Mrs. Robin White
Award: Harold E. Saunders Award
Recipient: Mrs. Robin White
Reason: for her significant contributions to naval engineering as set forth in the following
As the Chief Naval Architect of the U.S. Navy, Mrs. Robin White has indelibly marked every surface ship in the U.S. Navy. She introduced the designs that greatly improved the capability of the Navy’s surface platforms, through her leadership and as an exceptional hydrodynamicist. She has advanced the Navy’s key ship design processes, through her adoption of model-based simulation tools and automation. She has championed NAVSEA’s people, through her mentorship and leadership.
Mrs. White improved the Navy’s surface ship platforms over her career, in the roles of architect, hydrodynamicist, engineer, administrator and organizational leader of NAVSEA 05V and NAVSEA 05D. In her role as Chief Naval Architect, she has responded to over 60 major incidents involving Navy ships. In 2000, she was responsible for the stabilization and technical aspects of the safe recovery of the USS Cole, after the attack in Aden. She also played a major role in the USS Port Royal recovery effort in 2009, the USS Guardian salvage in 2014, and the USS John S. McCain and USS Fitzgerald responses in 2017. Mrs. White established the SEA 05V organization in 2007 and led the design and engineering for the new Gerald R. Ford class, as well as the successful technical oversight and delivery of CVN 77. She has directly influenced the successful delivery of CVN 77 and CVN 78, DDG 51 class ships, DDG 1000, LHA 6-8, LPD 22-28, LCS 1 and 2 class vessels, T-AKEs, EPFs and ESD/ESB ships.
Mrs. White has modernized the Navy’s ship design processes over her career. Under her leadership, the NAVSEA design community is experiencing a renaissance of concept design tools and processes. She led the SEA 05D community from “design-build-test” sequential processes to model-based systems engineering. By moving NAVSEA engineering to set-based design and design-of-experiment approaches, Mrs. White drove naval ship design to more innovative and affordable ship concepts.
As Chief Naval Architect for the U.S. Navy, Mrs. White has mentored and led the development of the NAVSEA Ship Design Manager community and has been a NAVSEA corporate recruiting team Executive Champion since its inception in 2011. She has provided organizational leadership as well as individual recruitment advice, engaging with candidates directly to personally ensure the best people join NAVSEA. Throughout her career Mrs. White is particularly passionate about the role of women engineers, and women’s equality. She has personally inspired or directly mentored hundreds of female engineers in NAVSEA and throughout the Navy enterprise.
For her enduring legacy impacting platforms, processes and people, the American Society of Naval Engineers is honored to name Mrs. Robin White the recipient of the 2017 Harold E. Saunders Award.