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An Interview with Dr. Andrew Kwas, NG Fellow 2, Northrop Grumman

Q: Dr. Kwas, tell us about your role at Northrop Grumman.
A: I am a NG Fellow 2 at Northrop Grumman Corporation in the Space Systems Sector, and in the Office of the Chief Engineer in the Tactical Space Systems Division. Our organization contributes to our Corporate Global Security Leadership position.  Our Company covers virtually all DoD and Commercial platforms, with TSSD specializing in Space assets.

Q: How does Northrop Grumman think about emergent technology, particularly Flexible Hybrid Electronics?
A: NGC is always searching out ways to improve our product line and embrace technology that was not possible just a few years ago. FHE is one of those. It provides solutions to problems that we have had in several applications.

Q: What do you feel is the most vital application of FHE currently?
A: There are numerous uses for FHE and conformal printing, but the one that keeps me up at night right now is the high cost and high scrap rate on our munitions and small size warheads. The complex shape of an ogive and the difficulty of getting a high-quality antenna inside that shape is unique and they need to survive up to 60,000 gs when fired. We at NGC pride ourselves on solving the tough problems, and this is one of them. Other applications include the ability to use FHE for our spacecraft systems where surfaces are tight. The ability to print new materials is a key enabler as well, with many new markets opening up. One in particular is the use of FHE in space.  Not products made on earth and sent to space, but actually printing them in space or on planetary bodies.  NGC is quickly setting ourselves ahead of our competitors in that area.

Q: What is your involvement with the NextFlex community?
A: To date, we have only been involved as project performers, and at Innovation Days and a few other events at Nextflex such as a proposal reviewer, but we hope to expand that role.

Q: Given that you are an active member of NextFlex, how has the membership experience been for you?
A: The overall experience has been great.  The sharing of technologies benefits us all and enables us to provide better products to our customers. And the Technical staff at Nextflex is not only highly qualified, but also very adaptable to the procurement of funding calls.


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