Alan Brown to receive naval architecture/marine engineering society award
July 29, 2015
Alan J. Brown, who holds the NAVSEA Professorship in Virginia Tech's Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering, will receive the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers' (SNAME) 2015 William H. Webb Medal at its fall meeting.
The Webb Medal, established in 1987, is awarded every two years for outstanding contributions to education in naval architecture, marine, or ocean engineering. The most prestigious SNAME awards are its medals.
"Dr. Brown has provided tremendous talent and visionary leadership in guiding the ocean engineering program. With his service as a naval officer, he has a great understanding of the educational and technical needs of the industry," said Eric Paterson, professor and head of the aerospace and ocean engineering department.
Five years ago, Brown was named the co-director of the Naval Engineering Education Center (NEEC), led by the University of Michigan. Virginia Tech was among the 15 colleges and universities that made up the consortium, along with the American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE) and SNAME. The center's purpose is to educate and develop world-class naval systems engineers for the U.S. Navy's civilian engineering, acquisition, and science workforce.
The Naval Engineering Education Center has used project-based education to provide actual naval engineering experience to students. NEEC project teams from the universities, along with a NAVSEA engineer or scientist assigned to the team, tackle technical challenges such as the use of alterative energy sources, energy conservation, reduction in total ownership costs, use of unmanned vehicles, advanced ship design methods, and reduction in maintenance.
Through NAVSEA internships and at-sea opportunities on Navy ships, Brown has helped insure that students receive relevant and hands-on naval engineering experience. Additionally, the NEEC universities are partnering with the ASNE and SNAME to develop a robust program for K-12 outreach to foster a student pipeline across the nation interested in pursuing education in science, technology, engineering, and math.
Brown joined the Virginia Tech faculty in 1998 after serving on the faculty in naval architecture and marine engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Brown received his bachelor's degree in naval architecture and marine engineering in 1971, his master's degree in shipbuilding management in 1973, and his Ph.D. in marine engineering in 1986, all from MIT.
He had spent 20 years in the Navy when he joined the MIT faculty in 1991.
His research areas are in naval and commercial ship design tools and methods, ship design and construction process, tanker safety and environmental protection models, naval ship survivability assessment, and marine engineering.
Brown is a retired Navy captain who held officer assignments in ship operations, maintenance, repair, salvage, oil spill response, design, construction, ship systems, research and development, and marine engineering.
He is a past recipient of the ASNE's Jimmie Hamilton Award for Best Original Paper and the ASNE Solberg Award for outstanding achievement in research related to naval engineering. Brown, already a Fellow of SNAME, has served the organization in multiple leadership positions.
At Virginia Tech he has received a Dean's Certificate of Teaching Excellence, only awarded to four faculty annually. He also received the Dean's Award for Excellence in Service.