FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 21, 2021
Release #2129 Point of Contact—Jeffrey Prater (401) 832-2039
NUWC Division Newport, Howard University sign cooperative research and development agreement
Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport and Howard University in Washington, D.C., announced they have entered into a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) on May 19.
“We are extremely excited to further our relationship with Howard University, which is emblematic of the collaborations we need to keep our undersea technology on the cutting edge and enable the naval capabilities needed to protect our nation,” Division Newport Commanding Officer Capt. Chad Hennings said. “This collaboration brings together the 154 years of advanced mathematics expertise at Howard University, whose math department was established in 1867, with the 152 years of undersea technology expertise at NUWC Newport.
“With this CRADA, we look to expand our areas of collaboration, include student participation in our joint research, and develop a training ground for the next generation of both NUWC scientists and Howard researchers to continue to support our Navy for the next 150 years.”
This agreement, signed during an online meeting with Howard University representatives, further strengthens the working relationship and commitment to technical excellence between NUWC Division Newport and Howard. In addition to the CRADA, there is an educational partnership agreement (EPA) in place between the two.
“We’re very excited about what this may present in terms of additional opportunities for collaboration between Howard researchers and NUWC,” Dr. Anthony Wutoh, provost and chief academic officer at Howard University, said. “This is an area we want to continue to explore and investigate. I want to express my thanks and appreciation for this opportunity.”
A CRADA is an agreement that provides for joint research and development between a federal laboratory and a non-federal partner. The legal CRADA authority allows for Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) personnel and facility costs to be paid for by the non-government partner. CRADAs are executed by the warfare center commander and are legally binding contracts; however, they are not subject to competition in contracting requirements or procurement regulations.
CRADAs do not allow funds to be provided to the partner from the government laboratory, although funds can be provided to the partner from a government source. The primary purpose of a CRADA is joint development and sharing of facilities, knowledge, experience and/or intellectual property. The CRADA also provides data and intellectual property protection from the Freedom of Information Act for an established period of time.
An EPA allows for student and faculty participation in research, equipment loans and transfers, help with STEM course development, guest lectures and demonstrations, and workshops for teacher and student science and technology education. This allows warfare center scientists and engineers to work with an educational institution to enhance STEM education. Recently added provisions allow student participation in technology transfer and associated legal activities.
The CRADA and EPA with Howard was facilitated through the working relationship between Dr. Tony Ruffa, the director of transition for Division Newport’s Chief Technology Office and Dr. Bourama Toni of Howard University.
“Professor Toni has been working with us every summer since 2015 under the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Summer Faculty Program,” Ruffa said. “Previously, he was a professor of mathematics at Virginia State University, but in 2018 he became the chair of the Mathematics Department at Howard University.
“The work with Howard University supports an ONR initiative that will impact the next generation of signal processing approaches by developing multivariate non-Gaussian and weighted Gaussian distributions that reflect realistic data sets that are often not Gaussian in nature.”
These enabling technologies will allow the Navy’s Sailors and submariners to see or hear farther into the ocean than ever before.
“Division Newport is extremely proud to be a part of this ongoing, cutting-edge research,” Technical Director Ron Vien said during the signing. “Their work together under this CRADA will extend to research for ONR [Office of Naval Research] and Oak Ridge Laboratory to investigate applications for signal processing.
“This will extend to working with others at Division Newport to develop computation techniques for electromagnetics theory and provide the most sophisticated mathematical tools to the research community in signal processing and information theory.”
The collaboration between Ruffa and Toni has led to three book chapters and two contributed volumes published by Springer, “Advanced Research in Naval Engineering” and “Recent Trends in Naval Engineering Research.” The two most recent books, of which Ruffa and Toni were co-editors, each resulted from In-house Laboratory Independent Research (ILIR) projects at Division Newport.
“It has been a pleasure to work with Dr. Ruffa over the years,” Toni said. “I’m quite happy we have this CRADA being signed.”
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.
Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport Commanding Officer Capt. Chad Hennings (center) holds up a signed cooperative research and development agreement during an online meeting with Howard University representatives on May 19, as Chief Technology Officer Dr. Jason Gomez (from left) and Technical Director Ron Vien look on. The agreement will expand areas of collaboration and include student participation in joint research, to develop skills in the next generation of both NUWC Division Newport scientists and Howard University researchers. (U.S. Navy photo by Dave Stoehr)