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Dr. Leigh McCue

Award: Frank G. Law (Service to ASNE)
Year: 2020
Recipient: Dr. Leigh McCue

for outstanding contributions to the advancement of the Society through dedicated service as set forth in the following 


Dr. McCue influenced the American Society of Naval Engineers like no one else and helped stabilize and prepare the organization for its approaching future. Dr. McCue served as the Society’s Executive Director from 2015 to 2018, and in this time period, accomplished critical actions that many would consider impossible. During this period, she executed necessary, difficult, and fundamental changes in the management, operations, and the outreach of the Society. 

Dr. McCue started her journey at Princeton University, where she obtained her bachelor’s in mechanical and aerospace engineering. She then took the next five years climbing the educational ladder and eventually obtained a master’s in aerospace engineering, a master’s in naval architecture and marine engineering, and a PhD in naval architecture and marine engineering. These accomplishments alone prove how talented and accomplished she is, however, this was just the beginning of her influential career. With a passion in naval architecture, more specifically vessel dynamics and computational fluid dynamics, she completed research with the support of the Office of Naval Research, the National Science Foundation, NASA, the U.S. Coast Guard, and many others. Dr. McCue may have an impressive amount of education and experience in the naval field, but it is what she did with that knowledge and experience once in a leadership position that was truly remarkable. 

While Dr. McCue’s accomplishments with ASNE seem endless, one of the most impactful was the wholesale re-invigoration of the ASNE “brand.” Dr. McCue undertook the responsibility of updating the look, feel, accessibility, and content of not only ASNE’s digital footprint, but also ASNE’s Naval Engineering Journal. Changing from an older platform to a modern one requires a massive amount of effort that was accomplished on her personal time and involved not only writing software and applications, but also a complete overhaul of the Society’s information technology infrastructure. This accomplishment not only resulted in significantly reducing the Society’s costs, but more importantly has served to attract a new, younger, and more diverse membership to the Society. 

Dr. McCue’s never-ending list of accomplishments include acquiring a new headquarters property, a new and modern printing strategy for the Naval Engineers Journal, a restructuring of the ASNE staff with a focus on talented and collaborative personnel, and guiding the Society out of the fiscally challenging time it was in. Not many people would have been able to accomplish the many feats that Dr. McCue did, especially looking at the possibilities that she left behind for the future of the Society. For her leadership and outstanding service to the American Society of Naval Engineers, ASNE is honored to name Dr. Leigh McCue the recipient of the 2020 Frank G. Law Award.