James Griffin was recently awarded the Bronze Medal for 2011 by the National Defense Industrial Association. The award, given annually, recognizes those who have made achievements in science or engineering in undersea warfare. Griffin serves as head of the Autonomous and Defensive Systems Department at Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport. Griffin holds a B.S. from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and a master’s degree from the University of California San Diego, both in mechanical engineering.
PBN: Can you tell us more about the National Defense Industrial Association? What is your role as member of the association?
GRIFFIN: The association is America’s leading defense-industry association promoting national security. The association provides a legal and ethical forum for the exchange of information between industry and government on national-security issues. As the government liaison for the Undersea Warfare Vehicles Technical Committee of the association, I work with the committee chair to develop content for the conference newsletter and plan the undersea-warfare vehicles technical sessions at the association undersea-warfare conferences.
PBN: What position did you hold when you first started at NUWC Division Newport? What other positions have you held?
GRIFFIN: Initially I was a research engineer engaged in structural analysis related to the design and development of small undersea vehicles, including torpedoes and unmanned undersea vehicles. Subsequently I became a manager of a solid mechanics and design branch […] focused on the conduct of analysis and testing in the areas of structural analysis and design, structural acoustics and shock and vibration related to system survivability. I went on to become the division head of the Applied Engineering Mechanics Division.
PBN: What are your current responsibilities as head of the Autonomous and Defensive Systems Department?
GRIFFIN: I oversee a government and contractor work force of 250 professionals comprised predominately of scientists and engineers, with more than one half holding advanced degrees. The department conducts research, development and transition of advanced technologies for torpedoes, autonomous undersea vehicles, torpedo defensive systems and mobile targets. It also provides life-cycle management for all of those products, excluding torpedoes, which reside in another department. In my capacity as department head I also serve as a technical expert for industry and government. •