NAVAIR

Etter awards recognize NAWCWD employees

Piotr Adamski, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division electronics engineer, receives a 2016 Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers Award in the Individual Engineer category from Allison Stiller, left, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, and Dr. Delores M. Etter, former ASN RDA, during a ceremony at the Pentagon on July 13. (U.S. Navy photo)

Piotr Adamski, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division electronics engineer, receives a 2016 Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers Award in the Individual Engineer category from Allison Stiller, left, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, and Dr. Delores M. Etter, former ASN RDA, during a ceremony at the Pentagon on July 13. (U.S. Navy photo)

Aug 2, 2017

Share | | Print View
John Huthmacher, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division systems engineer, receives a 2016 Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers Award in the Individual Engineer category from Allison Stiller, left, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, and Dr. Delores M. Etter, former ASN RDA, during a ceremony at the Pentagon on July 13. (U.S. Navy photo)

John Huthmacher, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division systems engineer, receives a 2016 Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers Award i ...

NAVAL AIR WARFARE CENTER WEAPONS DIVISION, CHINA LAKE, Calif. -- Three Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division employees earned the 2016 Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers of the Year Awards during a ceremony July 13 at the Pentagon.

Piotr Adamski, John Huthmacher and Patrick Simpson were honored in the Individual Engineer and Individual Scientist categories.

The Etter award, named after the former assistant secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, was established in 2006 to recognize Navy and Marine Corps civilian and military personnel for exceptional science and engineering achievements and contributions in their fields and to the fleet.

Adamski, an electronics engineer, is a recognized expert in electronic warfare radio frequency. Among some notable past accomplishments, he invented and patented ALQ-99 Blade Array antenna system and co-patented a design for a higher-power RF transmitter, which his award citation describes as a way to “enable the warfighter to comprehensively use and control … electronic warfare and the electromagnetic spectrum.” But it was the development of an antenna retrofit solution for one of the ALQ-99 transmitters, known as the Batwing rotary choke reflector that drove his nomination for the Etter award.

“The Batwing antenna is a true speed to fleet initiative,” said Dr. Balaji Iyer, the supervisory electronics engineer who nominated Adamski for the award. “Piotr designed, researched, developed, prototyped, and tested this antenna system, which provides an enhanced very high-power RF capability.”

The antenna bridges a capability gap between the older legacy ALQ-99 jamming system and the Next-Generation Jammer increment still in planned development.

“Designing something new from scratch can take a lengthy period sometimes stretching up to 10 years or so,” Adamski said. “By the time you get something done, it’s already obsolete because of the pace of technology. We have to shift now to get something done faster.”

Changing established processes and challenging the status quo is not easy, though.

“It takes courage,” Adamski explained. “Sometimes collaborating on possible solutions is risky. Not all solutions are feasible. Not all solutions are refined. It takes courage to take on challenges and expose one’s yet unrefined unverified concepts that way.

“Ideas come from a person. No one trained me to provide ideas,” he continued, “but you have to have a supportive professional environment to foster innovation. It’s like a plant growing in fertile soil. If the soil has enough nutrients to support growth, the plant will grow much faster and produce more fruit. I have that kind of professional support here at Point Mugu.”

A China Lake lead systems engineer for the Advanced Technology Applications Office, Huthmacher has been responsible for the planning, development, and execution of multiple technical projects that have resulted in vital and cutting-edge technologies. His nomination notes that he has “applied his creativity and expertise to significantly improve the defense posture of the United States [using] sound technical skills in exploring new materials and technology in innovative ways to develop weapons and sensor systems that could defeat current and future threats.”

“The things we work on take a lot of different organizations to happen and the real challenge has been to get all of these organizations working together and aligned,” Huthmacher stated. “There are very talented people out there, but they are very focused on what they do, so bringing them all together to a common vision is tough sometimes.”

Huthmacher has performed advanced weapons systems studies to identify how various technologies can be used to address system-level deficiencies and played a pivotal role in various source selection capacities for major technology efforts. He also coordinates efforts with the U.S. Army and Air Force to synchronize and leverage related technology development investments and has been a member of the Low Observable/Counter Low Observable Tri-Service Red Team since 1998.

“One of the main functions of the Red team is to evaluate systems for export and what can be done with those systems to allow them to be exported to other countries,” he explained. “One of my roles was to work in the group to evaluate different systems and make recommendations to the undersecretary of defense.

Working with what he considers “some of the best engineers in the government,” he finds passion in supporting the warfighter.

“I came from a military family,” he said. “My dad spent many years in a warzone, so the fact that I can help the future fighter is really what drives me more than anything.”

Simpson, a lead computer scientist who began his career with the Digital Precision Strike Suite project at China Lake, is being recognized for his expertise and knowledge in developing advanced Target Material Production and Target Mensuration Only applications and techniques. As stated in his nomination, “these techniques revolutionized the overall DPSS product line by allowing target coordinate generation on hand-held devices and led to Windows Mobile and Android deployment efforts.”

“I was honestly pretty surprised [when I found out],” Simpson said. “I know the software we do is highly used and liked by the fleet, but I don’t feel like I am doing more than anyone else on our team. I’m honored and humbled.”

Simpson was instrumental in the maturing of the DPSS Digital Imagery Exploitation Engine development effort, a software that provides a framework to integrate practices outlined in the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction, “No-Strike and the Collateral Damage Estimation Methodology” and “Target Development Standards” into a single Windows-based application. His knowledge in TMO/TMP methodologies has improved the overall DIEE functionality, as well as the overall operational effectiveness of the commands where it has been actively deployed.           

“Working with other great developers on the DIEE team and working very closely with real world operational users is a great experience,” he said. “Whenever I get to talk with the guys at U.S. Central Command or any warfighter using our software on a day-to-day basis, hear their stories of the operations they run and how we are an integral part of that, it always makes me want to be better and do more to help them.”

 

NAWCWD Public Affairs
(760) 939-3511

Print ViewPrint View

View NAWCWD Photo Gallery

<p>China Lake, in California’s Mojave Desert, is home to NAVAIR’s Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD). Few areas in the world offer such wide variety of geographical features in close proximity...mountains, deserts, canyons, caves and forests. The unencroached air and land ranges at China Lake provide unmatched geographic conditions in which to develop and test weapon systems and explore tactics for desert and mountain environments.</p>

Subscribe to NAWCWD Public Affairs
NAWCWD Public Affairs News

More Information On
China Lake, CA

NAWC Weapons Division, China Lake, CA

Patrick Simpson is a computer scientist at Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division who recently received a 2016 Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers Award in the Individual Scientist category. (U.S. Navy photo)

Patrick Simpson is a computer scientist at Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division who recently received a 2016 Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists ...

NAVAIR on Facebook NAVAIR on Twitter RSS Feed NAVAIR's YouTube Channel Image Map

Be the first to comment, Please review our Feedback Guidelines.

Feedback

Please review our Feedback Guidelines.

 Yes  No