Meet the 2014 Top Scientists and Engineers of the Year

Office of Naval Research
Corporate Strategic Communications
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Arlington, Va., 22203-1771
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For Immediate Release: June 15, 2015

By Warren Duffie, Office of Naval Research

ARLINGTON, Va.—For groundbreaking research in areas like innovative sonar technology and cyber security, scientists and engineers affiliated with the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) won the prestigious 2014 Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers of the Year award.

The winners received their prizes from Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition Sean Stackley during a ceremony held recently at the Pentagon.

“These awards are a tribute to the exemplary scientists and engineers who dedicate their energy and talent to making sure our warfighters have the scientific and technological edge they need at sea, in the air and on the battlefield,” said ONR Executive Director Dr. Walter Jones. “As our chief of naval research has said, we never want our Sailors and Marines to be in a fair fight.”

Established in 2006, the award is named for Dr. Delores Etter, a former assistant secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, and recognizes Navy and Marine Corps civilian and military personnel for exceptional science and engineering achievements. ONR sponsors many researchers at NRL (the Navy’s corporate laboratory) and various other Navy commands.

One winner this year is Dr. Jose Romero-Mariona, a lead research scientist at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) in San Diego, who works with ONR’s Sea Warfare and Weapons department. Romero-Mariona’s work in cyber security is developing new techniques for supporting the Navy’s cryptographic needs—and protecting America’s critical infrastructures such as water, gas and electrical networks. He also participates in ONR’s Energy Systems Technology and Evaluation Program, which tests advanced energy technologies at Navy and Marine Corps installations.

“This award represents a collective recognition of the great work our team has done in making cyber security much more useful and usable,” said Romero-Mariona. “ONR has been vital in helping us ensure our team has the support needed to reach the warfighter with our research.”

Another recipient is Dr. Harold Robinson, a physicist at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) in Newport, R.I., who also works with ONR’s Sea Warfare and Weapons department. An NUWC employee for 25 years, Robinson conducts research involving new ways to use piezoelectric crystals (which can generate electrical voltage) in designing sonar transducers—the devices that can transmit and receive the underwater acoustic signals known as “pings.”

Specifically, Robinson works with “piezoelectric single crystals,” a new class of materials that can reduce the size and weight of existing transducers—without sacrificing acoustic power—while increasing usable bandwidth. He also is developing more efficient tracking transducers for small unmanned undersea vehicles.

“It’s an honor to receive this award,” said Robinson. “ONR played a pivotal role in funding the development of piezoelectric single crystals and other vital components of my work.”

Another winner is Dr. Lynne Marshall, of the Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory, whose research deals with noise-induced hearing loss. Below is the full list of winners affiliated with ONR and NRL:

Emergent Investigators: Dr. Jose Romero-Mariona (SPAWAR), Dr. Dmitri Kaganovich (NRL), Dr. Geoffrey San Antonio (NRL)

Individuals: Dr. Harold Robinson (NUWC), Dr. Lynne Marshall (Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory). Dr. Daniel Gibson (NRL), Dr. Michael Stewart (NRL), Dr. Mark Slatten (NRL)

Groups: Millimeter Wave Vacuum Electronics Amplifier (NRL): Dr. David Abe, Dr. Simon Cooke, Dr. Baruch Levush, Dr. John Pasour; Laser Weapon System (LaWS) Engineering (Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren, and Naval Sea Systems Command): Joseph Barrasse, Ronald J. Flatley, Theresa Gennaro, David McCormick, David Newton, Melissa Olson, Dr. Robert Pawlak, Lt. Cmdr. Michael Putnam, Gunendran Sivapragasam, David Sullins; Fully Dense Nanocrystalline (NRL): Dr. Boris Feygelson, Dr. James Wollmershauser; Distributed Aperture Infrared Countermeasures (DAIRCM) Development (NRL): Kenneth Sarkady, Dr. Hugo Romero, Roger Mabe, Dr. Greg Lynn, David Merritt Cordray

Warren Duffie is a contractor for ONR Corporate Strategic Communications.

About the Office of Naval Research

The Department of the Navy’s Office of Naval Research provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps’ technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 55 countries, 634 institutions of higher learning and nonprofit institutions, and more than 960 industry partners. ONR, through its commands, including headquarters, ONR Global and the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., employs more than 3,800 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel.

Etter Award
Office of Naval Research
Corporate Strategic Communications
875 N. Randolph St., #1225-D
Arlington, Va., 22203-1771
Office: (703) 696-5031
Fax: (703) 696-5940
E-mail: onrpublicaffairs@navy.mil
Web: www.onr.navy.mil
Facebook: www.facebook.com/officeofnavalresearch

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