students by individual engineering field (Table IV. 1), and the number of all S&E graduate students who are U.S. citizens (Figure IV.4). Figures IV.5 and IV.6 describe the employment sector of S&E degree holders in general and of doctoral degree recipients specifically. While these data provide interesting background, more information is needed to identify where there are particular imbalances between supply and demand for NAVSEA S&E personnel.
NAVSEA should attempt the three phases (plant, nurture, and produce) of its program simultaneously.
Initially, there was some confusion as to whether the draft memorandum described the evolution of the proposed NAVSEA activity (e.g., “plant” would refer to the early years of the activity) or whether it referred to three phases of activity related to the ages (or the stages of development) of the individuals to be targeted. In conversations with NAVSEA personnel it became clear that it is the latter. In the memorandum, it would help to directly state that NAVSEA will initiate activities at each of the three phases (levels) in year one. The initiative may be described as an “incremental effort,” but it has activities that can result in NAVSEA hires in the near term (e.g. graduate fellowships) and not just ten years out. Navy leadership will be more interested in this approach because it is known to want results in the near term and will look for progress each year in order to sustain the needed funding. In addition, NAVSEA should consider enunciating how resources will be divided among these three phases and how this, in turn, will influence the scope of the activities to be undertaken during each phase.
NAVSEA should work more with other Navy programs and other services to identify lessons learned in order to improve the chances that its activities will be successful and will not needlessly duplicate other efforts.
NAVSEA already has some programs in place, as noted in the draft memorandum. Additionally, it participates in programs with other parts of the Navy. Examples include the joint NAVSEA/ONR National Naval Responsibility for Naval Engineering (NNRNE) program8 and the SeaPerch program9, the latter of which provides hands-on underwater robotics experiences for K-12 students and has been largely supported by NAVSEA and ONR.10 Similarly, the Human Powered Submarine (HPS) races for high school and college students, held every other year at the NSWC-Carderock, already involve close Navy interaction.
There are also existing programs in the other services (e.g., in the Army lab community), in other federal agencies and departments, and in the private sector that could be mined for lessons learned. It may be possible to link to some of these programs as well. The committee had some concern that NAVSEA work to build efficiencies across the DOD. Of course, it, may implement an idea done elsewhere, if its target population is not being reached. NAVSEA might want to begin to think now about how its programs, if proven successful, might be scaled up, as well as how they might articulate with similar efforts. For instance, it might very well be that the plant and nurture phases can be articulated with other efforts and pathways so that participants could be channeled into multiple pathways.