Featured Alumni: Craig Tilton

OCTOBER 31 2021 | Craig Tilton started out in Dr. Arun Shukla’s lab at the University of Rhode Island as an undergraduate student assisting graduate students with their research. “I was immediately amazed with the work being done, became hooked on research, and ended up completing my M.S. in Mechanical Engineering,” said Tilton. “The projects that I worked on at URI were directly related to what I am currently working on now. Many of the same fundamentals established while working in the lab at URI, I use every single day to help the Navy.”

Tilton works at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport. “The focus of my current work is on the dynamic loading of undersea structures, including shock, underwater explosions, and implosion,” explained Tilton. “I also serve as an industry partner for NIUVT.”

“When I started out as a undergraduate in the lab, the first project I worked on was the implosion of composite structures,” continued Tilton. “As an undergrad, I did not know the first thing about implosion or even research in general, but the people that I worked with made it fun and helped me learn so many things. The level of collaboration and mentorship that goes on in Dr. Shukla’s lab at URI is one of the reasons why it is so successful and why so many people like me keep coming back for more. Not only is the research cutting edge and important, but there is a great sense of community in that lab that really makes the work enjoyable.”

In the future, Tilton hopes to become a Navy-recognized subject matter expert in implosion and to continue fostering a research community both within the Navy and with academic and industry partners.