Richard Thornton, a mathematician at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) in Newport, R.I. has been named the winner of the Department of the Navy (DoN) Test and Evaluation (T&E) Award in the Small Program Outstanding Tester category.
The award recognizes a military and government civilian T&E workforce member who has provided exceptional T&E execution and support for a small DoN program, including non-programs of record and urgent operational needs projects. This highly competitive T&E awards program considers candidates from all Naval Sea Systems Commands and Navy and Marine Corps operational test agencies that are involved in the acquisition of defense systems.
Thornton is the alteration installation team manager and test director for several critical submarine projects and has played an essential role in the successful accomplishment of programmatic milestones and delivery of systems to fleet operators.
In 2013, he spearheaded fleet testing of two highly complex warfare systems, both of which expand the Navy's unmanned systems capability into previously uncharted areas. As test director for one project, Thornton led a diverse Navy, laboratory and contractor team that successfully demonstrated unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV) launch and recovery. As NUWC's technical program manager and test director for the experimental fuel cell Sea Robin Project, he led a government-contractor team that demonstrated successful torpedo tube launch and transition to flight of a fuel-cell powered unmanned aerial system from a submerged submarine.
A resident of Portsmouth, Thornton holds a bachelor of science in mathematics from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. and a master of business administration from the University of Rhode Island, West Kingston, R.I.