News Release

Alumna named first chief distinguished scientist for SPAWAR center

 Wadad Dubbelday is the first Chief Distinguished Scientist  for the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific, part of SPAWAR.

San Diego, Calif., May 5, 2016 -- Wadad Dubbelday, an electrical engineer and Jacobs School alumna with a 35-year career at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific, was selected as the center’s first Chief Distinguished Scientist and senior scientific and technical manager for Science and Technology Forecasting, Assessment and Transition.

In this role, she will also serve as the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) Deputy Chief Technology Officer, further developing the command’s science and technology portfolio and working to improve technology transition.

“A highly effective collaborator across the information warfare community, Wadad has been equally adept at engaging externally with DARPA, ONR, other warfare centers, academia and industry,” said Carmela Keeney, SSC Pacific’s executive director. “Her technical fields of study include solid-state physics, materials research, and integrated circuit fabrication.”

Dubbelday holds both masters and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering and applied physics from the University of California, San Diego, which she earned while working full time at SSC Pacific.

She began her career at SSC Pacific in the Integrated Circuit Fabrication Facility, conducting advanced research on submicron and nanometer integrated circuit fabrication as well as silicon-on-insulator circuitry. Her doctoral dissertation was on silicon-on-sapphire materials and devices.

Since then, Dubbelday has worked in various roles both technical and managerial, including leading the development of the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s Counterdrug Technology Assessment Center, as project manager for the Department of Homeland Security’s Border and Transportation Security Network, and the technology development lead of command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in anticipation of the Navy’s next generation ship platform.

Most recently, Dubbelday served as the Discovery and Invention business portfolio manager, overseeing the work acceptance agreements and scope of S&T projects in the portfolio, functioning as technical subject matter expert for Naval Innovative Science and Engineering (NISE) and In-House Laboratory Independent Research (ILIR) proposals, and the acting lead for the DARPA customer portfolio.

In this new role, she will fill a vital leadership position both internally and externally.

“As chief distinguished scientist, I will support Chief Technology Officer Dr. Stephen Russell in representing our S&T capabilities to outside stakeholders, supporting our internal S&T professionals, promoting partnerships with academia, industry, government and Department of Defense labs, and advocating for strengthening our investments in key areas of information warfare research and development,” Dubbelday said.

As SSTM, she will help chart SSC Pacific’s innovation course, forecasting the specific areas of science and technology that will be key to fulfilling its mission years and decades down the road.

“We must have a vision and a roadmap guiding us where we need to develop and invest in technology five, 10 and even 30 years out,” she said. “This requires engagement and input with all our stakeholders, both internally and externally.”

Dubbelday said that she’s always envisioned herself in a position of this nature, but recent events solidified her desire to help shape the future of naval technology.

“I feel driven, especially because of the competing global challenges we face today, to be able to help shape the direction of S&T because that is our opportunity to think strategically,” Dubbelday said. “So often we get busy just doing what has to be immediately accomplished that we don’t find ourselves able to take the time to think about where we need to be in 10 years. SSC Pacific recognizes this, so we have the S&T Forecasting, Assessment and Transition Competency to support the long-term investments in S&T”

“Recent events around the world have made me much more aware of the fact that I would like to continue contributing to the Navy and to our nation’s defense.  I want to take the investment the Navy has made in my education and training and serve as one of the leaders and facilitators for excellence in research, development, and innovation in the information warfighting domain.”

When not working to ensure information warfare superiority, Dubbelday is a wife, mother to a teenage daughter, and accomplished equestrienne. 

Media Contacts

Ioana Patringenaru
Jacobs School of Engineering