Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Crane Division employee Sean Kaiser has recently completed a major milestone in his doctoral education, as he passed qualifying exams on May 23. Kaiser, an NSWC engineer, is currently a doctoral student at Penn State University. He is on an NSWC Crane funded Ph.D. fellowship and is researching passive radar techniques.
Jonathan Dilger, NSWC Crane’s Ph.D. Fellowship Program coordinator, explained that passing the qualifying exams is a major achievement. “It’s a huge milestone to pass this. You must defend the work that you’ve done and be ready to answer questions regarding that work.”
Dr. Andrew Christianson, NSWC Crane engineer who also serves as Kaiser’s mentor and is on his Ph.D. committee, praised Kaiser for his hard work.
“Sean has been very diligent and focused to proceed so quickly through his studies. His plan to complete his Ph.D. studies in less than three years was incredibly ambitious but he is still on track to achieve this timeline. His research is very relevant to the work we do at NSWC Crane and we are eager to have him back so that we can work with him to continue tackling the Navy’s most difficult Electronic Warfare problems,” Christianson explained.
NSWC Crane values and invests in intensive academic study and research that supports its mission. One initiative that helps develop a workforce made up of nationally recognized leaders in their fields is the Ph.D. Fellowship Program, which helps employees complete doctoral studies in technical knowledge, advanced theories and techniques.
Nine employees have graduated through the Ph.D. Fellowship Program so far, with an average of one graduate per year since the program’s inception in 2007. Currently there are six NSWC Crane Fellows in pursuit of their doctorates. The program guide may be found on SharePoint and new applicants are sought every year around the October through November timeframe. Each Fellow signs a Continuing Service Agreement that details a 3-to-1 service commitment back to the government for the time funded within the program.
The most important aspect of the Ph.D. Fellowship Program is that the employees return to NSWC Crane and continue with research and collaboration with university advisors and colleagues. While their studies may have ended at the university, the research often leads to other new areas of knowledge and collaborations which benefit NSWC Crane and its mission.