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The William H. Webb Medal


Outstanding Contributions to Education in Naval Architecture, Marine or Ocean Engineering


Kelly Cooper       


 Kelly Blackledge Cooper  |  US Office of Naval Research




Ms. Kelly B. Cooper began her career with the Department of Defense in 1996 when she joined the Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division (NSWCCD). While at NSWCCD, she helped establish the Center for Innovation in Ship Design (CISD). CISD is a partnership between the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and Naval Sea Systems Command; it functions as the Navy hub for supporting the National Naval Responsibility for Naval Engineering, a dedicated effort to ensure the sustained national capability to develop innovative designs for Navy ships and submarines. She was the first Executive Director for CISD.


Working with NSWCCD’s Technical Advisory Board in 2000, Ms. Cooper developed and executed a Science and Engineering College Recruiting Program to meet workforce objectives at Carderock.


Ms. Cooper joined the Office of Naval Research as a Program Officer in 2004, where she specializes in modern ship design research, especially design generation, modeling, and simulation using computational techniques. Ms. Cooper also executes the National Naval Responsibility for Naval Engineering program at ONR, supporting basic research in ship design and engineering at major universities to benefit ship research objectives and to increase the national research capacity. Her responsibilities in this area include promotion of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) educational curricula and sponsorship of the SeaPerch Program, RoboBoat, the Maritime RobotX Challenge, and the Virtual RobotX Challenge. She has established Centers for Innovation in Naval Technologies (similar to CISD above) at four Navy Research Facilities in support of multiple sponsors’ requirements.


She graduated from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) with a BS degree in Ocean Engineering. She has served as a member of the Undergraduate Academic Advisory Board for the Ocean Engineering Department of FAU, an External Advisory Board Member for the Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory at Georgia Tech, as well as several other advisory panels in maritime engineering, STEM education, and women in engineering. Mrs. Cooper was the recipient of the 2022 Harold E. Saunders Award (Lifetime Achievement) from the American Society of Naval Architects.


  • About The William H. Webb Medal
  • Webb Medalists

About The William H. Webb Medal

The William H. Webb Medal is for "Outstanding Contributions to Education in Naval Architecture, Marine or Ocean Engineering".

It was established in 1987 in honor of William H. Webb. 

Born into a shipbuilding family, William H. Webb was a highly successful shipbuilder, shipowner and educator whose contributions to the marine profession and commitment to the education of naval architects, marine engineers, and shipbuilders took shape in “Webb’s Academy and Home for Shipbuilders”, now known as Webb Institute. 

The award title is "The William H. Webb Medal”. The medal will be made of gold-plated bronze, approximately 2 1/2 inches (6.25 cm) in diameter, the obverse side showing a profile of William H. Webb and the reverse side carrying an inscription of the 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 biennially in odd years.