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Norfolk Naval Shipyard Partners with the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences to Showcase Cutting Edge Shipbuilding Technology

25 May 2023

From Susanne Greene

NORFOLK, Va - Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) co-hosted its first Technology Showcase for contractors and civilians from May 10-11 with the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS).

The two-day event hosted more than 60 vendors and provided an opportunity for waterfront workers to see the most innovative technologies in their trades and for shipyard production management teams to collaborate with industry partners on discussing prospective solutions specific to NNSY.

“Becoming the 21st century shipyard our Navy needs requires that effective combination of efficient planning and execution, upgraded facilities, and cutting-edge technology and equipment that can be smartly leveraged into our day-to-day work,” said Shipyard Commander Captain Dianna Wolfson at the event’s kickoff. “The next two days offer an exciting glimpse into our future, with prospects of using more advanced technology to meet our vision.”

Planning for the Technology Showcase started back in 2019 and culminated into a successful event at America’s Shipyard.

Dan Adams, Shipyard Command Innovation Program Manager stated, “The Innovation Program leadership was focused on identifying and transitioning proven technologies into the shipyard that would help the command meet the mission of maintaining, modernizing, and repairing the Navy’s nuclear fleet in a more efficient manner.”

Vendor focus areas included: coatings and corrosion prevention; energy, environmental, health and safety; business technology and analytics; advanced additive manufacturing; training, and enhanced inspection systems.

“This interaction is key for those doing the work to communicate their current challenges and stress the solutions offered by the vendors against their real world experiences,” stated Thomas Staskin, Shipyard Business Process Consultant Lead. “We feel these dialogues will guide the vendors to focus their efforts in areas that will truly make a difference to our shipyard in the future, as well as identify those technologies that seem to be ready for implementation right now.”

“The reality is that this gives us the chance to close the gap between what the government has available for us versus what the outside industry can offer,” said Jason Wills, Code 926 Shipyard Group Superintendent. “This is the first step in driving that to completion and we are very excited about it.”

Nick Buie, Code 982 Shipyard Utilities Engineer attended with other members of his team and plan to visit future Technology Showcases at NNSY.

“It’s nice to be at the Technology Showcase and engage with vendors that are very much on the front edge of shipbuilding technology,” said Buie. “It’s refreshing to see the various perspectives on the products and services that are available to our industry.”

The vendors enjoyed engaging with NNSY employees and sharing the latest shipbuilding technologies.

“I spent the first day going vendor to vendor listening and taking notes of all the innovative technologies,” stated Laura Herrin, Code 900, Shipyard Program Manager for Process Improvement. “For someone who has been in the shipyard for over 35 years and has worked in multiple codes, I was excited to see all the new technology that will help our workforce to do their jobs safer and faster.”

Herrin further stated, “Overall, I believe there was value added to this technology showcase and as with everything we should do as NNSY, it will continuously improve.”


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