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NSWCPD and Rowan University Present Research to Naval Engineering Education Consortium – DVIDS

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Photo By David Stoehr | Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division and Rowan University present… read more read more
Photo By David Stoehr | Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division and Rowan University present collaborative research on the development of di-electric materials for cryogenic applications to the Naval Engineering Education Consortium (NEEC) during NEEC Day 2022 at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division in Newport, R.I. on June 15, 2022. Pictured: Steve Mastro, deputy chief technology officer (CTO), NSWCPD; Aaron Haines, Jacob Mahon, Nicholas Mahon from Rowan University; Mark Stitch from Temple University; Professor Wei Xue from Rowan University; and Andrew Smith from Penn State University. (U.S. Navy Photo by David Stoehr/Released)  see less | View Image Page
Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division and Rowan University presented collaborative research on the development of di-electric materials for cryogenic applications to the Naval Engineering Education Consortium (NEEC) during NEEC Day 2022. The event was held at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division in Newport, R.I. on June 15, 2022.

NEEC is a Naval Sea Systems Command Warfare Center-wide program designed to conduct leading edge university research to address specific Navy technology needs while providing students hands-on research experience under the mentorship of the faculty principal investigators and Warfare Center subject matter experts. The program has three main objectives: Acquire academic research results that address Navy technological challenges, hire talented students, and develop exceptional working relationships with science and engineering colleges, universities, professors and academics.

The NEEC program contributes directly to the NAVSEA foundational line of effort to create a sustainable talent pipeline for the Navy.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, Test and Engineering Dr. Brett Seidle kicked off “NEEC Day 2022” via a Teams meeting.

“What we’re doing plays a critical role in achieving goals on multiple fronts. It’s strengthening the cadre of scientists we have and strengthening our partnerships with academia. Warfare Centers bring technical capability to the Navy and the nation,” Seidle said. “Our impact on success will be about technical advantage. It’s important to have innovation. This program allows us to build strong bridges. There are 440 science and engineering students participating in NEEC efforts. If you’re working on our Navy’s problems right now, we’d love to have you come work for us.”

NWCPD has an Education Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Rowan University. The EPA enables NSWCPD to loan unique and specialized hardware to Rowan to further Navy related research, gives engineers the chance to teach courses at Rowan, and encourages collaboration between the organizations.

“Rowan was competitively chosen to provide research and educational mentoring to students dealing with the research and engineering of components vital to cryogenic superconducting systems,” NSWCPD’s Deputy Chief Technology Officer and NEEC Director Dr. Steve Mastro said. “Over the last four years, principal investigators Dr. Wei Xue (associate professor of Mechanical Engineering) and Dr. Robert Krchnavek (professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering) led a team of undergraduate and graduate students that tackled issues of material, cable coatings, cable connectors, and cryogenic system components, which presented unique technical problems due to the low temperature and various electrical systems components involved. A total of 52 undergrads and 5 graduate students gained hands-on research experience during this effort.”

Mastro continued, “Working closely with NSWCPD’s Dr. Jake Kephart, Pete Ferrara, and others, Rowan was able to make significant contributions to the Navy’s knowledge and design of these technologies, as well as producing an impressive amount of technical papers and presentations on their work.”

Representing Rowan University and NSWCPD’s Applied Superconductivity Team, Jacob Mahon (class of 2022 / studying mechanical engineering) presented the collaborative research project, Development of Cryogenic Dielectrics for Superconductors, during NEEC Day 2022.

Rowan University’s NEEC research is focused on developing polymer nanocomposites with enhanced di-electric strength and reduced thermal contraction at cryogenic temperatures. The di-electric material acts as insulation in superconducting cables, which may enhance future Navy shipboard power systems. The presentation focused on the team’s research and development of di-electric materials for cryogenic applications. The goal was to formulate a di-electric that would retain its di-electric strength (electrical properties) while maintaining its ability to perform at cryogenic temperatures (material properties).

Rowan University manages the NEEC research as a clinic project, the university’s capstone course for undergraduate students. A team of 16 graduate and undergraduate students from Rowan’s Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Electrical and Computer Engineering Department form a multi-disciplinary team that creates the experiments and performs the evaluation of the nano-enhanced polymer insulating materials at cryogenic temperatures.

“Overall the developments and experiments were successful and this may be leading to additional development directly with the Office of Naval Research (ONR) via a grant to the university. The team at NSWCPD is fostering these conversations between Rowan and ONR,” NSWCPD’s Applied Superconductivity Team Lead Peter Ferrara said.

“The project provides the students a unique view of the role of the Warfare Centers in supporting Navy technology, a view that is enhanced through the engagement of NSWCPD’s subject matter experts,” NSWCPD Chief Technology Officer Dr. Michael Golda said. “Rowan research advanced the understanding of insulating superconductive cables at cryogenic temperatures. They documented their research with three journal publications, six conference publications, as well as five master’s degree theses.”

“I’ve mentored some students to get further education within the Navy and point them towards a career with the Navy, either with NSWCPD or another Warfare Center that aligns with their personal areas of interest,” Mastro added.

“NEEC definitely interested me in a career with the Navy,” said Joseph Nalbach, who graduated from Rowan in 2018 with a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering. Nalbach is one of 13 NEEC students from four universities who accepted jobs with NSWCPD after graduating.

“It gave me hope that there would be a professional work environment that lined up with what I wanted to do,” Nalbach continued. “NEEC focuses on projects and customers. It forces you to ask yourself how would you actually manufacture this, how would you design this so that it could exist outside of the lab.”

Nalbach joined NSWCPD as an In-Service Engineering Agent (ISEA) working for Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Mission Control Systems. After a year of service as an ISEA he did a rotation with the Applied Superconductivity Team and afterwards was transitioned full-time to work at the command’s Applied Superconductivity Lab, continuing the kind of research he completed with NEEC.

“NEEC really confirmed that I liked research and I started becoming passionate about making it usable,” he added.

“NSWCPD has worked on a number of projects with various schools on topics including power and energy, machinery prognostics, control systems, and other projects. Current projects include battery management, cybersecurity, and ship fasteners, as well as an effort just wrapping up with Rowan University,” Mastro said. “These programs have really enabled the development of local talent for the Command and the Navy. We are very fortunate to have the NEEC program so we can recruit employees that already have experience in naval engineering.”

“As the Navy looks towards the future, our engineers must be adaptable, flexible, and able to keep up with ever-emerging technological advances,” Mastro continued. “The NEEC program is an exceptional way to acquire academic research results that address Navy challenges, hire top-tier students into our work force, and continue to develop extraordinary working relationships with naval engineering colleges, universities and professors.”

NSWCPD employs approximately 2,800 civilian engineers, scientists, technicians, and support personnel. The NSWCPD team does the research and development, test and evaluation, acquisition support, and in-service and logistics engineering for the non-nuclear machinery, ship machinery systems, and related equipment and material for Navy surface ships and submarines. NSWCPD is also the lead organization providing cybersecurity for all ship systems.
This work, NSWCPD and Rowan University Present Research to Naval Engineering Education Consortium, by Gary Ell, identified by DVIDS, must comply with the restrictions shown on https://www.dvidshub.net/about/copyright.
United States Navy

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