Nickolas H. Guertin Biography: From Submarines to Software: The Extraordinary Journey of Nickolas H. Guertin – The Man Who Revolutionized Defense Testing!

About NICKOLAS H. GUERTIN Director, Operational Test and Evaluation

Name Nickolas H. Guertin
Position Director, Operational Test and Evaluation
Sworn In December 20, 2021
Appointment Type Presidential Appointee
Confirmation Confirmed by United States Senate
Advisory Role Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Defense
Expertise Submarine Operations, Ship Construction, Weapons Development and Testing
Sensors, Combat Management Products, Systems Engineering
Defense Acquisition
Previous Role Applied Research at Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute
Education BS in Mechanical Engineering (University of Washington)
MBA (Bryant University)
Military Service Retired Navy Reserve Engineering Duty Officer
Certifications
Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) certified in Program Management and Engineering
Registered Professional Engineer (Mechanical)
Community Involvement Assistant Scoutmaster and Merit Badge Counselor for Scouts BSA troops
Avid Amateur Musician
Location Native of Connecticut, currently resides in Virginia
Family Married with twin children

Nickolas H. Guertin Biography

The Honorable Nickolas H. Guertin assumed the position of Director, Operational Test and Evaluation on December 20, 2021. Nominated by the President and confirmed by the United States Senate, he currently acts as the primary advisor to the Secretary of Defense on matters relating to the operational and live fire testing and evaluation of Department of Defense weapon systems.

Mr. Guertin possesses a vast and diverse career spanning forty years, encompassing both military and civilian roles. He has worked in submarine operations, ship construction, and maintenance, and has been involved in the development and testing of various weapons, sensors, combat management products, and systems engineering improvements for defense acquisition. Recently, he conducted applied research for government and academia, focusing on software-reliant and cyber-physical systems at Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute.

Throughout his professional journey, Mr. Guertin has played significant leadership roles in organizational transformation, enhancing competition, and advocating for modular open-system approaches, prototyping, and experimentation. Additionally, he is a prolific researcher and author, having published extensively on software-reliant system design, testing, and acquisition.

Educationally, Mr. Guertin earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington and an MBA from Bryant University. He has a background as a retired Navy Reserve Engineering Duty Officer and holds certifications in Program Management and Engineering under the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA). He is also a registered Professional Engineer (Mechanical).

Beyond his professional commitments, Mr. Guertin actively participates in his community as an Assistant Scoutmaster and Merit Badge Counselor for two local Scout BSA troops. Additionally, he is an enthusiastic amateur musician. Originally from Connecticut, he currently resides in Virginia with his wife and twin children.

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