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News | March 28, 2024

Leading the Charge: Christine Myers Marks Additive Manufacturing Milestone at NAVAIR

By Jessica Dowell OSD Manufacturing Technology Office

As the Department of Defense celebrates the innovations and achievements of women making waves in defense manufacturing, meet Christine Myers, the propulsion material applications lead at Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), whose groundbreaking work is reshaping the landscape of repair parts production within the Navy.

Myers stands at the helm of a pioneering additive manufacturing project rewriting the playbook for repairing critical components in military aircraft. Her leadership in transitioning Directed Energy Deposition (DED) technology for theAV-8B aircraft’s F402 Low-Pressure Compressor Seal Ring marks a significant milestone for NAVAIR. Funded by the Navy Manufacturing Technology Program and Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) Naval Innovative Science and Engineering program, this project heralds the first organic DED additive manufacturing repair conducted by NAVAIR. Its success introduces a new repair capability and paves the way for addressing the challenges of sourcing hard-to-find components.

“This project represents a foundational shift in how this repair process can be used within NAVAIR,” Myers remarked. “It’s not just about fixing this part; it’s about expanding the possibilities for additive manufacturing solutions in the defense sector.”

This joint-funded Navy ManTech-NAWCAD project exemplifies collaboration between service ManTech programs and the Joint Defense Manufacturing Technology Panel, a portfolio under the DoD Manufacturing Technology Program, and its commitment to joint planning and developing strategies across defense sectors.
In recognition of Women’s History Month, Myers reflects on her journey in the defense manufacturing sector and her dedication to promoting gender equality and inclusivity.

"I believe that providing paid parental leave and normalizing men and women both taking time off work to build families will support gender equality across the DoD now and in the future," Myers stated.

As the role of women evolves within the DoD ManTech enterprise, Myers envisions a future where gender diversity thrives across all levels and disciplines.
"Women should be represented in all types of roles and at all levels," she asserted, highlighting the transformative potential of inclusivity in shaping the defense manufacturing landscape,” she said.

Balancing professional commitments with personal responsibilities is a challenge Myers confronts with resilience and pragmatism.
"There is never enough time in a day," she admitted. "Regularly adjusting my expectations and prioritizing what is important at the moment are life skills I will always be developing."

In addition to her accomplishments, Myers acknowledges the hurdles she has faced as a woman in the industry.

"Most of the challenges I face are related to imposter syndrome," she revealed. "Having mentors and close relationships with colleagues to talk to helps validate that I am where I belong and deserve to be here."

As Myers continues to pioneer advancements in propulsion materials, her commitment to excellence and advocacy for gender equality are inspiring future generations to embrace the necessity of a diverse, inclusive workforce to power a resilient defense manufacturing industrial base.