Alumnus Krill to Be Honored for Revolutionary Naval Fleet Network Technology

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Dr. Jerry Krill (Ph.D., EE, '78)

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The man behind a revolutionary network technology designed to aid in U.S. Navy fleet defense will be honored November 12, 2013, by the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering at the annual Innovation Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The event will begin at 4:00 pm in the Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building, and will be immediately followed by the White Symposium. The event is open to the University of Maryland community, as well as those from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physical Laboratory and U.S. Navy. To register for the event, visit:

Clark School alumnus Dr. Jerry Krill, a 1978 Ph.D. graduate in electrical engineering, will be honored for his technical leadership in developing the sensor network system known as the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC), a dynamically reconfigurable data sharing network that provides a composite, common operating picture for Navy battle groups, allowing them to act as a coordinated, unified whole. The CEC network is robust enough to enable a ship to engage a threat with missiles based on radar data from another ship or aircraft many miles away. Senior Navy leaders have described CEC as “one of the Navy's crown jewels” that greatly enhances the Navy’s air defenses.

A Novel Networking Technology

Years before modern cellular and wi-fi technologies were available, Krill personally led the conception, enabling network technologies, and design of the high-speed, fully automatic CEC network to transport unfiltered sensor data. The design is still considered advanced 20 years later.

Beginning in 1974, Krill oversaw the development of the concept and requirements for CEC. By 1991, he was responsible for technical progress to support the Navy CEC Program Manager in meeting an accelerated, Congressionally-directed fleet introduction time table. 

One of his personal contributions was a fully automatic network initiation process. He also invented “time division pairwise access” (TDPA), allowing each unit to operate autonomously, yet in concert within the network.  These innovations are foundational to CEC network operation. 

Krill led breakthrough radio wave research to extend a ship's engagement range against low-flying cruise missiles using data from radars of other, remote ships (a "cooperative engagement"). 

 Krill guided computer simulation activities to prepare for a major missile firing test event involving an aircraft carrier battle group in 1994, whose success warranted a site visit by the Secretary of Defense.  Krill also was the technical leader for the Navy’s “Mountain Top” advanced concept demonstration in Kauai in 1996, proving one of the most challenging types of “cooperative engagements” that today is embodied in the family of systems known as Naval Integrated Fire Control – Counter Air (NIFC-CA).

About Dr. Jerry Krill:

Dr. Krill currently serves as Assistant Director for Science and Technology at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md. He had spent the previous five years as APL's Assistant Director for Programs, overseeing APL's 600-plus programs and heading its quality management initiatives. Before that he led the Lab's Power Projection Systems, among other supervisory and technical leadership positions.

He joined APL in 1973. He holds a number of patents and was named a 2005 Innovator of the Year by the Baltimore Daily Record for his work on optical communications networks.

Krill holds a doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland and B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Michigan State University.  He served on the Naval Studies Board and has participated in studies for the NSB and Defense Science Board.

About the Innovation Hall of Fame

The Innovation Hall of Fame recognizes Clark School alumni, faculty and associates who have pioneered many of the most significant engineering advances in the past century. Inductees include Robert Briskman, the co-founder of Sirius Satellite Radio, and Brian Hinman, the innovator behind the Polycom SoundStation conference call device. For more information, visit

The 2013 White Symposium will be held immediately following the Innovation Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The symposium will be titled "Stories at Sea: How Innovative Network Technology Helps Protect Our Navy Fleet." For more information, visit

Published October 22, 2013