Acknowledged naval experts from France and the USA will deliver keynote addresses at the Engine As A Weapon VI International Symposium (EAAW VI) being held by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) at the University of Bath on Tuesday 23 – Wednesday 24 June 2015 to an international audience of defence experts from navies, government, industry and academia.
Vice-Admiral (Ret) Xavier Païtard, Senior Defense Advisor, MBDA, France and Cdr Dr Cara Grupe LaPointe USN, Deputy Program Manager, PMS 320 Electric Ships Office, US Navy will both speak to the event’s overall theme ‘Total Ship Integration?’ in the opening session of EAAW VI.
Under the chairmanship of Lt Cdr Ian Hassall RN, Senior Engineer of HMS Queen Elizabeth, and sponsored by GE Marine and BMT Defence Services, the underlying threads of EAAW VI look at the challenges of full integration, propulsion and weapons; improving efficiency in challenging economic climates and the future vision for maritime weapons, by means of technical presentations from experts in their field from Denmark, France, Germany, The Netherlands, UK and USA.
About the keynote speakers
Vice-Admiral Xavier Païtard was born in 1954 and joined the French Naval Academy in Brest in September 1974. He was commissioned in 1977 on board FS Jeanne D’Arc.
His first assignment was on board FS Commandant Bory in the Pacific Ocean, where he gained his Surface Warfare qualifications. Between 1981 and 1982, he flew Super-Etendards off the aircraft carriers Foch and Clemenceau. In 1982, he was an exchange pilot with the US Navy and flew A-7E off the USS Independence, during which time he flew several combat missions over Grenada in 1983 and over Lebanon in 1984, when he was awarded his first Citation.
He continued his flying career with Super-Etendards and in 1988 was appointed as Air Operations Staff Officer on board Clemenceau during her long operational deployment in the Arabian Sea. During this tour he became the Commander for the 11F Attack Squadron. He had appointments at the Naval War College, Nuclear Engineers School, and further tours on board Clemenceau as Operations Officer, Commanding Officer of FS Floréal and Head of the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier Programme.
In 1998, he was Deputy CJFACC for the NATO exercises Unified Endevour and Strong Resolve and in 1999 he graduated from the NATO Defence College where he spent 2 years as the Director of Curriculum Programmes and Developments.
In 2001 he was selected by the Minister of Defence to lead the International Relations Cell in the Ministerial Cabinet and was promoted to Rear Admiral in August 2003.
Assigned to Norfolk Virginia as Head of the French Military Mission to Allied Command Transformation he took over in May 2004 the position of Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff “Future Capabilities Research & Technology”.
On September 2005, he was appointed as top military advisor to the Minister of Defense.
On February 1, 2006, he was promoted to the rank of Vice Admiral. On December 1, 2006, he was promoted to the rank of “Vice-Amiral d’Escadre”.
Admiral Païtard has a total of 2800 flight hours in jets and 550 arrested landings. He is an Officer of the Legion of Honour, a Chevalier of the National Order of Merit and holds the Cross of Military Valour.
Cdr Dr Cara Grupe LaPointe is currently Deputy Program Manager, PMS 320 Electric Ships Office, US Navy.
Originally from Bethesda, Maryland, Commander Cara LaPointe graduated from the United States Naval Academy as valedictorian of the class of 1997 with a Bachelor of Science in Ocean Engineering and a minor in French. Following graduation, she started her career at the Navy Experimental Dive Unit where she conducted research and manned testing of a diver thermal protection system which she co-designed and which was later patented for use by deep-sea divers.
In October 1997, Cara matriculated at the University of Oxford where she studied international development focusing on economics and management regimes for common property resources. She conducted research on the historical evolution of marine resource management regimes on the island of Yadua, Fiji, and, in 1999, she earned a Master of Philosophy degree in Development Studies.
Upon returning to the United States, Cara attended the Surface Warfare Officer School before reporting for sea duty. She served as the Auxiliaries Engineering Officer and Navigator on USS BENFOLD and USS HIGGINS from 2000 – 2003, participating in the first DDG Sea Swap and deploying multiple times to the Arabian Gulf and Pacific Northwest.
In 2003, Cara became an Engineering Duty Officer (EDO) and attended the Naval Construction and Engineering program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In 2006, she earned both a Naval Engineer degree and a Master of Science in Ocean Systems Management. She went on to earn a Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical and Oceanographic Engineering awarded jointly from MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Her thesis and dissertation research were conducted at the Deep Submergence Lab in Woods Hole in the area of underwater robotics focusing on deep ocean autonomous underwater vehicle navigation and sensor fusion algorithms.
Cara served her first tour as an Engineering Duty Officer in the Surface Ship Design and Systems Engineering Group of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, DC working as a ship concept manager in the fields of ship design, unmanned vehicle integration, and naval force structure analysis. In 2011, Cara joined the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program Office, first as a Production Engineer and then as the Deputy Technical Director of the LCS shipbuilding program.
>From 2013 – 2014, Cara served as a White House Fellow in the Office of the First Lady. During her time in the White House, she primarily worked on developing public-private partnerships in support of veterans and military families. In September 2014, Cara reported as the Deputy Program Manager of the Navy’s Electric Ships Office where she works with organizations across the Navy in coordinating and facilitating the integration of high energy weapons and sensors with shipboard naval power systems.
In addition to her professional activities, Cara is passionate about volunteering and public service, which has included extensive engagement in student outreach efforts promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), mentoring, serving as a sexual assault victim advocate, volunteering for local shelters, participating in international development efforts, and involvement with the Network of Engineering Duty Women (NEW).
She is the recipient of the Admiral Arleigh Burke Award for Leadership and Academic Excellence, the Naval Sea Systems Command Naval Construction and Engineering Award for Distinguished Scholarship and Professionalism, the Vice Admiral C. R. Bryan Award for Academic Excellence, a Combined Federal Campaign Most Valuable Fundraiser Award, the Engineering Duty Officer Community Senior Officer Diversity Award, the Lieutenant Junior Grade Patrick K. Inglis Memorial Award, the Frederick W. Wright Jr. Award, the Gardner L. Caskey Prize, and the Peruvian Medal of Honor of Merit.
Further information on, and registration for, EAAW VI is online at www.eaaw.org.uk.
The first EAAW Symposium in 2004 was established by IMarEST to bring together and inform the marine and combat systems communities to ensure opportunities would be exploited and challenges overcome.
Since then developments in high energy weapons and marine power system technologies have advanced apace. The Royal Navy has introduced to service the Type 45 class of destroyers with Integrated Full Electric Propulsion whilst the US Navy’s highly innovative DDG-1000, USS Zumwalt, was launched on 28 October 2013 and is expected to be commissioned in 2015.
Ten years on from the first Symposium, the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth class Aircraft Carrier represents the largest Integrated Full Electric Propulsion warship ever built in the UK. In addition, Navies across the world are challenged more frequently with retrofitting new equipment as technology refresh is required to keep pace with ever demanding capability requirements.
EAAW VI seeks to review the technological advances in platform and combat system design that have taken place over the last decade and explore the progress towards total ship integration.