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Posted on: May 12, 2021

NUWC Division Newport engineers win medals, team gold, at first PEO-IWS Digital Olympics event

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                        May 12, 2021

Release #2127                                                      Point of Contact—Jeffrey Prater (401) 832-2039

NUWC Division Newport engineers win medals, team gold, at first PEO-IWS Digital Olympics event

Eight Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport engineers from the Sensor and Sonar Systems Department’s Surface Ship and Aviation Systems Division, medaled in the first Program Executive Office for Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS) Digital Olympics competition held Feb. 8 to March 22.

Liam Stamp, Aiden Keene and Spencer Tasso, took home gold, silver and bronze medals, respectively, in individual competitions. Meanwhile, David “Joe” Wade, Kevin Coiro, Cody Jarobski, Zanel Camielle and Cameron Chidester, combined to take home a gold medal in the team competition. A total of 34 teams and 69 individuals across 12 Navy commands competed in the event. 

“The Surface Ship and Aviation Systems Division is a relatively young division when compared with the rest of Division Newport, with 66% of employees having less than 10 years of experience and 27% less than five,” Ann Turley, head, Sensor and Sonar Systems Department, said. “We also are facing changes in how we design systems with greater emphasis on digital engineering and agile development.

“The Digital Olympics provided our employees with opportunities to both learn more about digital engineering principles while also applying them to their daily tasking from PEO IWS 5.0. We are grateful to Rear Adm. Seiko Okano, the program executive officer for IWS, and Capt. Jill Cesari, the major program manager for PEO IWS 5.0, for encouraging our employees, many of them new professionals, to participate.”

PEO IWS has provided digital education in a variety of formats in the last two years. The Olympics competition was designed to measure knowledge gained and skill growth — as well as prepare for the next phase of digital transformation — from these educational endeavors. 

In order to test this, PEO IWS leveraged a gamification format that has proven successful for measuring digital change in industry.

The competition was broken down into five events:

  • An individual competition that included categories for data visualization and digital trivia
  • Freestyle competition
  • Team competition that included categories for knowledge management and development, security and operations (DevSecOps)

The first week focused on the team events of knowledge management and DevSecOps, as well as the freestyle competition. The second week centered on the individual events of visualization, digital trivia and the freestyle competitions. On March 22, PEO IWS held the closing ceremonies where final scores were reveled and Rear Admiral Okano presented awards.

“Huge congrats to the NUWC personnel for their awesome performance in PEO IWS’s Digital Olympics,” Cesari said. “I had no doubt they’d be phenomenal technology athletes.”

Stamp won his gold medal in the individual competition for his project on data analytics and visualization, where he created a dashboard on tsunamis using Tableau. The goal of this event was to choose a publicly available data set to create a single visualization or dashboard of visualizations that demonstrate a use case that could be applied at IWS.

Stamp used a dataset from Kaggle.com that provided data on tsunamis for the past 4,000 years, including cause and location of each wave. Tableau’s map feature was used to visualize ocean events around the world. The dashboard provided information on tsunamis given a location and date range. The information provided included location, cause, magnitude, destruction and frequency.

“The Digital Olympics was a great opportunity to interface with IWS and to see its wide variety of digital capabilities,” Stamp said. “Rear Admiral Okano and her team made it a fun experience.”

In the individual freestyle event, Keene took home the silver medal for his submission of a video on the acquisition management tool (AMT) developed by Surface Ship and Aviation Systems Division personnel and used in support of the acquisition of AN/SQQ-89(V) production assets. In the video, Keene discussed an example use case wherein a program manager of the AN/SQQ-89(V) system must perform an excursion drill of swapping ship availabilities and analyze the program impacts.

Excursion fielding, master program and sparing plans were created as Keene guided the audience through the different applications within the AMT suite. The entry concluded with the potential applicability of AMT applications to other IWS codes, both presently and in the near future.

“Representing IWS 5.0 in the digital transformation-based freestyle event,” Keene said, “I was confident in my presentation due to the great software work done by our colleagues at Applied Research Laboratories: University of Texas, Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane and MIKEL Inc.”

Tasso, a recent hire, took home the bronze medal in the individual competition for data visualization. He used Python to create a data visualization tool that displayed graphs based on food data using a simple graphical user interface (GUI). The dataset showed food sales from 1997-2020, split up into food away from home and food from home in nominal and constant/real dollars.

His goal was to utilize this food data to show and predict economic trends. The hope was this data could be used by the IWS team to aid in predicting the funds that would be available in the future to allocate to different programs. Through the inclusion of features like custom graph creation and code modularity, he accomplished this goal while also allowing for ease of future revisions and additions.

“The Digital Olympics was a great competition. It was a fun way to allow people to show, apply and build upon their technical skills and expertise,” Tasso said. “There are a lot of very smart people working here at NUWC and I am very happy that I was able to take home a medal. Overall, competing in the Digital Olympics was a great experience for me, and hopefully IWS continue hold this event in the future.”

In the team competition, the group from the Surface Ship and Aviation Systems Division took home the gold medal in the DevSecOps competition with their submission of a Sonar Supersonics Proposed DevSecOps architecture. The team’s goal was to develop an example DevSecOps architecture that was applicable to any weapon system or hull; accounts for the full DevSecOps lifecycle and all of its roles; clearly designates security requirements where necessary; accounts for feedback from the fleet and the end users; and accounts for infrastructure and tools.

“The DevSecOps competition was an amazing opportunity to stress the importance of cybersecurity throughout the development life cycle,” Coiro said.

The team “blew the judges away, by their knowledge,” Okano said during the closing ceremony. “Absolutely fantastic work.

“This is how we level up as an entire organization,” Okano said and thanked the participants. “You are the trailblazers. You are changing the DNA of this organization and I am so proud of each and every one of you.”

NUWC Division Newport is a shore command of the U.S. Navy within the Naval Sea Systems Command, which engineers, builds and supports America’s fleet of ships and combat systems. NUWC Newport provides research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support for submarines, autonomous underwater systems, undersea offensive and defensive weapons systems, and countermeasures associated with undersea warfare.

NUWC Newport is the oldest warfare center in the country, tracing its heritage to the Naval Torpedo Station established on Goat Island in Newport Harbor in 1869. Commanded by Capt. Chad Hennings, NUWC Newport maintains major detachments in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Andros Island in the Bahamas, as well as test facilities at Seneca Lake and Fisher's Island, New York, Leesburg, Florida, and Dodge Pond, Connecticut.

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210504-N-N180-0001A Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport team of engineers took home the gold medal in the Digital Olympics sponsored by Program Executive Officer for Integrated Warfare Systems, Feb. 8 to March 22. The Sonar Supersonics, comprised of David “Joe” Wade, Kevin Coiro, Cody Jarobski, Zanel Camielle and Cameron Chidester, won in the development, security and operations competition for creating an architecture plan that was applicable to any Navy weapon system or hull. (U.S Navy photo from Digital Olympics Awards ceremony)

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