MSIAC Munition Safety Awards 2015

The 2015 Insensitive Munitions and Energetic Materials Symposium in Rome provided the opportunity for MSIAC to recognise excellence in Munitions Safety (MS) with MSIAC awards for Technical and Career achievements. MSIAC has been presenting Awards at NDIA IM/EM Technology Symposia since 1997. The winners are selected by the Steering Committee on the basis of proposals submitted by MSIAC and by Steering Committee Members, NFPOs, or any other interested parties.

Awards are made in two categories:

MSIAC MS Award for Technical Achievements - Individuals or teams who have made significant contributions in research and/or engineering related to the field of munitions safety.
MSIAC MS Award for Career Achievements - Individuals who have made consistent contributions in research, engineering, production, procurement, fielding, standardisation, policy, etc. related to MS, over an extended period.

This year I had the honour to present a Technical achievement award and 3 career achievement awards.

The Team Achievement award award was presented to team PM-CAS, PEO-AMMO, ARDEC and BAE Systems, for the development of a High Explosive Insensitive Munition filling for mortar bombs. There were a number of notable achievements:

Qualification of IMX-104 for application in mortar bombs, the venting design and new auxiliary booster.
60 and 81mm mortars rounds qualified and transitioned to the Warfighter
It delivers substantial safety benefits; mortar rounds often contribute significantly to the total NEQ of Forward Operating and Patrol Bases.
The IMX-104 loaded mortar cartridges achieved a Hazard Classification of 1.2.1 (no mass explosion), allowing significantly less quantity/distance requirements.

The IM Signature of the 81mm mortar round indicates the progress that has been made when compared to the legacy Comp B filled projectile:

One should not forget the challenges involved in developing and qualifying tube launched munitions which have to survive launch stresses. Introduction of the round into service has brought reductions to the risk to warfighters, and those storing and transporting the munitions.

The award was presented to representatives from the team which included the following individuals:

PM-CAS – James Chang, Charlie Patel, Leila Zunino, Dan Napolitano;
PEO-AMMO – Seham Salazar
ARDEC – Nick Baldwin, Philip Samuels, Daniel Zaloga, Keyur Patel;
BAE Systems Ordnance Systems Incorporated - Virgil Fung, Mike Ervin, David Price, Brian Alexander

Phil Samuels Accepted the award on behalf of the team.

The three Career Achievement awards were presented to:

Ms Vicki Brady, US Navy, spent her career supporting the development of safer weapons. She started work in propellant, explosive and pyrotechnic research which resulted in at least 5 patents and 30 technical papers.  The technologies Vicki has developed over the last 25 years and transitioned into service, have provided improved IM ratings for numerous weapons including bombs and guided missiles.  These improvements have had impact across the service life of these weapons lessening weapons responses to IM stimuli.  She was instrumental in leading the Blue Tube program run by China Lake, to evaluate/”qualify” composite cased rocket motors. More recently, she has supported the Tomahawk, SLAM-ER, Sidewinder and Bombs programmes. Vicki is a well know and respected manager and leader of IM programmes for the US DOD. She also contributed to MSIAC workshops and international symposium, and is know by many in the international munition safety community. Colleagues also recognised the time and energy she has spent over the years in the developing the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Ms. Vicki Brady accepting a MSIAC Career Achievement award.

Ms Brady wanted to express her appreciation to the IMEMTS community:

"I did not have the opportunity to adequately express my appreciation to the IM community for the Career Achievement Award bestowed on me at the recent 2015 IMEMTS in Rome, Italy. I would like to convey how humbled I was to receive such an honor. In the past 26+ years I have been privileged to work with some of the brightest and best scientists and engineers the world has to offer. Much of my success can be attributed to those who mentored me over the course of my career as well as those who endeavored with me for improvement and progress in the world of munitions. I can truly say that this award is due to the opportunity to stand on the shoulders of all of those "giants" who have lifted me up in both the personal and professional aspects of my life. I am grateful to be part of the IMEM Technical community and hope that my contributions help to foster our "stars" of the future."

Respectfully, Vicki Brady

Dr. Ernest Baker, US Army, started as a bench-level engineer in warheads and is now the Senior Research Scientist for Insensitive Munitions for US Army. Ernie is responsible for leading the Army's assessments and application of new theories & technologies to advance the state-of-the-art in IM, and for setting the Army’s program goals and priorities. He is internationally known and respected as an advocate for Munition Safety and IM, contributing to many international symposia. His technical contribution over the years is immense with some 200 papers that he has primarily authored, or contributed to, to date. They cover a wide range of  topics including: IM threats, reaction mechanisms, detonics, modelling, characterisation of energetic materials, to name a few.

Dr Baker accepting a MSIAC Career Achievement award and recognising the support he has received from others during the course of his career.

Dr Werner Arnold, MBDA-TDW Missile Systems, has worked for more than 30 years in the research and development of high explosives and modern warhead technologies. During this time he has published more than 80 scientific papers, many of which deal with IM and MS. For the last 15 years Werner has been working on MS and IM technologies. His work not only covers the development and testing of IM but also into improving the understanding of the fundamental reaction mechanisms. He shares his findings within the community, in the Expert Working Group (EWG) within the Insensitive Munitions European Manufacturers Group (IMEMG), of which he is a member of for more than 10 years and in his more than a dozen contributions to IMEMTS since 2006. He is a respected and valuable member of the international community. Those of you who attended the recent MSIAC SCJ Workshop will be aware of the importance of his work on response mechanisms. Although Werner was not present, there was considerable discussion on the papers he published in this area. A further paper at the IMEMTS 2015 on this topic also elicited further discussion after his presentation and in the margins of the meeting!

Dr Arnold accepting a MSIAC Career Achievement award.

I would like to congratulate each of the winners again for the important work that they have undertaken over the years to support Munition Safety efforts. Further, MSIAC and the Steering Committee would like to thank all those that took the effort to recognize the hard work and commitment of others by submitting nominations, and in particular all those who were the subject of a nomination.

Dr Michael W. Sharp, MSIAC Project Manager