Mr. John C. Wegand
Award: Gold Medal Award - Engineering
Recipient: Mr. John C. Wegand
For his significant contribution to naval engineering as set forth in the following:
Recognized as a leader across the Navy in materials engineering, Mr. Wegand’s technical contributions to Navy Engineering have been significant. Mr. Wegand has spent his entire 30-year career immersed in the research, development and implementation of innovative technologies and solutions. As a young engineer at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), his career began with the study of the hertzian stress contribution to low friction behavior of thin films. This placed him on a journey to his most noted project, the implementation of thermal spray nonskid (TSN) ), an advanced coating system that is inherently wear resistant and a relatively flat coating for Naval flight decks to support operation of next generation weapon systems. Not only has Mr. Wegand managed the installations of more than 100,000 ft2 of TSN to seven LHA/LHD class ships, but his efforts have paved the way for the commercialization and industry adoption of TSN.
Mr. Wegand received a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland in 1986 and has continuously worked with the U.S. Navy as a federal and contract employee. As Operations Manager for a small business, he successfully managed million-dollar research and development contracts with NRL and other Department of Defense (DoD) organizations. Most recently, Mr. Wegend has been responsible for the adoption and implementation of TSN across the Navy Fleet, a task that started with a R&D material and continues due to an unstoppable determination. Mr. Wegand’s efforts have single handedly established the art of possible and in parallel, socialized, and certified commercial companies across the industry to install TSN.
As Principal Investigator, he mentored a team of young engineers researching the material properties of thermal spray coatings, interfaced with industry to optimize the application process for efficiency, developed contractual documents to commercialize the technology, prototyped self-robotic installation technology, and consulted with foreign governments on the implementation of their own TSN systems. Mr. Wegand took an R&D material and turned it into a fully transitioned turn-key product and process for all large deck amphibious assault ships. Taking it a step further, he accelerated TSN adoption by reducing the implementation risk by developing and introducing a self-propelled, robotic system to apply TSN in a more rapid, cost-effective way.
Mr. Wegand is responsible for the Navy’s adoption and transition of TSN which directly affects Fleet readiness, increases the service life expectancy, and lowers the life cycle cost and maintenance cycles associated with deck coatings. Without his efforts, TSN would not have transitioned so successfully and broadly to the Navy and the industry. It is for his significant contributions in bringing TSN from concept to an industry adopted and Navy accepted best practice, that the American Society of Naval Engineers is honored to name Mr. John C. Wegand as the recipient of the 2019 Gold Medal Award.