ARLINGTON, Virginia – Breakthrough research that yielded the world’s first-ever ship degaussing system to use high temperature superconducting (HTS) materials garnered “Top Navy Scientist and Engineer of the Year” accolades for George Stimak, a program officer at the Office of Naval Research (ONR).
The Honorable Sean Stackley, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, honored 34 scientists and engineers at the third annual Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers of the Year awards ceremony at the Pentagon May 19.
With more than 35,000 scientists and engineers, the Department of the Navy established the Dr. Etter award to honor those who reach superior technical achievements and to promote continued scientific and engineering excellence. The award is presented annually to Navy civilian and military personnel for exceptional scientific and engineering achievement.
“This is a great honor for me, but it was truly a team effort,” remarked Stimak. “Support from NAVSEA, Carderock, industry and especially the crew of USS Higgins, where we installed the HTS coils, were vital to the successful development of this technology and everyone’s partnership was outstanding.”
A member of ONR’s Ship Systems and Engineering Research Division, Stimak’s game-changing research on the HTS degaussing coil technology eliminates a ship’s magnetic signature, thereby interfering with the ability of undersea mines to detect a ship’s magnetic field and detonate when a ship comes within close proximity.
“This new degaussing coil makes it safe for ships to operate closer to shore where most mine strikes occur,” said Stimak. “I feel pretty good about that.”
Cmdr. Carl W. Meuser, USS Higgins commanding officer, projects that the benefits of HTS degaussing will deliver myriad potential applications for the warfighter, beginning with the ability to preempt or defeat threats and forces operating within a ship’s complex ocean and littoral battlespace.
Stimak’s interest in ships started when he was growing up in Brooklyn, N.Y., a few blocks away from the Navy Yard. “My Dad would take me to see them, and I remember going on the USS Wisconsin – those guns were really big especially when you are a five- or six-year-old … It was just fantastic to get to go on board and see all the valves, dials, levers and machinery.”
After receiving his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from The Cooper Union School of Engineering in 1971, Stimak started his career with the Magnetic Silencing Group at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, White Oak Laboratory (formerly the Naval Ordnance Laboratory). There, he began his work designing ship degaussing systems and degaussing ranges for the U.S. Navy. Stimak served as a member of the Naval Research Laboratory’s Tactical Electronics Warfare Directorate from 1994 to 2001 before joining ONR as a program officer. Stimak holds two master’s degrees, one in electrical engineering and another in business administration, both from the University of Maryland.
As an ONR program officer, Stimak invests and develops revolutionary science and technology (S&T) for the Navy and Marine Corps of the future. Highly responsive to a wide spectrum of warfighter needs – long term, short term, or near term – program officers use innovative science and business processes that advance scientific knowledge and increase S&T transitions to acquisition programs and into the Fleet. The aim of an ONR program officer is to equip U.S. Naval forces and our allies with technological advantages. For program manager and other opportunities, visit ONR’s Careers Center.
For more on the HTS degaussing coil technology: