Naval Postgraduate School
Calendar | Directory
Today@NPS - February 2016

Today@NPS showcases some of the speakers, conferences, experiments, lectures, and other events that take place at the Naval Postgraduate School on a daily basis.  If you would like more information about any of the highlighted activities please contact the public affairs office at To view more stories visit the Today at NPS archive. NPS' photo galleries and graduation pictures can be found on the Photo Gallery - Collections page.


U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Brian H. Abel
Former Secretary of the Navy Talks Cyber Security
By Kenneth A. Stewart

Former Secretary of the Navy the Honorable Richard Danzig speaks to NPS students, faculty and staff during a Secretary of the Navy Guest Lecture at King Auditorium, Feb. 9. Danzig offered insight into the national security implications of digital insecurity in a world where security must be built from essentially insecure components.
"Cyber systems bring with them inherent insecurity," said Danzig. "We are living on a [cyber] diet of poison fruit, but you can't skip the diet. You have to have the nutrition. The question is, how do you live with it?"
Throughout Danzig's address, he discussed the ramifications of the world's growing reliance on cyber systems and the affect of that reliance upon our "national well-being."
What matters are insecurities within the system that could allow an adversary to render us unable to act by, for example, bringing down our power grid or preventing our planes and missiles from flying Danzig explained.
But Danzig did not merely "admire the problem." He offered recommendations that ranged from questioning the necessity of some digital network connections to advocating the use of analogue technology where appropriate. He also noted NPS' foothold in the social sciences and their potential for further development in the cyber arena.
"We need to understand a lot better what causes humans to do what humans do, both as attackers and as defenders. When we understand that better, we will design better systems … There is a whole area of activity there that is very ripe for this school," said Danzig.
Danzig was sworn in as the 71st Secretary of the Navy on Nov. 16, 1998. He served as Under Secretary of the Navy between Nov. 1993 and May 1997. He is, among other things, the Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of The RAND Corporation, a member of the Defense Policy Board and The President's Intelligence Advisory Board and a Director of the Center for a New American Security.

February 10, 2016

U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya
NPS Students to Benefit from NASA Expertise
By Javier Chagoya

NASA Chair and Ames Research Center Chief Engineer Dr. Tina Panontin is pictured in her Bullard Hall office, Feb. 9. Panontin will begin offering classes this spring drawing upon her expertise in materials failure analysis.
"This is a win-win opportunity for those looking to advance their knowledge in this particular career field at NASA. At the same time, I get to share my experiences with NPS students in the investigation processes of failure analysis," said Panontin.
As part of a long standing partnership between NASA and NPS, NASA provides a high-ranking representative from one of its ten NASA field centers to serve as NASA chair at NPS.
Panontin has been involved in some of NASA's most critical operations over the last 30 years. She is excited about the opportunity to teach and share some of the lessons learned from her distinguished career.
Panontin is the 11th NPS NASA Chair. She will serve another six months at NPS before returning to NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.

February 9, 2016

U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Lewis Hunsaker
Associate Dean Named Interim Director of Business Operations
By MC1 Lewis Hunsaker

Graduate School of Business and Public Policy (GSBPP) Associate Dean Capt. James Hitt is pictured in front of Herrmann Hall, Feb. 5. Hitt will be leaving his position at GSBPP to serve as NPS' Interim Director of Business Operations.
Hitt aims to help NPS faculty and staff to navigate the "box" of complex regulations and procedures that may inadvertently become an impediment to the important work that occurs at NPS.
"I have been working at the business school for over two years now, so the 'box' is very comfortable. [Serving] as the Director of Business Operations, even for a short period of time, gives me a new perspective on things and the opportunity to see into the 'boxes' of other people."
Throughout Hitt's 29-year naval career he has done everything from navigating the USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) to flying P-3 aircraft. He received a Masters in Computer Science from NPS in 2010.
"I'm very thankful to be back at NPS and it's always great to work with the new and amazing people here," said Hitt.

February 8, 2016

Courtesy Photo
Professor Authors Fourth Book On Modern Middle Eastern History
By MC2 Michael Ehrlich

NPS Department of National Security Affairs Associate Professor Ryan Gingeras recently released his latest book, a biographical effort entitled "Mustafa Kemal Ataturk: Heir to an Empire." The work chronicles modern Turkish Republic founder Ataturk, and is already Gingeras' fourth book covering contemporary Middle Eastern history.
"'Heir to the Empire' tells the story of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founding president of the Republic of Turkey," said Gingeras. "His ideas, policies and life story continues to shape how contemporary Turks view the country's politics, culture and national identity."
Gingeras, who currently serves as Chair of NSA's Doctoral Committee, believes an NPS education yields unexpected results for the university's students.
"Studying at NPS allows career officers the opportunity to engage in an education specifically tailored to their professional needs and interests," said Gingeras. "Moreover, it does so while bringing together a great host of bright, promising individuals from the United States and all corners of the world. An experience that in it of itself is as valuable as anything learned in the classroom."

February 5, 2016

U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Brian H. Abel
Naval War College Monterey Grads Honored for Academic Achievement
By MC3 Brian H. Abel

Naval War College (NWC) Monterey graduates earning academic honors during the first quarter of Academic Year 2016 are pictured following a brief ceremony in their honor near the NWC Monterey program offices in Halligan Hall, Feb. 2.
The graduates who earned "with Highest Distinction" honors by completing the program in the top five percent of their class include Army Capt. Nicholas Dubaz, Army Maj. Rustin Jessup, and Navy Lts. Forrest Bush, Brian Fields and Scott Margolis.
Graduates earning "with Distinction" honors by completing the program in the top 15 percent of their class include Navy Lts. James Beaty, Kevin Breach, Jeffrey Buenaventura, Adam Karaoguz, Ralph Montgomery, David Nicolas, Lt. Cmdrs. Jarrod Ozereko, Kevin Solem, Army Majs. Samuel Colby, Ryan Flaherty, Randolph Fleming, Bradley Greaver, Kyle Greenheck, Andrew Johnston, and Marine Corps Capt. David Harris.

February 4, 2016

U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Michael Ehrlich
NPS Internship Leads to Full-Time Position
By MC2 Michael Ehrlich

Lisset Cortes had larger goals in mind when she accepted a high school internship with the Cebrowski Institute back in 2009. And she's beginning to realize those goals, recently accepting the position of Office Automation Assistant for the university's Department of Operations Research.
"I am truly honored to work at NPS. I continue to meet spectacularly intellectual people across campus and it's remarkable how refreshing and illuminating they are as passionate professionals," said Cortes. "[The Operations Research Department] is where I learned to be a young professional."
Currently, Cortes supports more than 70 NPS faculty members and students in the department, coordinating travel and administrative logistics, following up with reimbursement claims, and more.
"While I attended California State University Chico, I continued my internships at NPS during the summers to keep my foot in the door," said Cortes. "I enjoy this type of work tempo, there are a lot of assignments to keep the office going, and keeping the faculty members happy with whatever they need."
Cortes has also starting taking classes towards her master's degree in the Department of National Security Affairs. NPS staff members have the opportunity to advance their education and career by attending classes at NPS through the Health and Educational Wellness Program.
"It's truly amazing to have this educational advancement opportunity available to me. My work experience at NPS has motivated me to look toward program management where I can handle a lot more," said Cortes. "I want to focus on using this experience in administration toward planning, logistics and management."

February 3, 2016

Courtesy Photo
Explosive Containment Technique Leads to Patent
By Kenneth A. Stewart

SeaBees from the 30th Naval Construction Regiment and Indonesian service members utilize former NPS student Lt. Deward Cummings' explosive containment technique. Cummings was awarded a patent for his technique, which he hopes will allow people in conflict zones to mitigate the effects of Explosive Remnants of War (ERW), Jan 12.
"Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) are a global problem contributing to instability in undeveloped and developing regions of the world. They have become a primary component used in Improvised Explosive Device (IED) fabrication, posing a direct threat to the U.S. military and its strategic partners.
"Finding and safely removing and disposing of ERW in a timely manner is a principal problem affecting stability. In most cases, neither localized disposal capacity, nor safe and secure storage solutions exist. As a result, ERW remain a threat and hindrance to stabilization even after being discovered or collected," said Cummings.
Cummings also notes that ERW poses a safety risk to civilian populations who may inadvertently stumble upon them and cause them to detonate. With affected populations in mind, Cummings strove to develop a solution that was locally sustainable and affordable.
"The only thing that we provide is the knowledge on how to build an explosive collection point using this technique," said Cummings. "It's the old teach a man to fish analogy."
And while Cummings is very proud of his patent, he insists that he patented it to keep it open source and available to the public and not to profit from it personally.
"We didn't patent it to protect the design for our use, we patented it to ensure that it will remain open source for everyone to use," said Cumming.
Cummings has moved on, but the work he did at NPS continues to gain traction. At a recent innovation workshop sponsored by the Naval Warfare Development Command and Old Dominion University, Cummings was named "Technical Innovation Presentation Winner" after showcasing his invention and taking question from an audience.

February 2, 2016

U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Lewis Hunsaker
DIUx Leader Talks Innovation During Latest Menneken Lecture
By MC1 Lewis Hunsaker

Director of Operations for Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx) Mark Gorenflo presents the latest Menneken Lecture to NPS undersea warfare (USW) students and faculty in Spanagel Hall, Jan. 28. The mission of DIUx is to build and maintain relationships, scout for breakthrough and emerging technologies, and serve as a local point of presence in the Silicon Valley for DOD.
"In order for the military to maintain its edge, it needs to tap into all areas of innovation in the United States," said Gorenflo. "Two to three decades ago, the Department of Defense could do that with its own organic assets such as NPS, Navy labs, Air Force labs, Army labs, and others … However, the Department of Defense (DOD) has been a victim of its own success since some of the technologies that we developed have migrated out into the private sector."
In April of 2015, Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter announced the formation of DIUx with the idea that a continuous presence in Silicon Valley would help increase the permeability of technology and ideas between the DOD and California's hub of innovation.
"One of the things that we [DIUx] are trying to do is to help with the requirements generation process and the acquisition process by bringing our customers to Silicon Valley to have them sit down with industry experts to help solve their problems," said Gorenflo.
Lt. Ross Hammerer, a physical oceanography student in the USW program, thought the brief was very informative.
"I think it's important for the military as a whole to interact with private corporations, because we can't isolate ourselves and rely on totally organic sources for innovation," said Hammerer. "Due to the various theses at NPS that are geared toward new and emerging technologies, a partnership with DIUx would be beneficial for both organizations."

February 1, 2016


This is an official U.S. Navy website.
All information contained herein has been approved for release by the NPS Public Affairs Officer.
Page Last Updated: Feb 11, 2016 8:03:29 AM | Contact the Webmaster