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The Francis T. Bowles Medal


Notable Early Career Achievement by a Young Maritime or Ocean Professional

D. Helfers          Dillon Helfers |  The Naval Sustainment Group


Mr. Helfers is the Chief Operating Officer at The Naval Sustainment Group (NAVSUS), a recent startup focused on addressing various Integrated Product Support (IPS) challenges within the Naval community. Dillon is responsible for the implementation of several long term strategic company goals and for technical outreach for the organization. Prior to joining NAVSUS, Dillon led several successful efforts in the emerging Unmanned Surface Vehicle market in both Government and Industry roles. His work led to the successful demonstration of several large prototypes for the Department of the Navy and his leadership has significantly impacted the state of the practice in the development and management of unmanned vessel design. Dillon has been, and remains focused on bridging the gap between maritime designers, vessel builders, and platform operators to ensure new products are designed to be producible, operable, maintainable, and sustainable. Dillon received his undergraduate and master's degrees from the University of Michigan in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering where his research focused on next generation ship design and in the development of predictive methods for hydrofoil performance.


  • About The Francis T. Bowles Medal
  • Bowles Medalists

About The Francis T. Bowles Medal

The Francis T. Bowles Medal is for "Notable Early Career Achievement by a Young Maritime or Ocean Professional". 

It was established by the Executive Committee in 2017 in honor of Francis T. Bowles.

Rear Admiral Francis T. Bowles, the youngest naval officer of the U.S. Navy, to hold the title of Rear Admiral, earned significant respect and acclaim early in his naval and professional career and be considered instrumental in the formation of SNAME. He was also elected one of its first Presidents.

The award title is "The Francis T. Bowles Medal." The medal will be made of gold-plated bronze, one side to show likeness of Francis T. Bowles, the other side to show an inscription of award. To be eligible for the medal, as of March 31st of the year awarded, the nominee must be an Associate or Full Member, concurrent to time of nomination, and also must meet the age limit of 35 as of March 31st of the award year. SNAME volunteer service will be considered as a positive factor, but is not required. Anyone may nominate.

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.