NAVAIR - Naval Air Systems Command

10/12/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/12/2018 10:38

Three at Weapons Division inducted among NAVAIR’s best, brightest

Oct 12, 2018


Dr. Curtis Kidner of Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division is recognized as a Naval Air Systems Command Full Fellow during a ceremony Sept. 26 in ...

NAVAL AIR WARFARE CENTER WEAPONS DIVISION, CHINA LAKE, Calif. - Three Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division teammates were honored during the Naval Air Systems Command Full Fellows induction ceremony Sept. 25 in Patuxent River, Maryland. Full Fellows inductees represent the top 0.75 percent of NAVAIR's scientists and engineers.

'One of the greatest privileges that I've had during my career is saying without a doubt that I serve with the world's best and brightest,' said Rear Adm. John Lemmon, keynote speaker, NAWC Aircraft Division commander and NAVAIR assistant commander for Research and Engineering. 'The best pilots, the best officers, the best enlisted personnel and of course, the best engineers, scientists and technical experts in the world.'

Of the 16 Full Fellows inducted this year, the three selected from NAWCWD were Warren Ingram of the Human Systems Department, Dr. Curtis Kidner of the Weapons and Energetics Department and John Morris of the Range Department.

In Warren Ingram's 27 years with NAVAIR, he has supported products for the Navy, Air Force, Army and NASA with a technical specialty in aerodynamic decelerators. Those who work closely with him have described him as 'a wealth of knowledge' and 'genuinely one of the best people I have ever met.'

'Warren is not only a technical expert, but is one of the hardest working engineers I've ever met,' said Elsa Hennings, senior systems engineer in the Escape, Parachute and Crashworthy Division at WD. 'He cares deeply about the safety of our warfighters and goes 'over and above' so frequently that he has raised the work ethic 'bar' for the young engineers in our division. He is an unparalleled mentor and his demeanor is such that people from organizations across the country request his support on a wide variety of programs.'

For Ingram, who is nationally recognized as a subject matter expert on parachute recovery systems for both manned and unmanned systems, his passion stems from a love of math and science and using his skills to save lives.

'I was one of those kids that really liked math and science, so studying engineering was a natural progression,' he said. 'My group's work largely involves parachutes, many of which are designed for saving lives. It is exciting to know that the things we work on could someday save someone's life and, honestly, who doesn't like parachutes?'

Dr. Curtis Kidner, whose technical specialty is radio frequency seekers and sensors, has 33 years of service. Among his successes, Kidner has led the development of two hardware in the loop scene generation systems in support of Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile and Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile systems as well as invent a new methodology for the HiL systems that dramatically reduces calibration time.

On top of his technical work, Kidner is admired for his commitment to mentoring and developing junior engineers and members of the Engineer and Scientist Development Program.

'In addition to being the RF scene generation lead for the HiL development efforts, Dr. Kidner has led the Weapons Susceptibility 219 effort,' his nomination stated. 'Each year, Dr. Kidner has defined a minimum of four technical tasks to be executed with the 219 funding. For each task, he used his knowledge of NAVAIR and NAWCWD program offices needs to create tasks that would align to the ESDP's skill set. As a result, there were a number of technical achievements that have transitioned to directly support NAVAIR programs.'

John Morris is an aerospace engineer who has worked in Point Mugu Range Safety for nearly 34 years. He is the architect of the Range Risk Analysis Tool, which is used by every Major Range and Test Facility Base involved in conducting weapons tests. Morris developed the code that is at the core of the software, transitioned the product to industry, and continues to develop and integrate new modules and interfaces.

Morris' nomination names him the 'most known and respected Range Safety engineer in the world. His lines of code and software tools are ubiquitous.' He has completed risk analysis, developed risk acceptance rationale, and delivered risk decision recommendations for complex test events including Standard Missile-3 and Arrow-2 launches from San Nicolas Island, High Altitude Supersonic Target developmental tests, and Fleet Supersonic Training Target first flight and regularly supports ballistic missile testing with the Missile Defense Agency.

His nomination also praises him for mentoring 'literally every member of Point Mugu Range Safety over the last two decades. He seeks every opportunity to train young engineers.'

'John is the epitome of a NAVAIR Fellow,' said David Woodbury, Morris' supervisor.' He is an internationally recognized leader in his field who has been contributing at the highest level for decades. I am immensely proud of John and what he has accomplished.'

The NAVAIR Fellows Program holds three tiers, Associate Fellow, Full Fellow and Esteemed Fellow. Associate Fellows are selected during odd-numbered years while Full Fellows are chosen during even-numbered years. The program is national in scope and is open to all NAVAIR engineers and scientists in any competency at any site.

'Acceptance into the Fellows ranks at NAVAIR is a significant achievement as you can well imagine,' Lemmon said. 'It means that you have made and are expected to keep making significant contributions in support of our national defense strategy. Above all else, it means that you have committed yourselves professionally and you have given your talents to ensure that our fleet never goes into an engagement without a significant technological advantage. We owe that to them.'

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