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NPS Department of Systems Engineering Graduates First Missile Defense Agency Cohort
U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Michael Ehrlich

NPS Department of Systems Engineering Graduates First Missile Defense Agency Cohort

By MC2 Michael Ehrlich

NPS’ Department of Systems Engineering (SE) graduated its first cohort from the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), pictured above, during NPS’ 2016 Summer Quarter Graduation Ceremony, Sept. 23. The cohort, comprised of distance learning students from several different fields, worked together on a capstone project titled, “MDA Ballistic Missile Defense System-of-Systems Modeling and Simulation Needs and Gaps.”

“The professors were very knowledgeable and helpful. We were able to relate to them because they worked in the same field,” said NPS Student Theron McCray whose work centers on Aegis operational capacity. “They understood the challenges we have at the MDA.”

Attending the commencement ceremony was MDA Deputy Director for Engineering Dennis Mayes and Director for Engineering and Career Development Dr. Pamela Knight. They worked closely with the SE department to develop the curriculum.

“NPS is one of the best systems engineering programs around,” said Knight. “[Associate Chairman for Distributed Programs and Outreach Dr. Walter] Owen was great. He was flexible, doing what we needed because we are a very high op-tempo organization.”

Mayes agreed. He is currently focused on matching his graduates with positions suited to their newfound capabilities.

“What I plan to do is look at what their curriculum was and where our critical needs are. We are always looking to train great engineers … and with what they have learned, put them in critical locations so they can lead the way,” said Mayes.

NPS Department of Systems Engineering Professor and Chair Dr. Ronald Giachetti is proud of the work that his faculty and students are accomplishing.

“We are very proud of our program. We feel that we are leaders in delivering distance learning education at the graduate level,” said Giachetti who also noted that his program has one of only two accredited graduate systems engineering degrees.
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September 2016

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