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Alex Bockman

Nowhere else do you get to do this kind of work: exquisite sensors, major mathematical and engineering challenges, and excellent colleagues in such a wide range of disciplines.

When Alex first arrived at the Laboratory around the holidays in December 2010, it was uncharacteristically quiet. He says it wasn't until after New Year's Day that he saw the Laboratory as it usually is, roaring with life. He was excited to collaborate with passionate colleagues and to tackle real-world problems.

Alex helps Navy sailors by developing algorithms for processing the signals captured by arrays of acoustic sensors. Sailors rely on the pictures generated by acoustic array processing to guide their ships and detect threats. But sound bends and bounces through water in unexpected ways, and all kinds of noise can make it hard to find the signals one is looking for. Alex's job is to come up with ways to use many underwater microphones to block out noise and uncover quiet signals. He makes sure sailors have the clearest possible picture of the environment so they can carry out their missions with minimal risk and maximal chance of success. It's the opportunity to help those protecting the country that keeps Alex motivated every day.

Alex enjoys talking about his work with a larger community by attending conferences, and he also looks forward to the day when his children are old enough to participate in the Laboratory's many educational outreach programs.