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Today@NPS - October 2013
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 MC2 Chablis J. Torrence 

NSAM Fitness Director Wins Gold in International Track Competition
MC3 Danica M. Sirmans

Naval Support Activity Monterey (NSAM) Fitness and Sports Director Babatunde “Tunde” Ridley, right, is congratulated by NSAM Commanding Officer Capt. Gerral David for his gold medal victories in both the 100- and 200-meter races at the World Masters Athletics Championships in Porto Alegre, Brazil on Oct. 19.

Ridley joined the NSAM team in August of 2011, but has been competing at the highest levels in track and field for several years with countless notable accomplishments and victories. “I am really excited about the time that I ran … And I am excited about being injury-free,” said Ridley. “It’s been awesome here at the base, there’s been a lot of support and I really appreciate it."

The World Masters Athletics Championships invites top athletes from across the world to represent their native countries while competing in a variety of age groups and events. Ridley’s time in the 100-meter dash was 10.66 seconds, defeating his closest competitor by nearly 0.3 seconds. He won the 200-meter dash in just 21.60 seconds.

U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Chablis J. Torrence 

NPS Celebrates Halloween Early with Freaky Family Friday
MC2 Chablis J. Torrence

Volunteers for Morale, Welfare and Recreation’s Freaky Family Friday gather with NPS enlisted staff and their families to celebrate Halloween in the university’s Barbara McNitt Ballroom Hall, Oct. 25.

“The event went really well,” said MWR Community Activities Coordinator Lindsay Carver. “It was all about the kids, and they had a really great time.”

The party included game booths, candy, prizes and a costume fashion show. Many NPS students and staff, and their families, came in costume.

“I had a fantastic time, the families were amazing,” said Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Darin Wright.

U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Danica M. Sirmans 

Boeing Phantom Works Team Details Russia’s Arctic Ambitions
MC3 Danica M. Sirmans

NPS welcomed Boeing Phantom Works Senior Defense Analyst Michael Horn to Glasgow Hall for a discussion with students and faculty on Russia’s growing interest in the Arctic, Oct. 22. Horn’s presentation detailed the increasing accessibility of Arctic resources and their value, with a focus on how and when Russia’s ambitions in the polar region may affect the interests of the U.S. and its allies.  

“The U.S.’s top interests in the Arctic are security, resources, commerce, protection of indigenous communities, and scientific research,” said Horn. “We are interested in finding out what Russian interests in the Arctic are, and looking into how those interests could impede our own.”

Horn discussed Russia’s current role in the Arctic, and conjectured upon possible Russian opportunities and interests 10 years from now and beyond. He cited the Northern Sea Route, for example, which when ice free reduces shipping transit time and fuel costs between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. “We think that Russia’s attempt to control the Northern Sea Route gives us a choice,” Horn noted. “We could live [with Russian control] because we can’t afford to meet every challenge, everywhere in the world. Or we could counter it … We could say that the Northern Sea Route is so important that we have to match what Russia is spending there.”

U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya 

Naval Aviation Psychologist Brings Human Performance Expertise to NPS
Javier Chagoya

Lt. Lee Sciarini and his colleagues bring new meaning to the phrase, “The Few, the Proud.” Sciarini is a Naval Aerospace Experimental Psychologist, or AEP, one of only 31 active duty officers across the entire service who fill their unique niche in naval aviation and aerospace, a division of Aviation Medicine.

“I’m number 141 in a long line of AEP professionals,” said Sciarini, meaning he is the 141st AEP since 1940. He adds that he finds great honor in “being entrusted to continue our legacy of outstanding contributions to aviation, Naval Medicine and countless other domains. I am frequently humbled when I think of the accomplishments of my predecessors and senior AEPs.”

Sciarini fills the AEP billet and is a military faculty member in the NPS Department of Operations Research, working in the human systems integration (HSI) program. AEPs are instrumental in the selection of naval aviators and work in a broad range of education and research environments. While assigned to NPS, Sciarini’s research will focus on optimizing the fit between human and aviation systems and technology. Sciarini comes to NPS from the Naval Air Warfare Center, training Systems Division, in Orlando, Fla.

U.S. Navy photo by Dr. Larry Shattuck 

Ops Research Student, Professor Honored With Best Paper Award
MC3 Danica M. Sirmans

Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making (JCEDM) Editor-in-Chief Amy Pritchett presents the journal’s first-ever Best Article award to recent NPS graduate Army Maj. Daniel Hall, NPS Senior Lecturer Dr. Larry Shattuck, and Wright State University Professor Dr. Kevin Bennett, pictured from left to right, at the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society’s annual meeting, Oct. 1.

The article, entitled “Evaluation of an Ecological Interface Design for Military Command and Control,” focused on the team’s efforts to create an interface to support decision making and problem solving during ground-based tactical operations. “We were trying to develop an innovative display for commanders to help them make decisions better and faster,” said Shattuck.

Shattuck and Bennett spent 10 years working on the project, with Hall joining the effort while pursuing his master’s degree at NPS. The trio was the first to be awarded JCEDM’s Best Article award for their contributions to the journal.

U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Chablis J. Torrence 

Space Systems Guest Lecturer Presents on How Innovation Works
MC2 Chablis J. Torrence

James E. Lenz of the John Deere Technology Innovation Center describes how his company innovates during a Space Systems Academic Group (SSAG) guest lecture, Oct. 22 in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Auditorium. Lenz is a popular presenter during SSAG’s Technology Review and Update short course, and returned to campus for this special presentation.

Lenz’s lecture discussed the methods corporations like John Deere currently use, or are looking to implement, to drive innovation into the creation of new products and the reinvention of old ones. For a company that is one of the nation’s oldest at 175 years, Lenz says innovation is critical to their future success.

Over his lengthy career with organizations such as Boeing, Honeywell, the University of Minnesota, and now John Deere, Lenz has been involved with more than 100 new product developments, and has been awarded 20 patents. He currently leads electronics strategy and sensors development worldwide for the agricultural, construction and commercial machinery giant.

U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Shawn J. Stewart 

NPS Featured in Halftime Segment for Notre Dame vs. Navy Football Broadcast
MC3 Shawn J. Stewart

NPS Research Associate Dr. Marco Ciarcia, a National Research Council postdoctoral researcher, left, speaks with University of Notre Dame Adjunct Professor, retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Robert Latiff, right, during a demonstration of the floating spacecraft simulator in NPS’ Spacecraft Control Lab, Oct. 17.

Latiff was on campus with a video production team to shoot a two-minute segment to be aired at halftime during the upcoming Notre Dame versus Navy college football game on Nov. 2. The spot will highlight Notre Dame’s John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology and Values, where Latiff teaches on the ethical implications of emerging defense technologies.

NPS Professor Dr. George R. Lucas also participated in the segment, and has collaborated with Latiff in the past through their efforts with the Consortium for Emerging Technologies Military Operations and National Security (CETMONS). "We discussed a variety of issues effecting the military today,” said Lucas. “From areas like robotics, unmanned systems, cyber security, human enhancement and non-lethal weapons to technologies the military uses that may raise ethical or legal questions.”

U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Chablis J. Torrence 

Air Force Student Details Project on Defensive UAV Tactics
MC2 Chablis J. Torrence

Members of NPS’ Consortium for Robotics and Unmanned Systems Education and Research (CRUSER) listen to a brief by Air Force Maj. Matthew Allen who discussed the defense of High Value Units (HVU) against “swarm” attacks during CRUSER’s monthly membership meeting, Oct. 15.

Allen and a group of fellow students utilized a herding model to predict the “intent” of a swarming attacker by weighting the importance of an attacker reaching the HVU, and the importance of an attacker avoiding the defender. Students also used the model to evaluate HVU survivability using different defense strategies.

“Instead of just looking at HVU survivability, we looked at how many effective attackers would actually penetrate and reach an HVU. We also established new survivability perimeters,” said Allen. “Multiple simulations were presented that varied survivability parameters, initial attacker positions, defender guidance laws, and hit-rate functions.”

The presentation was the result of a group project conducted in the Cooperative Control of Multiple Marine Autonomous Vehicles course.

U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Shawn J. Stewart 

New NPS President Addresses University Faculty, Staff
MC3 Shawn J. Stewart

Newly appointed NPS President retired Vice Adm. Ronald A. Route speaks to faculty and staff in King Auditorium, Oct. 10. The presentation marked Route’s first official address since assuming the position early this month. Route thanked the assembled faculty and staff for taking time out of their schedules to voice their concerns and hear his plans for the future.

"The course you have helped shape this past year is on solid footing for the future. We have much more to accomplish, but I want to thank you up front for making this institution the important value-creating asset that it is to the U.S. Navy, the DOD and most importantly, to each student who walks through our doors," he said.

Route was optimistic about NPS’ future operations and expressed his willingness to listen to student and faculty concerns as the graduate school begins a new chapter in its long naval history. “I am very optimistic about this institution … If I were not, then I would not be here,” said Route. “I am ready to listen and I am ready to move forward.”

U.S. Navy photo 

NPS Alumna Astronaut Scott Carpenter dies at 88
MC2 Chablis J. Torrence

NPS alumnus Cmdr. (ret.) Malcolm Scott Carpenter died October 10. Carpenter was the first NPS alumnus to be a NASA Astronaut and the second man to orbit the Earth in 1962. He is known as one of the original seven astronauts selected for the Mercury Program.

He underwent intensive training with NASA, specializing in communication and navigation. On May 24, 1962 Carpenter piloted the second American manned orbital flight aboard the spacecraft Aurora 7 through three revolutions of the earth and reaching a maximum altitude of 164 miles.

“It was a cherished experience,” said Carpenter. “I feel I got the chance to see the inner workings of the grand order of things. In the overall scheme of things, it proves that men can do about anything they want to if they work hard enough at it, and I knew that I could do it…” Carpenter was commissioned in U.S. Navy in 1949 he attended the Navy General Line School at NPS between 1957 and 1959.

U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya 

Prof. Ronald Fricker receives 2013 Hamming Award
MC2 Chablis J. Torrence

Operations Research Prof. Ronald D. Fricker, Jr., above right, receives the 2013 Richard Hamming Annual Faculty Award for Achievement in Teaching from Vice Adm. Richard W. Hunt, Director Navy Staff at NPS’ Summer Graduation Ceremony, September 27. Professor Fricker excelled in all three criteria for the Hamming Award: outstanding teaching, excellence in thesis supervision, and strength of contribution to NPS students beyond the classroom.

“It’s a big honor,” said Fricker. “Even more so with the students we have here, they are spectacular in everything they do, both here and in the field.”

The Hamming award is named for NPS Professor Emeritus Dr. Richard W. Hamming. It highlights a faculty member that demonstrates outstanding teaching skills. Dr. Hamming dedicated his life to teaching and research, specifically in the mathematics, computer science and telecommunications fields of study. Each year NPS students nominate faculty members for the award named in his honor.

U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Chablis J. Torrence 

Navy Celebrates 238th Birthday
MC2 Chablis J. Torrence

NPS servicemembers and civilians, above, come together to celebrate the Navy’s 238th Birthday in the Barbara McNitt Ballroom at NPS’ Herrmann Hall, October 4. “This is my first Navy Ball in my 13 years [of service] and I must say, I was pleasantly surprised at the pageantry, tradition and esprit de corps it stirred,” said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Wesley Griffin.

The ball included a POW/MIA spotlight, the traditional toasts in honor of all services and the Defense Language Institute’s (DLI) Choir and drill team. “Without these traditions and honors observed, young sailors would not truly understand what the Navy is about,” said Flag Admin Leading Chief Petty Officer Sosthenes Henry.

In 1972 Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt authorized recognition of October 13 as the Navy’s birthday. Since 1972 each CNO has encouraged a Navy-wide celebration of this occasion "to enhance a greater appreciation of our Navy heritage, and to provide a positive influence toward pride and professionalism in the naval service.”

U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Danica M. Sirmans 

Classes Resume on Campus With Partial Staff Recall
MC3 Danica M. Sirmans

NPS students returned en masse to their classes this week in spite of the ongoing government shutdown. With the approval of the Pay Our Military Act, the Department of the Navy was able to authorize most civilian Navy personnel to return to work this week, allowing university classes to resume as scheduled.

Army Capt. Leander Metcalf, a student in the cyber systems and operations curriculum, was one of hundreds of students back in class today. “As a first quarter student, it’s been tough to adjust and go through so much new material during the government shutdown,” said Metcalf.

Students, especially those new to NPS, have had to work together to prepare for classes with the uncertainty of the government shutdown. “We’ve had to rely on our classmates quite a bit to help us get through the curriculum.  It’s been tough because a lot of my fellow classmates are in the same boat that I’m in,” said Metcalf. “I just appreciate having our faculty and subject-matter experts back on campus to offer us their expertise and to help us through our rigorous course loads.”

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