On 1 November Dr Catherine Warner succeeded RADM Hank Ort NLD-N (Retired), as Director of NATO’s Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation.
Part of NATO's Science and Technology organization, CMRE continues to work closely with Allied Command Transformation (ACT) to address areas of maritime strategic interest while diversifying products and services with organizations across NATO, the Nations and industry.
Maritime Unmanned Systems (MUS) forms a key focus area for the Centre. There are several exciting related fields emerging, such as: the shift from individual maritime autonomous vehicles to collaborative autonomy in a heterogeneous environment; the fusion of disparate ‘uncertain’ information streams through novel mathematical approaches such as the ‘propagation of belief’; covert secure underwater communications; wireless data and power transfer underwater, and other potentially ‘game changing’ topics. The Centre is also responding to customer requests to widen its focus to address not only on basic research but to directly expose promising technologies to the Operational Community and Industry through NATO’s Operational Exercise Programme (OPEX), conferences, and workshops. The broadening of scope includes opportunities for Nations and Industry to become directly involved, both during existing and bespoke sea trials, including multi-national activity, and the operation of industry prototype systems. CMRE proposes broadening the scope of OPEX yet further beyond the Materiel component of (DOTMLPFI) into the development of new Doctrine and Training. This expanded model is in response to requirements from ACT and MARCOM and is designed to provide a short-cut in the traditional technology transfer chain, more effectively and more rapidly bridging the gap between prototype technologies and operational systems. CMRE is also exploring potential synergies and opportunities for collaboration among Nations and Industry.
Dr. Warner takes the reins during a crucial time in the history of CMRE, when strategic interest in the maritime domain has increased substantially and MUS technology has caught the imagination of Nations while financial pressures within NATO and the Nations remain stark. Dr. Warner is an accomplished Senior Executive/Technical Leader with over 25 years’ experience in US defence science and technology, studies, analyses, and operational test and evaluation.
Her previous position was as Science Advisor to the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation for the Secretary of Defense in Washington, D.C., where her specific expertise was applied in the design of experiments, statistical engineering, reliability growth, and modeling and simulation for use in test and evaluation of complex weapon systems.
Prior tours include Kabul, Afghanistan, as Senior Telecommunications Advisor to the NATO ISAF Mission (2013-2014); as Research Staff Member, Air Warfare Lead, and Assistant Director at the Institute for Defense Analyses, Alexandria, VA(1999-2010), and as a scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (1984–1988).
Dr. Warner holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Princeton University.