professor of mechanical engineering at UNH, began her career working with NASA before moving into the undersea research field. She is a strong advocate for NEEC and mentors many of the students involved in the program.
    “My students care about being successful, and the program supports the nation and gives them incentives to do well,” said Thein, who leads the “Development of a Scalable Multi-UUV/ASV System: Autonomous Control/Coordination/Evaluation and Underwater Perception” project. “The NEEC program is beyond useful in directly involving students with subject matter experts in their field and academia to prepare and mentor the next generation of engineers to solve real-world problems. The Keyport team is brilliant and very supportive in educating our engineering students.”

    Over the past two years, the NEEC program has resulted in two patents being filed, 10 professional journal articles being published and four educational partnership agreements being signed at NUWC Keyport Division.
    While allowing the Navy to develop relationships with academic researchers, the program also provides a way to recruit talent to the Warfare Centers’ workforce.

    Jess Macinko, a senior at Washington State University’s Bremerton campus, is working on underwater communication systems. He is set to graduate in May and will become a full-time employee at NUWC Keyport Division.

    “The project (“Wireless Communication for Unmanned Underwater Vehicles using Magnetic Induction”) has been important to me within NEEC,” he said. “It’s cool to be working on something that is a new concept. It provided an introduction into real-world research and a good proving ground for project management skills. Keyport engineers mentoring me has helped bridge from school to real-world initiatives. All this wouldn’t be possible without NEEC to support our senior project.”

    Editor’s note: Thai Tran contributed to this story by Lonnie Collier, NUWC Keyport Division Public Affairs.



    Date Taken: 04.12.2022
    Date Posted: 04.20.2022 11:26
    Story ID: 418335
    Location: KEYPORT, US
    Hometown: KEYPORT, WA, US

    Web Views: 59
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