February XCel Program

Having HEART Matters: Bolstering the NWE/RHE Community 

Monday, February 14 | 1:00 PM - 1:45 PM ET

The Defense Nuclear Agency (predecessor of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency), representing the DoD, and Sandia National Laboratories, representing the DOE, jointly founded the Hardened Electronics and Radiation Technology (HEART) Conference in 1982 and established the non-profit HEART Society to ensure the continuation of the exchange of information. HEART is a peer-reviewed, nuclear weapon effects (NWE) and radiation hardened electronics (RHE) technical forum that covers original research and development that is either restricted access (i.e. ITAR) or classified. 

Join Dr. Sarah Armstrong, Director, Joint Hypersonics Transition Office Systems Engineering Field Activity at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, and HEART Society’s Steering Committee Chair, as she shares insights on the upcoming 2022 conference, why this is a must-attend event for anyone interested in affecting the NWE/RHE industry and how to become involved in the Society.  

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Meet Our February Speaker


Dr. Sarah Armstrong

Director, Joint Hypersonics Transition Office Systems Engineering Field Activity at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division

Dr. Sarah Armstrong was named Director of the Joint Hypersonics Transition Office Systems Engineering Field Activity (JHTO SE FA) at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) in January 2021. Throughout her nearly 25-year career with NSWC Crane, Dr. Armstrong also worked as failure analysis engineer, a radiation-hardened analog integrated circuit designer, task manager, customer advocate, and branch manager.

Before her current role, Dr. Armstrong established a project management branch focused on nuclear modernization and trusted microelectronics reaching across the Department of Defense (DOD). She is also active in the national radiation effects communities, serving in numerous capacities on behalf of both the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Radiation Effects Steering Group (RESG) and the Hardened Electronics and Radiation Technology (HEART) Society. Starting in April 2021, she will serve as Chair of the HEART Society.

Dr. Armstrong said her career path from Purdue co-op participant in 1997 to JHTO SE FA Director in 2021 has had a logical - but not obvious - flow, and she is grateful for the opportunities she sought out early in her career that led her to the JHTO SE FA.

Dr. Armstrong graduated from Purdue in 2001 and worked for five years at Crane. She was then selected for the first cadre of the NSWC Crane PhD fellowship program. She completed her degree at Vanderbilt University in 2011 with a PhD in Radiation Effects in High Speed Communications Devices.

Upon return, Dr. Armstrong began working for the Strategic Missions area by coordinating Naval Innovative Science & Engineering (NISE) 219 Program support for Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs (SSP) at Crane. SSP is responsible for the development, production, and life cycle support of the U.S. Navy's Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) Strategic Weapons System (SWS) – the nation’s primary strategic deterrent. The NISE program provides funding for Basic & Applied Research, Technology Transition, Workforce Development, and Laboratory Revitalization within the Department of Defense (DoD) laboratories to grow internal technical capabilities of the workforce and build critical infrastructure.


NSTXL combines industry best practices with our government contracting expertise to create a space where government and industry work together with speed, flexibility, and reduced risk. 

The Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Crane Division and the Department of Defense (DoD) created the Strategic and Spectrum Missions Advanced Resilient Trusted Systems (S2MARTS) OTA. The S2MARTS OTA (pronounced “SMARTS”) is designed to refine strategies, management planning activities, and implement integrated, complementary solutions that enable broader Department of Defense (DoD) access to commercial state-of-the-art EMS technologies, advanced microelectronics, radiation-hardened (RAD-HARD) and strategic missions hardware.

Visit the S2MARTS website to learn more.

S2MARTS Color Tag Horiz