NUWC engineer wins award for cybersecurity knowledge, leadership

NICOLE NUNEZ won Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport’s Helen Martha Sternberg Award. From left are Ron Vien, NUWC Newport technical director; Yadira Gilchrest, last year’s winner; Nunez; and NUWC Newport Commanding Officer Capt. Michael Coughlin. / COURTESY U.S. NAVY/DAVE STOEHR

NEWPORT – Computer engineer Nicole Nunez was named the winner of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport’s Helen Martha Sternberg Award. The honor is named after Sternberg, a mathematician in NUWC’s former lab in New London, Conn., and a recognized authority in the General Solar Model, or computer model of the sonar equation.

Nunez, a resident of Cranston, joined a cybersecurity team at NUWC Division Newport in 2016, according to a NUWC press release. She was honored in part for her performance in taking on more responsibilities, training and sharing the knowledge gained with other team members. She was presented with the award by Yadira Gilchrest, an NUWC Newport sensors and sonars systems engineer who won the award last year.

“Nunez is planning to continue her studies in the fall, when she starts a cybersecurity master’s degree program at the University of Rhode Island. She understands that it is critical to continue learning and increasing her skills in cybersecurity. Nunez will accomplish this through additional studies and taking on increasingly complex assignments,” reads the award citation.

The Helen Martha Sternberg Award is sponsored by the Society of Women Engineers, New England Shoreline Section. The award was established in 1990 and goes to an NUWC Newport female employee each year who has a background similar to Sternberg’s.

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NUWC Division Newport is part of the Naval Sea Systems Command, a division of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center that researches, develops, tests and evaluates engineering and fleet support for submarines and autonomous underwater systems.

Susan Shalhoub is a PBN contributing writer.