Navy Announces 2009 Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers of the Year Awards

Breakthrough research yielded the world's first-ever ship degaussing system to use high temperature superconducting (HTS) materials garnered "Top Navy Scientist and Engineer of the Year" accolades for George Stimak, a program officer at the Office of Naval Research (ONR).

The Honorable Sean Stackley, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, honored 34 scientists and engineers at the third annual Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers of the Year awards ceremony at the Pentagon May 19.

With more than 35,000 scientists and engineers, the Department of the Navy established the Dr. Etter award to honor those who reach superior technical achievements and to promote continued scientific and engineering excellence. The award is presented annually to Navy civilian and military personnel for exceptional scientific and engineering achievement.

"This is a great honor for me, but it was truly a team effort," remarked Stimak. "Support from NAVSEA, Carderock, industry and especially the crew of USS Higgins, where we installed the HTS coils, were vital to the successful development of this technology and everyone's partnership was outstanding."

A member of ONR's Ship Systems and Engineering Research Division, Stimak's game-changing research on the HTS degaussing coil technology eliminates a ship's magnetic signature, thereby interfering with the ability of undersea mines to detect a ship's magnetic field and detonate when a ship comes within close proximity.

"This new degaussing coil makes it safe for ships to operate closer to shore where most mine strikes occur," said Stimak. "I feel pretty good about that."

Cmdr. Carl W. Meuser, USS Higgins commanding officer, projects that the benefits of HTS degaussing will deliver myriad potential applications for the warfighter, beginning with the ability to preempt or defeat threats and forces operating within a ship's complex ocean and littoral battlespace.

About Dr. Delores M. Etter

Dr. Etter serves as the TI Distinguished Chair in Engineering Education and the Director of the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education in the SMU Lyle School of Engineering.

She is an internationally recognized leader in science and technology and engineering education. As one of the few subcabinet appointees for both the Bush and Clinton administrations, she has served as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition and as the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Science and Technology. In addition to her public service, Prof. Etter has had a distinguished career as an academic and engineering researcher having held the position of ONR Distinguished Chair in Science and Technology at the United States Naval Academy, and Professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder and the University of New Mexico.

Dr. Etter has been recognized with nearly every major award given to engineering educators and researchers. She was elected into the prestigious National Academy of Engineering; the highest recognition afforded an engineer in this country. She has been awarded the Defense Department Medal for Distinguished Public Service, confirmed by the U.S. Senate as a member of the National Science Board which governs the NSF, appointed member of the Defense Science Board, and served as Principal U.S. representative to the NATA Research and Technology Board.

Etter was a recipient of the Federal WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) Lifetime Achievement Award, the IEEE Harriet B. Rigas Award, the Charles Hutchinson Memorial Teaching Award from the University of Colorado, the IEEE Education Society Achievement Award, the IEEE Millennium Medal, and the SPIE Defense Security Lifetime Achievement Award, just to name a few. Dr. Etter has also been elected a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education, the IEEE, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr. Etter is the author of eighteen books and more than 150 scholarly articles.