Tuesday, April 25, 2017

USNA Midshipmen Work to Produce Renewable Energy from Everyday Waste

By MCSN Kaitlin Rowell

A class at the U.S. Naval Academy is working to convert what we think of as everyday garbage into usable energy, a project that supports the Navy’s energy independence goals and potentially changes the way we view waste.

The average American throws away five pounds of trash each day which adds up to 258 million pounds of waste each year according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In 2014 more than 89 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) were recycled and composted, the highest percentage recycled in the U.S. to date. Unfortunately, even with these efforts, 136 million tons of MSW still ended up in landfills.


 But it turns out, through emerging process in which this waste is collected and process, landfills could be a valuable source of renewable energy.

Patrick Caton, a USNA Mechanical Engineering professor, and the students in his Waste-To-Energy Conversion class are attempting to determine just how much energy can be harnessed from everyday waste.

“This class is about engineering systems that can turn anything that we might consider to be waste into a usable energy source,” said Caton. “We try to take a broad view of waste. The obvious thing people think of when they hear waste is trash, but very quickly I hope students learn to view that more broadly.”


They first collect and sort waste into different categories. They then estimate how much energy each category of trash can produce by weighing it. The samples are then sent to an external lab for further testing, where they will be analyzed by first drying the waste to determine its moisture content, and then put into an oven where its mass loss is measured as it burns. With this information, the lab determines how much ash is produced as well as how much energy is released by measuring the amount of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, sulfur and nitrogen. The lab will then send the results back to the students to compare with their original estimates.

“We waste a lot of energy with trash,” said Midshipman 1st Class James Shadow. “Most people don’t do a whole lot of composting, and you can get a lot of energy out of that. You can get a lot of energy out of the trash that’s just sitting in the trash cans. That’s kind of enlightening.”

Using trash as an energy source is a gateway to a healthier environment and allows us to limit our use of fossil fuels, as well as reduce the cost of living.

“One of my goals for my students is to leave this class with a mindset … where the things that may have before been considered unusable or just complete waste actually have value,” said Caton. “I think that's a really important part of managing our energy going forward as a people, as an earth.”


Another project the class is working on is experimenting with food waste from King Hall, the dining facility for the Brigade of Midshipmen.

Midshipman 1st Class Scott Davids explained that by taking the food waste, grinding it up, adding some small bacteria to it and removing the presence of oxygen, an environment is created forcing the bacteria to produce gas. That bio-gas is about sixty to seventy percent methane.

The goal of this is to take decomposing food waste and collect methane to be used for energy.

“The benefit of these projects is getting midshipmen involved and showing opportunities for energy generation in the future,” said Davids. “This is something that is not only really applicable here to learn about in class, but also something that could play a part in our roles in the Navy.”

In 2009, then Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus issued several goals directed at transforming the Department of the Navy’s (DoN) energy use. Among them were to increase total energy consumption from alternative sources to fifty percent by 2020 and reduce petroleum use in the commercial fleet by fifty percent by 2020.

This project provides yet another possible method for achieving those goals.






Tuesday, April 18, 2017

USNA Chef Wins United Fresh Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award

The Naval Academy's Deputy Director of Retail Dining and Executive Chef Eric Lindstrom is one of eight foodservice professionals who won the United Fresh Produce Association's 10th Annual Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards.


These awards honor chefs and their companies for their innovative and influential use of fresh produce in the culinary arts. Winners will be honored guests at the United Fresh 2017 convention and trade show, June 13-15 in Chicago.

"I’m honored to be recognized by United Fresh and PRO*ACT as the 2017 Produce Excellence in Foodservice Award winner in the 'College & Universities' category and can’t wait to attend United Fresh 2017, see the latest innovations in fresh produce, and bring back new ideas to serve our guests at the Naval Academy," said Lindstrom.

These winners were selected from more than 100 nominations submitted by produce companies and foodservice operations across North America. A panel of produce and foodservice industry leaders reviewed each nominee's incorporation of fresh produce into menu development, use of food safety protocols for proper storage and handling of produce, leadership in produce-related community service and special events, and recognition by their company and industry peers.

The winners, along with an executive from their company, will attend United Fresh 2017 in Chicago. They also will be featured in a panel discussion on the United Fresh 2017 trade show floor in the FreshMKT Learning Center on Thursday, June 15, and will be presented with their awards during the Retail-Foodservice Celebration Dinner that evening.

Monday, April 17, 2017

USNA Wins Annual NSA Cyber Defense Exercise

Congratulations to the Naval Academy's Cyber Security Team for winning this year's annual Service Academy Cyber Defense Exercise (CDX), hosted by the NSA!

Cyber Security Team Members:
MIDN 1/C Lucas Foppe (Captain)
MIDN 1/C  Jordan Wilhelm
MIDN 1/C Danny Flack
MIDN 1/C Dennis Devey
MIDN 2/C John Trezza
MIDN 2/C Lamont Brown
MIDN 2/C Peter Hodapp
MIDN 3/C Anthony Dohse
MIDN 3/C Brandon Sipes
MIDN 3/C Doug Alpuche
MIDN 3/C Kristina Bodeman
MIDN 3/C Sam Teplov
MIDN 3/C Trent Meekin
MIDN 4/C Caroline Sears
MIDN 4/C Kevin Nguyen

The annual Service Academy CDX began in 2001 and is designed to sharpen the skills of the next generation of cyber warriors by having them work against NSA experts. USNA last won the event in 2015.

The Service Academy Cyber Defense Exercise trophy will
return to USNA this year. USNA last held the trophy the CDX in 2015.

For the past several months leading up to the event, these 15 midshipmen and their counterparts from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Merchant Marine Academy, Military Academy, and the Royal Military College of Canada have been preparing for the live competition by building and securing their own networks. During last week's competition, experts from NSA attacked each team's networks, while they attempted to detect and recover from those intrusions and attacks.

The USNA CDX victory comes with annual “cyber bragging rights” among the service academies and alumni in the cyber world where this event is recognized for its significance and difficulty, but also comes with an trophy (pictured above), which will return to Annapolis in the near future for a formal presentation.

Friday, April 14, 2017

USNA Ethics Team Wins Military Ethics Case Competition

The Naval Academy Ethics Team met with teams from West Point, Colorado Springs, the Coast Guard Academy, and Virginia Military Institute April 8 for the 4th Annual Military Ethics Case Competition.


During this competition, the teams each gave 20-minute presentations concerning the Farsi Island incident from January  2016, in which two U.S. Navy Riverine Command Boat crews were taken captive by Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels. Some crew members behaved contrary to the Code of Conduct during their brief captivity.

The teams crafted curricular proposals, using the incident as case study material, for use at their home schools. These proposals would be used to help prepare junior officers for any such future encounters.  A panel of five judges, two from the USNA Class of 1964, one from Boeing corporation, another from First Command Financial Services, and another from the University of Maryland, considered the presentations and engaged each team in an intensive Q&A session after their presentations.


The Naval Academy team, consisting of MIDN 4/C Jonathan Corbin, 3/C Adam Biethman, 3/C Raymond Gerrety and 2/C Marieme Gueye, took first place for the second time in the four-year history of the competition.  The team from West Point took second place, and Air Force landed in third.

This event wraps a very successful year for the  USNA Ethics Team. They began the year taking first place in the Eller College of Management Business Ethics Case Competition held in Tucson at the University of Arizona, followed up in March with a second-place finish in their first visit to the Stetson University Templeton Business Ethics Case Competition in Deland, Florida, before hosting the Military Ethics Case Competition.

The team is generously funded by the USNA Class of 1964 and is coached by Dr. Shaun Baker of the Stockdale Center.

Video of the competition will be available soon on the Stockdale Center's YouTube page.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

USNA Launches Semester Exchange Program with Korean Naval Academy

Naval Academy Superintendent VADM Ted Carter recently signed a memorandum of agreement for a semester exchange program with the Republic of Korea Naval Academy. 



Annapolis will send its first midshipman on exchange there this fall. This is the first semester exchange program for the ROK Naval Academy and the tenth counterpart naval academy semester exchange partner for USNA. 

These kinds of cooperative program enables our midshipmen to better understand another region of the world and other points of view. Each year we will send midshipmen to the ROK Naval Academy and also have the benefit of hosting ROK midshipmen in Annapolis.

Monday, April 10, 2017

"Old Goat" Decanter Passed on to Oldest Active Duty USNA Graduate

Retired Admiral Cecil D. Haney presented the "Old Goat" decanter to the commander of U.S. Pacific Command Admiral Harry B. Harris Saturday, designating him the oldest USNA graduate still on active duty.

Retired Adm. Cecil D. Haney (right) presents the "Old Goat" decanter
to Adm. Harry B. Harris in Memorial Hall.

The decanter is engraved with the initials and class years of previous Old Goats (which include Admiral Alton L. Stock, former USNA Superintendent Vice Admiral Mike Miller, and former Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert.)

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

USNA Hosts 2017 Joint Service Academy Cyber Security Summit

The United States Naval Academy (USNA) hosted the third annual Joint Service Academy Cyber (JSAC) Security Summit March 23-24.

The annual JSAC Summit aims to strengthen the ties between industry and government organizations, better secure the internet, share best practices and foster stakeholder partnerships to defend and defeat threats facing the nation. Hosted by one of the military service academies, the summit gives future junior officers the opportunity to interact with influential and experienced members of the cyber community.


“By using the service academies as the platform for this annual event, we try to generate discussion amongst entry level officers and leaders who could then network, meet and discuss with experts in the field,” said Paul J. Tortora, director of the Center for Cyber Security Studies. “Policy, academic, military, industry, government, international and domestic are all topics. We are able to talk about how we are educating our future leaders, but also give a leadership perspective on how cybersecurity is used in the fleet, other services, industry and academia. We bring in premier experts who can talk about cyber from all aspects and all angles.”

The summit bought together more than 200 leading information security space representatives from various backgrounds, including all four military service academies, the Defense Department, civilian industry and academia.

The opening keynote provided by Vice Adm. Walter E. “Ted” Carter Jr., USNA superintendent, stressed the significance of cyber education, cyber awareness, and how all warfighters need to be aware of how the cyber domain transcends all of the other traditional domains of air, sea, land, and space.

“A few years ago when I was president of the Naval War College, when then-CNO Admiral Jonathan Greenert, asked me to write about the future of warfare, I didn’t write about the efficacy of our fighter jets or our carriers,” said Carter, holding up his smartphone. “This phone has two to three times the computing power I had in the F-14 in the 1990s. I wrote about cyber operations and the electromagnetic spectrum. By 2020, we’ll have over 100 billion devices connected around the world through the internet of things. Our midshipmen come in as users of the internet, but they may not understand the vulnerabilities. I think the launch of our cyber major is one of the watershed events of all of our major programs.”

The opening panel of the event brought together four former directors of the National Security Agency, an unprecedented gathering in an unclassified setting. Retired Adm. William Studeman, retired Army Gen. Keith Alexander, retired Air Force Lt. Gen Kenneth Minihan and retired Vice Adm. J. Michael McConnell were on the panel moderated by Distinguished Visiting Professor Chris Inglis, former deputy director of the NSA. Spanning the administrations of President Reagan to President Obama, they each provided perspectives on the foundations of cyberspace and its implications for the future.

“The panel's comments could easily serve as the basis of an entire course in cyberpace history, strategy and strategy with a particular emphasis on the implications for present and future national strategy,” said Chris Inglis, the panel’s moderator. “While most in the audience  were familiar with the broad aspects of the period covered, few had ever enjoyed a ringside seat of a discussion on the thinking and events that informed the creation of a new domain and the attendant strategy policy and organization represented in today's United States Cyber Command and its close partner the National Security Agency.”

"The country must mobilize to deal with the growing cyber and information operations threats, especially in cybersecurity,” said Studeman. “Educating our best and brightest ‘People’ is absolutely strategic to improving overall national cyber resilience, and to working with the public and private sides to secure better defenses.”

The summit's emphasis on networking gave students and leaders communication opportunities through networking timeslots, luncheons, receptions and a keynote dinner presentation by Congressman Mike Rogers. In parallel with the summit was a cyber “Capture the Flag” competition. This competition included 36 midshipmen and cadets from USNA, West Point, and the U.S. Air Force and Coast Guard Academies, as well as five sailors from NIOC Pensacola's Cyber Protection Team (CPT) and five participants from the NSA. Over the 8-hour competition, participants were able to showcase their offensive cyber tradecraft in an environment that fostered innovation, teamwork, and problem solving.  More importantly, the USNA team took first place in this inaugural event.

Dr. Martin Libicki, USNA’s Maryellen and Richard L. Keyser distinguished visiting professor in cyber security studies, chaired a panel titled "Responding to Unacceptable State Behavior in Cyberspace" to discuss cybersecurity policy by focusing on a particular question: How should the United States have responded to Russia's hack of the DNC and other political targets? Although no panelist took great exception to what was done, one noted that the problem of Chinese hacking of U.S. corporations took five years to resolve, and no one should expect that the problem of Russian hacking of the U.S. political system would be solved much faster. Another offered that the problem of Russian hacking was a subset of protecting the West from a formerly defensive but not increasingly aggressive Russia; it should not be viewed as simply a cyberspace problem. His panel included Dr. James A. Lewis, distinguished visiting professor in cyber security studies at USNA.

“Conferences like these give us an opportunity to lay the foundations for jointness with future generations of officers," said Lewis, who also serves as senior vice president for the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.

The second day was opened by Mark McLaughlin, chairman and CEO of the Palo Alto Networks and a 1988 West Point graduate. His comments were focused on how to use the collective wisdom of those experts in the audience along with all of the midshipmen and cadets who are at the academic “ground zero” of military professional development to ensure that cybersecurity can be managed and its threats minimized in both the public and private domains, while taking advantage of all the cyber domain has to offer.

“The Naval Academy hosts many large-format conferences and symposia each year, so we're pretty experienced in this area,” said Andrew Phillips, the USNA’s academic dean and provost. “But this was our first time hosting the JSA Cyber Summit, and wow … did this event really exceed all expectations!  It's possible that the JSA Cyber Summit this year included the most impressive set of speakers and panels we have ever hosted in one event. Since our goal at Navy is to be the national leader in undergraduate cyber education, it seems fitting to me that we would – and should – play host to just this kind of event as often as possible.”

On the second day, Carter spoke on a panel along with his West Point counterpart, Army Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen, and Air Force Lt. Gen William Bender, the USAF chief information dominance officer and chief information officer. The panel focused on service-specific approaches to cyber education and training, during which each of the distinguished panelists was able to briefly explain the importance each service and service academy places on ensuring that all of our future leaders have a deeper understanding and awareness of how the cyber domain will impact them, regardless of their specific community or operational specialty.

In a panel discussion entitled “The Future of Cybersecurity Regulation,” moderated by Jeff Kosseff, assistant professor of cyber law at USNA, the audience heard panelists’ predictions for the enforcement of cybersecurity laws by federal and state regulators. The panel consisted of Doug Gansler, the former Maryland attorney general; Marc Groman, former privacy adviser to President Obama; Nancy Libin, former Justice Department chief privacy and civil liberties officer; Robert Schoshinski, assistant director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Division of Privacy & Identity Protection; and Emery Simon, counsel to Business Software Alliance, Inc. Among other issues, the panelists discussed the likelihood that Congress would replace the 47 state data breach notification laws with a consistent national standard. The panelists also engaged in a spirited debate about privacy and government surveillance.

The two-day summit brought a total of five panels and five keynote presentations to the C-suite level crowd and young students and professionals. The collaboration-encouraging environment helped to establish a rapport with the broader cyber community which our future leaders here at USNA will enter.

“This was a great collection of cyber geniuses,” said Midshipman 4th Class Rae-Kelly Hamilton. “For the professionals, I am sure it was beneficial to exchange ideas and thoughts. As a young person just stepping into my career in the cyber domain, it was a great inspiration-endowing and thought-provoking experience. I look forward to attending next year!”

The closing keynote address was provided by Mr. Rick Ledgett, NSA deputy director.

"We must strive to harness the knowledge and creativity of our collective workforces and to provide a culture that embraces diversity of thought and ideas and inspires people to think outside of the box when it comes to meeting emerging cyber challenges, said Ledgett.

Ledgett also serves on the USNA’s Cyber Board of Advisors and has been closely involved and engaged in the continued development of cyber education at the academy.

"In a world where technology changes constantly and our adversaries' tradecraft evolves just as rapidly, we have no other choice than to partner to make our critical national security systems and the nation's critical infrastructure more resilient,” he said. “I've seen the incredible things that smart motivated people can do when faced with seemingly intractable problems. We can get there together, and we must.”

“All in all, this was a fantastic, meaningful, and collaborative event for all of the Service Academies,” said Tortora. “The Naval Academy Center for Cyber Security Studies will continue to seek ways such as this to spotlight the great efforts of our staff, faculty, and Midshipmen in leaning forward on this nationally significant field of study.”

Information about USNA’s Cyber Science Dept. can be found at https://www.usna.edu/CyberDept/. Information about USNA’s Center for Cyber Security Studies can be found at https://www.usna.edu/CyberCenter/