NUWC chief technology officer Gomez infusing technology on the frontlines

BUILDING THE FUTURE: 
Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport Chief Technology Officer Jason Gomez oversees summer programs 
at the base for students to understand the technology aspect of its operation. 
COURTESY NAVAL UNDERSEA WARFARE CENTER DIVISION NEWPORT
BUILDING THE FUTURE: 
Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport Chief Technology Officer Jason Gomez oversees summer programs 
at the base for students to understand the technology aspect of its operation. 
COURTESY NAVAL UNDERSEA WARFARE CENTER DIVISION NEWPORT

2023 C-Suite Awards
Government Agency: Jason Gomez | Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport chief technology officer


AS CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER OF Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport, Jason Gomez is responsible for shepherding the research and technology that scientists and engineers are creating for use within the U.S. Navy.

The warfare center has approximately 3,600 scientists and engineers working on sonar, weapons, and range technology, or “what the Navy needs for its mission,” Gomez said. The Newport division, one of the warfare center’s two divisions, is focused on research, development, testing, evaluating, engineering and fleet support for submarine warfare systems and other structures dealing with underwater warfare.

Gomez first began working for NUWC in 1992 after graduating from Syracuse University and became chief technology officer three years ago. He knows the center does not have enough people and is intimately involved with increasing the workforce by expanding the research base into universities. The warfare center also searches for specific skills during expansion, along with hiring a small number of people per year.

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Gomez often communicates and collaborates with universities and businesses to learn what initiatives they are working on. He also oversees NUWC’s summer programs for students, which regularly see between 4,000 to 5,000 students joining the team for a period. “They can see where they fit,” he said.

Gomez has also enabled scientists and engineers he works with to publish their results. Over the past three years Gomez has been in his current role with NUWC, scientists have internally published more than 500 articles, with more than 100 published in journals. Engineers have had 110 patent applications and 44 patents were issued.

Dawn Vaillancourt, the warfare center’s business director, feels that communication is one of Gomez’s best qualities, as he easily relates to researchers and has discussions with lead-ership. Gomez is integral in the science and technology community, she said.

“Under his leadership as Division Newport’s chief technology officer, Jason has been instrumental in strengthening our science and technology posture both internally and externally,” Vaillancourt said.

Vaillancourt says Gomez has led efforts across the organization to align NUWC’s science and technology portfolio with technology focus areas that address current and future fleet needs, and has built relationships and collaborative partnerships across government, industry and academia. Gomez also helps the division strengthen science and technology communications, and to reward and recognize science and technology accomplishments such as patents and technology transitions, she said.

Gomez also gives other people opportunities to add input but he ultimately decides what direction to take, Vaillancourt said. The center performs a variety of work with sonar, underwater acoustics and underwater vehicles. Teams are also working on research to keep combat systems protected from cyberattacks, Gomez said.

“You get to use your capabilities to provide to sailors and perform a meaningful mission,” Gomez said about working for the Navy.

“These are 18- to 20-year-old kids trying to protect our country. It’s important.”

The technology that Gomez oversees is out in the fleet, including technology that has been added to weapons.

“Some of my stuff is out there,” Gomez said, adding, “the environment is more than just me. A person’s research grows bigger than when they started. It’s rewarding.”

In addition to his work for the Navy, Gomez also served on East Greenwich’s planning board for nine years. The group, which oversees any possible development within the town, needed technical people to serve and Gomez volunteered.

“It was fun to see how the town’s developing and what developers were doing,” he said.

Along with his degree in aerospace engineering from Syracuse, Gomez earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of Rhode Island. Gomez believes he has become more patient over time as a leader with NUWC.

“I don’t have a leadership style,” he said. “There are a thousand different things, and no one style. Someone needs you to be a leader in a certain way at a certain time. You become what people need at that moment.”

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