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New Paradigms In Naval Science And Technology

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Graduate Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.944.1 - 9.944.9



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Paper Authors

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Robert Kavetsky

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New Paradigms in Naval Science and Technology R. Kavetsky, D.K. Anand, J. Short, G.E. Dieter

Director, S&T Revitalization, Office of Naval Research/Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park/Defense Laboratories Program Assistant to the Deputy Director Defense Research & Engineering/Dean of Engineering (Emeritus), University of Maryland, College Park


Through the years the Department of Defense (DoD) has been able to provide its forces with superior warfare capabilities with their innovative use of human resources. These significant advances in warfare capability were brought about in large part by successful transformations introduced through the enterprise of science and technology (S&T). Today, DoD must continue to adapt to the current pace of technological change, rapidly integrate new and breakthrough technologies into its operational systems, and sustain a research and development environment that fosters innovation in order to preserve our significant lead in military capability.1-9 To do this, DoD must continue to attract and retain the very best scientists and engineers in its workforce.2 This is especially true for those scientists and engineers working at the forefront of emerging S&T, who need a unique set of technical skills in order to transition S&T to the fleet.

There are many that truly believe the DoD of the future should simply turn all S&T matters over to academia and private industry for solutions through the new acquisition reform process. However, as numerous studies have pointed out time and again over the last thirty years, the DoD can never fully out-source its S&T agenda through contract reform. Without its own internal personnel having competency in new and emerging S&T arenas, the DoD would find itself short on technical understanding, becoming simply an administrative interface useful only for dealing with the outside world as a purchasing agency. It would be unable to identify its own needs to 1) define military problems in technical terms, 2) know how to identify those who can potentially solve those problems, and 3) be technically capable of verifying a correct solution when it is presented. Clearly, DoD with its complex technical infrastructure requires the internal ability to work along with academia and industry to provide and sustain critical S&T capabilities.3

However, despite all this concern, the system is in serious disrepair. Colvard4 maintains “the Navy has lowered its level of intellectual involvement in research and development and weakened its entire infrastructure, which at the end of WWII was the strongest in the world. For a service that sleeps on its weapons, this weakened institutional position in the world of science and engineering is dangerous.” The government defense laboratories continue to lose bright engineers and scientists to industry thereby making it extremely difficult to carry out research in areas of importance to national defense. This is particularly true when you consider that industry is not capable or interested in research areas which have small markets. “Specialized defense technologies often have little or no applicability to commercial products. Unlike the situation “Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education”

Kavetsky, R. (2004, June), New Paradigms In Naval Science And Technology Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--14029

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