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Posted on: November 30, 2021

Four NUWC Division Newport Engineers Win Black Engineer Of The Year STEM Awards

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                 November 29, 2021

Release #2159                                                   Point of Contact—Jeffrey Prater (401) 832-2039




Four NUWC Division Newport engineers win Black Engineer of the Year STEM awards


Four Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport employees recently won Black Engineer of the Year STEM Outstanding Achievement Awards sponsored by Career Communication Group’s (CCG) U.S. Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine. 


Guilherme Fernandes and Soutongonoma “Edmonds” Zongo won Modern-Day Technology Leader awards, which recognize bright men and women who are shaping the future of engineering, science and technology. Mason Cooper and Darryl Mensah were selected as Science Spectrum Trailblazers, which honors men and women actively creating new paths for others in science, research, technology, and development.


Fernandes, a resident of Cranston, Rhode Island, currently serves as the research, development, test and evaluation principal technical lead for the next-generation Mark 22 MOD 2 torpedo warhead in Division Newport’s Undersea Warfare (USW) Weapons, Vehicles, and Defensive Systems Department. He began his Division Newport career in 1987 and has since supported numerous lightweight and heavyweight torpedo programs for the U.S. Navy and Foreign Military Sales. During his more than 34-year career, Fernandes has become recognized as the torpedo warhead software and hardware subject matter expert, and is widely respected by his peers, leaders, and customers. 


He is frequently called upon by Navy leadership to provide critical information to support decision making and his expertise has been critical to the success of numerous torpedo programs.   


Since 2016, Zongo, a resident of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, has been the project lead and subject matter expert for the Underwater Communication Subsystem (UCS) for the Jacksonville Shallow Water Training Range (JSWTR), a Division Newport detachment in Florida. The fully integrated system provides monitoring and communication capabilities between the shore team and platforms on the range. Through model-based systems engineering utilizing the Cameo Systems Modeler (CSM), a commercially available collaborative environment, Zongo created a model for the JSWTR UCS in just over five months. His CSM expertise is leading the way for model-based systems engineering efforts within Division Newport’s Ranges, Engineering, and Analysis Department in many ways, starting with the UCS model being the first of its kind for the department.


Cooper, a resident of Groton, Connecticut, is a member of the Sonar Test and Evaluation Team within the Sensors and Sonar Systems Department, and is a significant player in the team’s quality assurance process. He lends his support as a government witness for several baseline formal and informal tests and is responsible for verifying and validating requirements from the Navy warfighters and stakeholders, ensuring that any issues observed during the test events are captured and properly documented. Cooper coordinates with Division Newport team leads and industry representatives to maintain constant communication and awareness between both parties, and overall, ensures that the fleet receives the products needed to complete the mission.


Following his participation in the Naval Acquisition Development Program, Mensah, a resident of Lincoln, Rhode Island, joined Division Newport’s USW Weapons, Vehicles and Defensive Systems Department in 2014. He is currently dual-hatted as a principal investigator and the lead system engineer, supporting the development of an internally funded project. Mensah leads a team of more than 25 people from several warfare centers to acquire funding for the vehicle system project, manages the tasking and funding, presents the project status to Navy leadership, and ensures the execution of applicable software testing. In addition, Mensah serves as a mentor for newly hired employees and summer interns.


All four award winners will be honored at the CCG Technology Recognition event being held during the 2022 BEYA STEM Conference, Feb. 17-19. For more information visit, https://intouch.ccgmag.com/page/awards


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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Soutongonoma “Edmonds” Zongo, a project lead in the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport’s Ranges, Engineering and Analysis Department, recently won a Career Communication Group Black Engineer of the Year STEM Outstanding Achievement Award in the Modern-Day Technology Leader category for his subject matter expertise on the Underwater Communication Subsystem for the Jacksonville Shallow Water Training Range in Florida. (U.S. Navy photo by Dave Stoehr)


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Darryl Mensah, principal investigator and lead system engineer in the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport’s Undersea Warfare Weapons, Vehicles and Defensive Systems Department, recently won a Career Communication Group Black Engineer of the Year STEM Outstanding Achievement Award in the Science Spectrum Trailblazer category for his role in support of the development of an internally funded project. (U.S. Navy photo by Dave Stoehr)


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Guilherme Fernandes, the research, development, test, and evaluation principal technical lead in the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport’s Undersea Warfare Weapons, Vehicles, and Defensive Systems Department, recently won a Career Communication Group Black Engineer of the Year STEM Outstanding Achievement Award in the Modern-Day Technology Leader category for his work on the next-generation Mark 22 MOD 2 torpedo warhead. (U.S. Navy photo by Dave Stoehr)


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Mason Cooper, a member of the Sonar Test and Evaluation Team in the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport’s Sensors and Sonar Systems Department, recently won a Career Communication Group Black Engineer of the Year STEM Outstanding Achievement Award in the Science Spectrum Trailblazer category for being a significant player in the team’s quality assurance process. (Photo courtesy Mason Cooper)

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