April 26-28, 2024 – Richmond, VA

Tag: US Navy

Jim Beall

Jim Beall (BS-Math, MBA, PE) has been a nuclear engineer for 50 years, beginning as a nuclear engineering officer in the US Navy. Civilian experience includes design, construction, inspection, enforcement, and assessment with a nuclear utility, an architect engineering firm, and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC). Assignments included on-site health physics support, piping design stress analyses, reactor licensing, reactor startup testing (Canadian Point Lepreau heavy water reactor), research reactor inspections, and an assist mission to the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine in Kiev. USNRC positions included reactor site construction senior resident inspector (SRI), reactor operations SRI, inspection team leader, safety analyst, senior enforcement specialist, and reactor policy assistant to three different Presidential-appointed USNRC Commissioners while earning the agency’s Meritorious and Distinguished Service awards.

Duties of those policy-level posts included research into alternative and speculative energy sources, as well as energy forecasts and transmission technologies. Energy sources included coal, oil, hydro, geothermal, tidal, solar, wind, fracking, space-based, heavy water reactors, breeder reactors, fusion, and even anti-matter.

Coauthor of Journal of the British Interplanetary Society (JBIS) paper, “Ecological Engineering Considerations for ISU’s Worldship Project” and also Elsevier’s “Interstellar Travel: Purpose and Motivations.” Baen Books (baen.com) has published several of his non-fiction articles on a variety of subjects, including:

  • “Our Worldship Broke!”
  • “Case Studies in Handwavium”
  • “From Corvus to Keyhole—Shipyards: Past, Present, and Science Fiction”
  • “Radium Girls of Science and Science Fiction”
  • “Grid Wars: Innovation, Feuds, Rivalry, and Revenge in the Never-ending Battle to Electrify America and the Planet”
  • “Atomic Follies”
  • “Warships of Sea and Space – Part 1”
  • “Warships of Sea and Space – Part 2”
  • “Recycling: From Stars to Starships”
  • “Borders: From the First Sumerians to the Last Starfighter”
  • “Artificial Intelligence: Myth, Fiction, and Future”

Les Carter

Born into a Navy family in Washington, D.C., Leslie Roy Carter lived all over the United States, as well as in Argentia, Newfoundland, while growing up. After receiving a B.S. in Physics from the College of William and Mary, he was commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy. While serving as a naval officer, he earned an M.S.E.E. from the Naval Postgraduate School. His career as a surface line officer took him to many ports, such as Pearl Harbor, Long Beach, San Diego, and Charleston, culminating in command of the frigate U.S.S. Reid. After his retirement from the Navy, he worked as a defense contractor for ten years. In addition to writing, as holder of a private pilot’s license he devotes much of his time to volunteer service with the Civil Air Patrol. He and his wife, Margaret, have collaborated on a four-book fantasy novel series, beginning with Wild Sorceress, and several stories in the Darkover anthologies.

Steve Murphy

Meet Steve Murphy, an accomplished writer with a passion for storytelling. Together with his co-writer, Paul Barrett, Steve has successfully published three novels, while their fourth is currently undergoing developmental edits. They also have three exciting projects in the pipeline, showcasing their creative prowess. Notably, their collaborative screenplays have garnered recognition in esteemed national competitions, demonstrating their ability to captivate audiences on the big screen.

Steve’s life journey has taken him through various uniformed roles, instilling in him a strong sense of duty. Beginning with a four-year stint in the Navy as a Gunners Mate Missiles (GMM), he earned commendations such as the Navy Expeditionary Medal and Navy Unit Commendation. Building on this foundation, he transitioned to the Army, serving as a forward observer (FIST) for two years. Later, Steve dedicated 23 years of his life as a police officer in Charlotte, NC, with an impressive 14 years spent on the SWAT team, nine of which were as a skilled sniper.

Film production is not unfamiliar territory for Steve, who has embraced diverse roles in the industry. He has served as a military/law consultant on numerous projects, lending his expertise to ensure authenticity. Additionally, his experience as a set dresser for films and a lighting technician in live theater has honed his craft behind the scenes.

Beyond his professional achievements, Steve cherishes his role as a devoted father to two grown sons. Currently residing on a serene North Carolina farm, he shares his life with his loving wife, two dogs, and an elusive feline companion, adding a touch of mystery to his idyllic surroundings.

Dennis M. Myers

Born and raised in central Minnesota, Dennis M. Myers developed a serious reading habit early in life due to the influence of his grandmother. In late high school he read one particularly “awful” book and, with all that teenage hubris, decided that he could do better.

After spending a decade in the United States Navy, aboard submarines and teaching younger sailors, he settled in Virginia. The story ideas he had been saving were eventually compiled into a timeline spanning thousands of years. When the opportunity came to write full time for a few months, he jumped at it with the full support of his wonderful wife, May. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

His most recent work, Rise of the Automated Empire, is available now. The first book in the series, Final Assembly, is a nominee for this year’s Webster Award.

Phillip Pournelle

Phillip Pournelle is a science fiction author, war game designer, operations analysts, and military strategist. He served in the United States Navy as a surface warfare officer, operations analyst, and planner for 26 years. He served on cruisers, destroyers, amphibious ships, and on an experimental high-speed vessel. He served on the Navy Staff conducting campaign analysis, in the Office of the Secretary of Defense doing mobility and naval analysis. He worked for 5 years at the Office of Net Assessment diagnosing the future of conflict and competition. He designed and executed war games for the Department of Defense and other organizations. He contributed to Jerry Pournelle’s last Janissaries novel and is working on the sequel. He has had several short stories and articles published on the themes of future conflicts. His latest short story was published by Baen Books in the Robosoldiers anthology. He is currently a senior war game designer and operations analyst at Group W, a defense and analysis, modeling, and research company. He teaches war game design for the Military Operations Research Society. His article on the use of war gaming, modeling, and simulation was recently published in a book on the topic by Wiley Press.

Stephen J. Simmons

Steve is a retired Navy nuclear-trained Chief. After 21 years in the submarine force, he left the Navy to work at Newport News Shipbuilding, building the ships he loves. He started writing when his kids got too old to sit and listen to his silly stories, and because the cats never laughed at the funny bits.

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