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The David W. Taylor Medal


Notable Achievement in Naval Architecture and/or Marine Engineering

Barry Tibbitts          Barry Tibbitts  |  Retired


Barry Tibbitts has decades of experience in all aspects of naval engineering in both submarines and surface ships.  He received a BS from the U.S. Naval Academy and MSME and Naval Engineer degrees from MIT. As a line officer he earned both surface and submarine warfare qualifications.  In his last industrial assignment he was Deputy for Submarines at SUPSHIP Pascagoula overseeing the construction, refueling, or overhaul of nine nuclear attack submarines.  He commanded the David Taylor Research Center - with a staff of 2700 it included major facilities at Carderock and Annapolis, and seven field activities. He played a key role in gaining approval for the Large Cavitation Channel. He was twice Director of the NAVSEA Ship Design Group for a total of six years – major designs included CG47/52, DDG51, and SSN21. He was Chairman of NG6, the NATO Ship Design Group, for ten years.  He retired statutorily but was recalled to active duty to serve as Professor of Naval Construction and Engineering at MIT. 

Barry Tibbitts is a Fellow of SNAME and an Honorary Life Member of ASNE. He authored chapters in four books (two published by SNAME) and has published over 30 technical papers.  He received “best paper of the year” awards from ASNE (2018) and SNAME (2019) and he led three SNAME webinars in 2020. He is a recipient of ASNE’s CAPT Saunders Award for lifetime achievements in naval engineering and is an Associate Editor of the Naval Engineers Journal.   He was an Adjunct Professor at both Virginia Tech and Stevens Institute of Technology and lectured on ship design integration each summer at MIT for 25 years.


  • About The David W. Taylor Medal
  • Taylor Medalists

About The David W. Taylor Medal

The David W. Taylor Medal is for "Notable Achievement in Naval Architecture and/or Marine Engineering". 

It was established by the Executive Committee in 1935 in honor of its namesake and first recipient, Rear Admiral David Watson Taylor.

Rear Admiral David W. Taylor, a Past President of SNAME, is known as “the father of American ship research”. He is internationally recognized for his “…outstanding achievements in naval architecture and marine engineering, for revolutionary results of persistent research in hull design, for improvements in many types of warships and airships, and for distinguished service as Chief Constructor of the United States Navy during World War I.” *

The award title is "The David W. Taylor Medal." The medal will be made of gold-plated bronze approximately 2 1/2 inches (6.25 cm) in diameter, one side to show likeness of Rear Admiral Taylor, the other side to show an inscription of award. Eligibility for the medal need not be limited to membership in SNAME. The proposal for award may be made by a member of SNAME in good standing.

The selection of the nominee for the medal shall be made by the Awards Committee of SNAME. The nomination by the Committee and final award by the Council will require a two-thirds vote of the Committee. Notification of the award will be made prior to the SNAME Maritime Convention (formerly the Annual Meeting) and the medal will be presented with suitable ceremonies at the SNAME Maritime Convention or at such time as the President of SNAME may arrange. The medal may be awarded annually.

*A Half Century of Maritime Technology 1946-1993, SNAME, 1993

Medals & Awards Guidelines 

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