Carl O. Brady
Award: Gold Medal Award
Mr. Carl O. Brady
For his significant contribution to naval engineering as set forth in the following:
Carl O. Brady has been a technical driver of one of the most successful naval machinery programs ever undertaken. Within the span of a single generation his efforts were instrumental in transforming the U.S. Navy Surface Fleet from one almost totally reliant on steam propulsion to one dominated by gas turbine propulsion. Further, he has fostered a similar trend in many other navies. Today over 875 LM2500 gas turbines are being used in approximately 350 ships of more than forty different types, in thirty-four navies in the world.
As General Electric’s manager for the U.S. Navy LM2500 programs, Mr. Brady’s strength has been his ability relate the engine to the entire ship as a system. In the early 1980’s, while the basic engine had many thousands of hours as an aircraft power plant, the marine environment was still new, and provided its own lessons to be learned. Through close cooperation with the Navy, including the Component Improvement Program, Mr. Brady’s team was rapidly able to identify the causes of failures and to take corrective action to keep them from escalating into serious fleet-wide problems. This program has led to the steady improvement in LM2500 reliability over the years, and to their continued use for the main propulsion of the FFG 7 Class frigates, CG 47 Class AEGIS cruisers, and DDG 51 Class AEGIS destroyers. Through his personal leadership and technical knowledge, Mr. Brady has led the engine development to the point where it is providing very close to 20,000 hours of reliable operation before requiring rework¾a quadrupling of running hours on the Navy engines.
Mr. Brady has been involved in development of broader uses for the LM2500, both in the U.S. Navy and in commercial ship applications. He has participated in the design of most of the high-speed commercial craft using GE gas turbine engines, and in development of combined cycle power systems for low speed commercial ships, particularly cruise ships.
The U.S. Navy movement to gas turbines, and in particular the LM2500, represents a major sea change in ship design, with profound effects on warship mission capability, crew size, ship design parameters, endurance, and war-fighting capabilities. This has been in large measure the direct result of the leadership and technical excellence embodied by Carl O. Brady. Future ship designs will surely benefit enormously from his life’s work. Mr. Brady is a most worthy recipient of the Gold Medal Award for 1995.