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Fred Beach

Dr. Beach currently works as an independent researcher and consultant in the fields of Energy, Defense, and Government Policy. He earned his Master of Science in Physics from the Naval Postgraduate School, his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Oklahoma, and is a graduate of the Defense Acquisition University. He continues to write and publish on topics related to Defense Acquisition and Energy Policy and is currently researching the potential and ramifications of the Defense Departments new emphasis on integrating clean and renewable energy sources into it's global operations.

Dr. Beach is also an internationally recognized leader, researcher and analyst in the area of Electromagnetic Launch and High Energy Electric Weapon System Development and worked with the Institute for Advanced Technology at the University of Texas from his retirement from active naval duty in 2002 until the spring of 2010. While there, he was the Program Manager for Test and Evaluation and supported the Navy at all levels in the development of EM railguns. The primary focus of his job was to lead and manage the Test and Evaluation of all aspects of the Navy’s Electromagnetic Railgun Innovative Naval Prototype. His work included technical support in the other program IPTs on various aspects of the Navy railgun program, support for the Dahlgren facility, interactions with selected industry teams and members, and, as required, provision of expert technical opinion to the Navy on matters across the spectrum of topics of interest in the development of advanced warships with electric weapons and pulsed power technology. He also developed and conducted research and analysis related to Directed Energy and Electric Weapons for military applications. Specifically, he conducted research associated with the Navy’s Electric Warship concept for the surface combatant family of ships including EM Launch Weapons and Directed Energy Weapons Applications. The research and analysis included the engineering feasibility and operational utility of the entire spectrum of existing and potential electromagnetic launch systems. His work also covered all aspects of the weapon systems from the energy generation source through to target lethality, Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) studies, platform integration impacts, the development of Concepts of Operation (CONOPS), military requirements generation, utility analysis, and integrated logistics support (ILS). His focus also encompassed work related to the translation of future weapon system requirements into focused research and technology objectives, such as, but not limited to, the development of technology development roadmaps, security classification guidelines, and foreign science and technology assessments.

From 2003 to 2005, Dr. Beach was on an Interagency Personnel Act (IPA) assignment from the University of Texas at Austin to the Naval Sea Systems Command office of Directed Energy and Electromagnetic Weapons in Washington DC. There he served as the Director and Assistant Program Manager for the Navy Electromagnetic Weapons Division. His primary responsibilities included; Fleet, Systems Command, Program Executive Office, OPNAV, and OSD interaction, financial management, program task structuring and scheduling, facilities planning, business processes, technical performance of program tasks, development, and delivery of products related to Navy Electromagnetic Launch Weapons and Weapons Systems. He also acted as the Programmatic and Technical lead for Navy, Joint and other Project Teams related to Electromagnetic Launch Weapons and Weapons Systems. During his assignment Dr. Beach initiated, developed, and led the Navy’s program for development of a Naval Electromagnetic Railgun. Before he left NAVSEA, this program grew to a formal $230 million, five year, technology development effort and was identified by the Chief of Naval Operations for designation as the first Innovative Naval Prototype (INP) and was successfully transitioned to the Office of Naval Research. Dr. Beach was also the Navy’s designated Assistant Technical Project Officer for Electric Weapons. In this role he served as the Navy’s lead for coordination and management of Joint and Cooperative Electric Weapons technology work with foreign governments.

Prior to retiring from active duty, CDR Beach served over twenty years in the U.S. Navy. His sea assignments included: Sonar Division, USS Patrick Henry (SSBN 599); Missiles and Navigation Department USS Ethan Allen (SSBN 608): A7E Corsair and FA/18C Hornet Pilot in Light Attack Squadron VA82 and Fighter Attack Squadron VFA82 operating aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and USS America (CV 66); Electrical Officer and Navigator of USS Ponce (LPD 15); Weapons Officer of USS Lockwood (FF 1064); Combat Systems Officer of USS Arkansas (CGN 41); and Executive Officer of USS Lewis B. Puller (FFG 23).

His Shore assignments included: Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren (Military Deputy of Combat Systems Department) and Program Executive Office for Surface Strike where he was responsible for requirements development, operational effectiveness analysis, and concept of operations development for the DD21 and DDX Program Office PMS 500. Commander Beach is a qualified Navy Submariner, Navy Jet Pilot, Surface Warfare Officer, and Acquisition Professional. His military awards and decorations include: the Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), the Navy Commendation Medal (three awards), the Navy Achievement Medal, the Battle Efficiency Award (three Silver E’s) and numerous service and campaign awards.

Dr. Beach has authored dozens of technical reports, Navy guidance documents, and operational analysis and assessments related to the development, acquisition, fielding and operation of naval weapons and weapon systems. He has both participated on and led several government source selections of major acquisition programs ACAT I-III. He has been a member of the Technical Review Committee of the International EM Launcher Symposia since 2001 and is a member of the American Society of Naval Engineers. He organized a Conference on High Powered Weapon Systems for the Electric Ship in 2004 and edited the Conference Proceedings.


Dr. Beach has served as a consultant on defense-related topics for the U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group, MITRE (JASONs), Naval Research Advisory Committee, Naval Research Laboratory, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the Defense Science Board.

Honors, Awards and Professional Service:

  • Member of Technical Review Committee of International EML Symposium (2001-present)
  • Certified, U.S. Department of Defense, Senior Acquisition Professional in Program Management (2000-present)
  • Certified, U.S. Navy Specialist in Naval Combat Systems Science and Technology (1996-present)
  • Designated U.S. Navy Assistant Technology Project Officer for Electric Weapons and Foreign Technology Officer (2003)
  • Bernard Smith Medal for Outstanding Leadership and Contributions to Naval Weapon Systems Development (2000)
  • Member, American Society of Naval Engineers (2002-present)
  • Member, U.S. Naval Institute (1990-present)

Selected Papers and Publications (Unclassified):

  • F.C. Beach and I. R. McNab, “Naval Railguns” presented at the 13th International Electromagnetic Launch Symposium, May 22-25, 2006 Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germany.
  • F.C. Beach and I. R. McNab, “Naval Railguns” presented at the 15th IEEE International Conference on Pulsed Power, Monterey, CA, 13-17 June 2005.
  • CDR Fred Beach, USN Ret. “Naval Electromagnetic Railgun Development Program” presented at the ASNE Conference on High Powered Weapon Systems for the Electric Ship, Annapolis, MD, 7-9 December 2004.
  • A. Chaboki, L. Thurmond, G. Grater, D. Bauer, F. Beach, and D. Clayton, “Integration of Electromagnetic Rail Gun into Future Electric Warships” presented at the IMAREST International Symposium on Engine as a Weapon, Bristol, United Kingdom, 9-10 June, 2004.
  • CDR Fred C. Beach USN, “A Naval Electromagnetic Railgun” presented at the 11th International Electromagnetic Launch Symposium, May 14-17, 2002, Saint-Louis, France.
  • CDR Fred C. Beach, USN Ret. and Mr. Chester Petry, “The Electric Ship and Electric Weapons” presented at the AIE Symposium on Electric Weapon Platforms, Rosslyn, VA, 11 March 2003.
  • CDR Fred C. Beach, USN “Advanced Electric Weapons” presented at ASNE Day 2002 Symposium on, “Transformational Technologies for Future Naval Systems”, 29-30 April 2002, Arlington VA.
  • LCDR Fred C. Beach, USN “Design and Construction of a 1 Meter Electromagnetic Launcher” Masters Thesis, Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, CA. June 1996.

Dr. Beach and his family reside in Georgetown Texas and are active members of the community via participation in numerous civic organizations. Dr. Beach is currently serving his second term as a member of the Georgetown Utility Board.

Please contact Dr. Beach via E-Mail at or by phone at 512-619-2629

Doctoral Committee:
Dr. Hans Mark, Admiral Bobby Inman USN ret, Dr. Jack Gansler, Dr. Ed Dorn, Dr. Frank Gavin

Dissertation: "Time Waits for No Program: Schedule Growth In Technology Development and Systems Acquisition of Major U.S. Defense Weapons Programs 1948-2009"